updated 8/11/2006 2:41:26 PM ET 2006-08-11T18:41:26

One vote does make a difference.

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Elissa Wright won the Democratic nomination for a state House seat in Groton by a coin toss Thursday after a provisional ballot tied the race.

Rita Schmidt was one vote ahead in the primary on Tuesday, but the race became tied at 457 votes each after a provisional ballot for Wright was opened. A third candidate, Michael Kindle, won 408 votes.

State law calls for a flip of a coin to decide tie votes. Schmidt called heads and it came up tails.

"I don't think it's the best way to resolve ties in primaries," Wright said. "A run-off would have produced a clear winner."

Before a group of about 20 observers, including backers of the two candidates and television and newspaper reporters, Allen Palmer, the Democratic registrar of voters, flipped the coin _ a quarter featuring Connecticut's Charter Oak _ at the Groton Town Hall Annex.

"I felt I had a lot of pressure," Palmer said in a telephone interview. "I'm not really a public person. I like being in the background."

The absentee ballot was not counted Tuesday. It was ruled a provisional ballot because it was in an envelope that did not include a copy of required identification, Palmer said.

Palmer checked the voter's registration card Wednesday and determined that an acceptable ID, the last four digits of a Social Security number, was presented when the voter registered.

Wright will face Republican Heather Sherman Bond on Election Day Nov. 7.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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