News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

RA Board Election: Hey, At Least They Got a Quorum

smurfprimary.jpgWhile we wait breathlessly for the winners of the not-at-all contentious RA Board elections to be announced (at a fancy party next week at the Reston Sheraton, no less!), we can at least report that the RA received quorum in all three races, if just barely in one.

Election rules require a 10 percent quorum in each race. According to preliminary unofficial counts smuggled out of the Reston Association's warren of filing cabinets at great risk to life and limb, just shy of 13 percent of ballots were returned in the North Point Lake Anne race; while around 16 percent were returned for the at-large election and 22 percent were returned for the Lake Anne North Point race. That sounds impressive, until you realize that in one case just 840 out of more than 6,500 eligible ballots decided one of the races.

It's a shame that so few people voted in such an important -- and actually contested -- election. Did the negative tone turn people off, or is this pretty much par for the course?


  1. Restonian reversed the North Point and Lake Anne numbers. North Point was 22.31% and Lake Anne was 12.9.

    Regarding the 'negative' tone turning people off. I believe the low voter turnout is the norm for these elections. The North Point numbers look higher than usual.

  2. Online voting and people still couldn't do it? Impressive. However, the Voting page on RA's site was very hard to find as it was a graphic on the lower left of their page instead of one anyone near the top. Further there was no text link to vote so I couldn't do a Find for it.

  3. Does anyone know if large corporate landlords like JBG at Fairway get to vote for each unit they own? If so, Kneuven and Rando should send their congratulations to Danaher.

  4. These turn-outs percentages do not auger well for getting the minimum turn-out necessary on a referendum to pass a bond or mortgage to build either a indoor tennis or pool facility.

    What were the minimum percentage turn-out for bonds and mortgages referenda to be valid, again?

  5. I didn't vote. Yes, it was the negative tone. I got my ballot and was planning to vote, but then I grew increasingly disgusted by the whole thing and decided not to participate.

    Politics is such a nasty, subhuman process, without fail. People are all frickin' insane anyway, so it doesn't really make a difference one way or another. I know it's cliché at this point, and maybe I'm just being cynical, but there's no way that any candidate is going to do what I want (turn Reston into a jai alai resort).

  6. Just uncovered shocking evidence that when Rod's comments appear on this blog with that photo of a kind-faced middle aged man, the photo does not really show Rod. You can see Rod's true appearance by going to this link

    Win or lose, if Rod can keep that sunny disposition after this election, he's a better person than I am.

  7. actually the negative tone motivated me to vote. I had not really paid much attention to the previous election because it all seemed pretty benign. I don't think that anymore. People were very negative ("attacking") on this blog and in the papers but I did not see the candidates participate in any of that. I did attend the RA discussion at the nature house and based my votes on what I heard that night. I agree with other posters who said that they appreciate the fact that anyone would volunteer that much of their time and energy to take on such a thankless job.

  8. Just because they're volunteering doesn't mean that the people are not out for a certain amount of power. And you know what they say about power. They get all the thanks they need by getting elected by the people, and that's where it begins.

  9. Convict - Politics is the same wherever you are. Every presidential election I tell myself it will be the last one in which I invest any emotions. The last one was so disgusting, even though my man won. Maybe with this Reston election I'm getting some practice in non-participation.

  10. I wanted to vote but never got a ballot in the mail and for the life of me couldn't figure out how to vote online. I clicked all over that site, I don't understand why they made it so difficult?

  11. Here I was thinking about the public service this blog does, getting at least the 15 readers/commenters to vote and Pij just blew my impression! Ah well . . . at least now (as opposed to prior years' elections and issues), this blog gives us a place to air the grievances and sort the hype from the hope.

  12. Don't mind me, 8:29. I'm an aging cynic, borderline misanthrope who would absolutely love to live in a reinforced concrete bunker under a mountain where the foul resonances of people could not find me. Certainly not a representative sample. I just felt the need to be honest about not voting.

    This blog is still great in how it gets people informed and involved about The Issues.

  13. On average the RA elections get about 12% turnout. The last election had three Director positions uncontested, this time 10 candidates ran for three Director positions, and the turnout was higher than norm.

  14. I didn't vote - intentionally. Not because I was disgusted with the elections, but because the ballots themselves were not 'blind'. That is to say, your name and address is attached to your vote, which bothers me immensely. Yes, I know the Reston Association says that an independent firm counts the ballots - but your vote is still on record somewhere. Bothers me that the RA has to know everything I do - from the color of my house to how I vote in their elections.

  15. Anon 3:17:

    Do you read the local papers? The county has a process right now which will alter the Reston Master Plan and decide what will be here in the future. If you think what you have is what you get, you are wrong. Big changes are afoot. The current board has kept the homeowners in the dark about what the county plans for us. Your non-anonymous vote could have made a difference.

  16. Anon 3:17

    A. you could have voted on line, though I read here that that system is not perfect.

    B. when you vote absentee by mail in a Federal, State or County election, your name and address is on the outside envelope as a return address and you have to print them on the second inside ballot envelope and sign the envelope or your vote won't count.

    It's how the vote counters know each voter is only voting the number of times allowed.

    The County election officers are mostly retired people who work only on election day. If you ever voted absentee, were you equally fearful of the AARP set invading your privacy over who you voted for Soil and Water Commissioner?

    RA is using a CPA firm to count the votes. CPAs do this for corporate stockholder ballot counting all the time. They do it the same way for the Oscars and Emmys. (Talk about potential retribution for voting for the wrong nominee!)

    CPAs have recognized standards in their profession for performing this function. If they breach confidentiality, they could lose their professional license.

    They ain't putting their license on the line to keep Richard Chew, Rick Beyers or Milton Mathews happy.

    You do know that RA really does own any black helicopters, right?

    They belong to Microsoft.

    Or was that United Healthcare?


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