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Slips of paper are drawn from a bowl to determine the winner of the 2017 election for a seat on the Virginia House of Delegates. Photo: Win McNamee / Getty

Republicans were literally lucky in keeping control of the Virginia legislature last week, with Republican candidate David Yancey's name being pulled out of a bowl to settle a tie that decided the majority.

Why it matters: Virginia isn't the only state with strange tie-breaking traditions. State laws in 27 states prescribe that ties be broken by a drawing of lots, 15 call for a new election and other states call for legislature votes or the governor or election board to decide.

Nevada, South Dakota and Arizona have used a deck of cards to decide a tie.

Minnesota: In 2014, a tie for county commissioner was decided by having the two candidates draw colored blocks from a bag, with the red block winning.

Florida: A tie for a City Council seat was broken in 2014 by first a name drawing, which allowed the winner to first call "heads" or "tails" in a coin flip, which then allowed the winner of that to decide who drew a ping-pong ball from the bag first. Whoever drew the ping-pong ball with the highest number won.

New York, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Missouri, Washington and New Hampshire have all settled ties with coin flips.

New Jersey is the only state that does not have a tie-breaking statute.

Go deeper

Scoop: FDA chief called to West Wing

Stephen Hahn. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has summoned FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn to the West Wing for a 9:30am meeting Tuesday to explain why he hasn't moved faster to approve the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, two senior administration officials told Axios.

Why it matters: The meeting is shaping up to be tense, with Hahn using what the White House will likely view as kamikaze language in a preemptive statement to Axios: "Let me be clear — our career scientists have to make the decision and they will take the time that’s needed to make the right call on this important decision."

Scoop: Schumer's regrets

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images   

Chuck Schumer told party donors during recent calls that the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the fact that Cal Cunningham "couldn't keep his zipper up" crushed Democrats' chances of regaining the Senate, sources with direct knowledge of the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Democrats are hoping for a 50-50 split by winning two upcoming special elections in Georgia. But their best chance for an outright Senate majority ended when Cunningham lost in North Carolina and Sen. Susan Collins won in Maine.

Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.