McNamara Wins Windsor – Drawing From Hat To Decide Hollins Race

Joe McNamara reclaims the seat he formerly held.
Joe McNamara reclaims the seat he formerly held.
Joe McNamara reclaims the seat he formerly held.

In spite of on and off showers there was heavy voting in both the Roanoke County Windsor Magisterial District and the Hollins Magisterial District Saturday held from 10:00 a.m. unto 3:00 p.m. Joe McNamara is back to reclaim his seat where incumbent Ed Elswick (now an independent) took it from McNamara in the 2009 Roanoke County Board of Supervisors election by 17 votes.

McNamara squeaked out a win over RoxAnne Christley by 5 votes (292 to 287). Voting took place at the Brambleton Center for Windsor and the Hollins Roanoke County Library for the Hollins District.

The other race in the Hollins Magisterial District resulted in a historic tie (389-389) said David Suetterlein Roanoke County’s Republican Chair. It took 40 minutes and several double checks before it was announced as a tie.

Rule 12 of the Official Rules of the Hollins Supervisor Republican Canvass states that “Candidates shall be elected on the basis of plurality of votes received. If two or more persons have an equal number of votes and a higher number than any other person, the Roanoke County Republican Executive Committee shall proceed publicly to determine by lot which of the persons shall be declared elected, after those persons have been notified and are allowed an opportunity to be present.”

Al Bedrosian and Mike Bailey political fate now rests by lot. A drawing will take place at the Roanoke County Administration Building on Tuesday to break the 389-389 tie for the Republican nomination in the Hollins Magisterial district. Each candidate’s name will be written on five markers that would otherwise be identical. The ten markers will then be placed in a dark bag. One marker will then be drawn from the bag and the candidate whose name appears on the marker will be declared the nominee.

Voting machines were used for the primary at a cost of $175 to the county committee (not counting location rental). This was the reason they chose voting machines for the primary. “For just this reason,” said Suetterlein.

The Roanoke County voting machine custodian, Jim Fender who works general elections as well said he had been doing this for many years and this is the first primary that has resulted in a tie.

Both Bedrosian and Bailey were packing up their signs and left before the final vote tally. All that work and it comes down to a drawing. They were summed back to the library for the news that their nomination will be decided by lot.

Suetterlein in an a statement said Saturday’s “results show just how significant each individual’s participation can be in determining an election’s outcome.”

By Valerie Garner