The voters couldn’t decide the race, so now it will be left up to chance. After a recount of all ballots today, the race for an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner race in Columbia Heights has ended in a rare tie, sending the two candidates to a casting of lots that by law has to occur at noon of a day designated by the D.C. Board of Elections. The race between incumbent Dyana Forester and challenger David Gilliland for the 1B06 seat was separated by a single vote after the Nov. 4 election results were certified last week, triggering a recount of the 582 ballots cast. But after that recount, which took place today, the two emerged tied, 204 to 204. (The remaining votes were for write-in candidates, and over- and under-votes.) One board official said it could be the first-ever tie for an ANC race in the city’s history, though that could not be immediately confirmed.
Next the board has two days to certify the tie, and then set a date for the casting of lots — in essence, a name will be picked out of a hat to determine the winner. By D.C. law, the casting has to occur “at 12:00 noon on a date to be set by the Board.”
That the rare process is being invoked is even more surprising considering that ANC commissioners — the 296 hyper-local elected officials who represent districts containing roughly 2,000 residents a piece — are unpaid and often ignored. Still, ANCs play important roles in everything from protesting liquor licenses to calling attention to street-level problems throughout the city.
Three other ANC races were recounted today, including 2B05, 5E09 and 4C04. (In the spirit of full disclosure, this reporter lives in 4C04, but cast no ballot. In that race, the incumbent emerged victorious — by a single vote.) Four more ANC races will be recounted tomorrow: 5E07, 6A01, 7E04, and 7F01.