Luck of the draw may decide Squaw’s election
OLYMPIC VALLEY – In a race that could be considered closer than the presidential election, two Squaw Valley Public Service District candidates may have to wait for their name to be drawn out a hat to determine the winner.
Three seats were up for grabs in the race for Squaw’s service district and incumbent Pamela Rocca and hotel manager Michael Murphy are tied each with 102 votes for the third seat. Eric Poulsen and John Wilcox won the first two seats on the board of directors.
“As we can see from the presidential election, anything can happen,” said Murphy.
Although Squaw’s race is one of the smaller races in Placer County – less than 200 voters voted in Olympic Valley – it is the only one that will have to rely on the luck of the draw to win.
“Before an election each district will send us a resolution stating what to do in case of a tie,” said King Collins from the Placer County elections office.
In what can only be called a mini-version of the presidential election, Rocca and Murphy have to wait for provisional ballots and absentee ballots to be counted and perhaps recounted before a winner can be named.
According to Collins, Placer County still has 6,000 to 8,000 ballots to count.
“There is nothing official yet,” said King Collins from the Placer County elections office.
These ballots are either absentee ballots that still need signature verification or provisional ballots that must be investigated. However, Collins did not know exactly how many ballots they had for Squaw’s district.
“There might be another ballot in there that will change that (the tie),” said Collins.
Provisional ballots include those that came from voters that weren’t registered at the polls or voters that failed to reregister when they moved inside the district, said Collins.
It could be up to three weeks before Rocca and Murphy hear the final count, said Collins.
When called Wednesday morning Rocca was surprised to hear about the tie.
“They probably will recount to double check,” said Rocca.
Normally a quiet race, this year a new issue has popped up in the election – water.
Because of an influx of building, Olympic Valley is currently facing a shortage of water until a $7.5 million water treatment plant can be built.
Water is a big issue, said Rocca.
“I hope my name is picked out of the hat but if not, I’ve meet a lot of great people during this race,” said Murphy.
And if Murphy does not win the tie he said this won’t be the last time voters will see him.
“You meet a lot of great people (when participating in local government), it makes you feel valuable,” he said.
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