As canvasses - official certification of votes - happen across Iowa and in other states, I'm hearing ha-ha cutesey stories I've heard before.
1) A tie with winner drawn from hat, or, more colorfully in some western states, with a game of chance.
2) A dead winner. Usually with no opponent.
3) An unnecessary recount demanded by a sore loser when the margin doesn't really call for it. We recounted 73,000 ballots a few years ago when the winning margin was five hundred. Five VOTES changed.
in point: Waterloo mayor just got recounted. Original margin was 87 or
88 votes out of maybe 9000. That's close but not recount close. The
recount changed ONE vote. We had the same one vote change in roughly the same size election as
Iowa City in 1999, except there the original margin of 3 shrank to 2.
THAT, my friends, that is recount close.
4) Write in winners. Usually when no one's on the ballot.
There's so many elections in so many places, it's bound to happen somewhere. These things are only weird when they happen to you or happen in a really big scale race.