If you were watching the Advocate web cast on Saturday, May 10th, you might have noticed my surprise at the outcome of the VISD Trustee District 5 race.
As is usual on Election Night I was busy with the reports coming into the office and hadn't been paying much attention to the totals. I had glanced ever so often at who was winning or loosing. Just before 8 pm Josie Salas (Assistant Election Administrator) and Margetta Hill (Deputy Election Administrator) came over to me and said the VISD District 5 race was tied. When at first I didn't respond they told me that all the precincts had reported.
I remember being a little to the side of the screen where we display the ongoing tabulation and had to step a few feet away to get a better look. There, right in front of me, were the current totals with a vote for Tami Keeling of 581 and a vote for Charlie Jaynes of 581.
I don't remember a tie vote in this county for more than the 22 years I've worked for the county. Since 1992 when the Elections Office was opened I don't remember a tie. At first I couldn't even remember what was the next step when a tie occurs. I did think there was something about tossing a coin or drawing straws but when and how and who does it escaped me.
One other thing happens when you get a tie vote, everybody has questions about what do we do next. I answered the initial questions as best as I could but it was several minutes before I finally had a chance to look at the Election Code to learn the correct answers. And the correct answers are there are a lot of steps.
The reason there is a tie vote is that both candidates stand for issues which are important to the voters. Those issues brought the voters to the polls to support their candidate. It happens that in this community and this election the same number of people supported each candidate.
Rather than being divisive, I believe we should look at this tie vote as confirmation of both candidate's platforms. All of their issues are important to the school district and this election proves that the voters don't want one or the other idea to take precedence. The voters are asking their elected officials to work at every issue.
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