What the voters, election officials, and the courts have been unable to resolve may end up being determined by the toss of a coin. After viewing the results of a recount, a Cook County (Ill.) circuit judge declared Monday that the Republican primary between state Rep. Penny Pullen, a leader of antiabortion forces in the state House, and abortion rights advocate Rosemary Mulligan ended in a tie.

Illinois law requires that the Board of Elections hold a lottery to determine the winner of a tied election but does not specify what form the lottery take. The race could be decided by picking a name from a hat, drawing straws or flipping a coin. Regardless of the form, both sides said they plan to appeal if they lose.

Mulligan won the March 20 primary in the state House race by 31 votes. But after a legal challenge by Pullen and a recount last week, the results showed 7,387 votes for each candidate.

"I'm very pleased," said Pullen, a seven-term representative from Chicago's north suburbs. "We live to fight another day."

Mulligan already was planning continuation of her fight. "I think we have a lot of issues that are appealable in our favor if it {the lottery} shouldn't go the right way," she said.

The lottery will be held later this week. But the final result of the election is expected to be decided by the Illinois Supreme Court. The winner will face Democrat Robert Mucci in the November election in a heavily Republican district.