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