Voter Registrar Holloman calls it quits

Published 9:32 am Friday, March 18, 2011


Franklin Voter Registrar Sandra B. Holloman will retire on March 31 after 24 years of service. -- STEPHEN H. COWLES | TIDEWATER NEWS

FRANKLIN—In a few weeks, Sandra “Sandy” Holloman will begin counting the time she has for herself, rather than votes and voters in the city.

The Southampton County native will retire March 31 as Franklin voter registrar after 24 years of service.

Her successor will be Jennifer Maynard, who was introduced to the Franklin City Council Monday.

“I’ve loved it,” said Holloman. “It’s been exciting, and the people have been wonderful.”

Reflecting on her career, she remembered that it all got started accidentally.

“I was talking to someone at a party and learned that the registrar (Shirley East) was retiring,” Holloman said. “I’ve always been interested in the political process, being in the middle of it. So I applied.”

Obviously she was chosen, and the first experience was bracing, to say the least.

“I was so new,” Holloman said. “I didn’t realize I’d be in an office by myself. After that first election, never again.”

“There’s a lot more to being a registrar than just registering voters,” she added.

Holloman gave a short list — maintaining records of voters, making sure candidates have properly filed, keeping up with paperwork and equipment, making sure ballots are printed, recruiting and training election officials, and setting up polling places, as well as checking voting machines.

Holloman also has to keep a budget for her office.

“Redistricting will be Maynard’s challenge, and I’ll be here to help,” Holloman said. “It’s going to be a very busy election year. There’s the primary on Aug. 23, November elections, the presidential primary, May city election, June 2012 primary for Sen. Jim Webb’s seat and then the presidential elections.

“She’ll be jumping in with both feet,” Holloman said. “That’s good because you do it and learn it. Jennifer has worked the polls and is an excellent poll chief. She has a wonderful attitude.”

As befitting a professional, Holloman stayed current with policies affecting Virginia voter registrars through continued education. She also participated in the Voting Registrars’ Association, serving many offices, including president in 1996-1997.

Holloman laughed while recalling that time.

“That was the year that voters could register at the Division of Motor Vehicles,” she said. “Also, there was a presidential election, and everyone was calling me for answers. There were lots of meetings. It’s nothing I want to do again, but I’m glad I did it.”

Election time is “certainly more stressful” than others, she said, especially since the controversial ballot incident in Florida in 2000. She also noted that the 2008 election had the most absentee ballots. There were 600-plus, and before that around 209. The majority was elderly and handicapped.

But that’s all past now.

Holloman doesn’t know what precisely she’ll do with the time ahead, but “I feel I’ll find something to do.”

In the meantime, there’s her involvement with Rotary, moving back to Courtland, as well as spending time with her 8-year-old granddaughter, Brooke.

Holloman has two children, Krista Vannoy of Roanoke and Mark Holloman in Gloucester.