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Rising Star race could end in a tie, AFL confirms

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 8: Patrick Cripps of the Blues is tackled by Travis Varcoe of the Magpies during the 2015 AFL round 19 match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Carlton Blues at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia on August 8, 2015. (Photo by Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media)
Patrick Cripps has produced a brilliant season for the Blues, but will he win the Rising Star Award?

• Check out all of 2015's nominees at the NAB AFL Rising Star hub

WITH predictions of another tight race for this year's NAB AFL Rising Star Award, the League has confirmed there could be a tie.

An AFL spokesman confirmed to AFL.com.au on Tuesday that a tie was a possibility, and there would be no countback if two players polled the same number of votes.

Judges were due to cast their votes by Tuesday, although the envelopes won't be opened and numbers tallied until after betting markets have closed.

This is largely to avoid integrity issues, which forced a police investigation into alleged leaks about last year's winner. No action was taken.

This year's winner will be announced at a ceremony at Crown Casino on Wednesday afternoon.

All members of the All Australian selection panel are eligible to vote in the award, along with the League's talent guru Kevin Sheehan.

ANALYSIS: Who should win this year's award?

Pundits have narrowed the battle to a race in two between Melbourne forward Jesse Hogan and Carlton midfielder Patrick Cripps.

There hasn't been a tie in the award's 22-year history. 

However, last year's count was a thriller, with Brisbane Lion Lewis Taylor polling 39 votes to pip Bulldog Marcus Bontempelli by just one vote.

All this year's nominees profiled

As well as the honour of the Ron Evans Medal, the winner receives a $20,000 investment portfolio from sponsor NAB.