the ballots

Brent Finnegan -- October 31st, 2007

Hburg ballot 07 County ballot 07 ATuesday is election day. Here’s the sample ballot for Harrisonburg (right) and front side of the ballot for Rockingham County (left). Thanks to Lowell for scanning the front part of Rockingham ballot. I’ll try post the back sides(s) of the county ballot(s) later.

A few minor observations: The Clerk section looks as ridiculous as I thought it would. “Matt,” “Benny,” “Cindy,” and “Doc” are all in quotes, but Chaz is not. More importantly, while the party affiliation/endorsement of Obenshain, Roles, and Lohr is clear, the “D” and “R” are notably absent in the Clerk section next to Dianne’s and Chaz’s name.

18 Responses to “the ballots”

  1. Tom says:

    Thanks for posting these ballots. Some of these positions I didn’t even know about like the Soil director. Now I have some research to do, I know nothing of either these two men.

  2. finnegan says:

    Thanh may write something about that position later, Tom. But as you’ll notice, you’re allowed to vote for two candidates for that position (as opposed to one for every other position). Since there are only two people running, I’m guessing they’ll both win.

  3. kai says:

    How do they determine the order of the names on these ballots?

  4. finnegan says:

    Good question, Kai. I know in some areas, it’s done by random lottery. But considering Fulk and Haywood (the two with actual party affiliations) are at the top of the list of candidates for Clerk, it seems unlikely — unless they do random lottery for official party candidates first, then do random selections for all independents second.

  5. Frank J Witt says:

    Why not just write (Vote for one (1) instead of Vote for not more than one?

    Just asking…of course

  6. finnegan says:

    Because technically you can vote for no one. You don’t have to vote for one if you don’t want to.

  7. TM says:

    That’s makes the clerk section easier! HI-OH!

  8. Frank J Witt says:

    Alrighty then…

    Thanks Fin ~

  9. Craig Orndorff says:

    Long time reader, first time commenter.

    Because I’m curious about this sort of thing, I went to the state code to see how the ballot was determined.

    As finnegan posited, the party candidate order is selected by lot, and then all the independents are selected in a separate lot.

    One of the quirks of Virginia election law (which has an explanation dating back to the Byrd years which I cannot quite recall) is that for local offices parties may nominate candidates but they cannot have their party id on the ballot. Hence the tradition of sample ballots by the parties. This was once true for all offices–however, the GA allowed ID for federal, state and GA candidates some time ago. So essentially, given the fact that id is not on there and that Virginia does not have a sore loser law (which allows failed nomination candidates to get on the ballot), the party nomination process is simply an easier way to get on the ballot, though not always cheaper (depending on whether or not the unit assesses a filing fee). I’ve always been of the belief that because of these factors Republican candidates are not a sure thing even in counties like Shenandoah and Rockingham and that candidates have to form their own winning coalition that includes a partially divided Republican base.

    You can check out all the facts at

    Even though I live in Shenandoah County, this race will be on my computer screen all night long.

  10. Annie Hololob says:

    How about a voter guide on hburgnews?

  11. finnegan says:

    I don’t like telling people how to vote, but I’ll think about it and see what I can come up with, Annie.

  12. FYI says:

    The names for clerk have the two parties on top ( they drew to see who would be on top) and then the rest were alphabetized.

  13. Annie Hololob says:

    I don’t want the hburgnews endorsement, I want a guide to who is one the ballot, their party affiliations and qualifications. Just the facts. This is a perfect forum.

  14. Laura says:

    I thought the city was voting for Commissioner of Revenue too. Why is it just the county?

  15. JGFitzgerald says:

    A weird quirk: In 2000 I ran as a Democrat, but as part of a de facto ticket with two independents. Dems got the top of the ballot that year, so it was me, then three Pubs, then the two people I was running with. A few people, perhaps several, couldn’t find my name with the other two and so wrote me in instead. Realistically, I should have been listed with the other two, but there was no rule to cover it.

  16. finnegan says:

    Laura, we have our own Commissioner of Revenue in the city. Her name is June Hosaflook. She’s in her 3rd 4-year term, and I don’t think that’s up for election this year.

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