Shenandoah County names new registrar

Lisa W. McDonald

Shenandoah County residents won’t need to learn a new name when they visit the voter registrar’s office.

Lisa W. McDonald replaces Lisa P. McDonald as Shenandoah County’s general registrar. The Electoral Board announced the appointment Thursday after conducting a short search for a replacement. Lisa P. McDonald resigned in early September after serving 16 years as registrar.

Lisa W. McDonald serves as clerk of the Clarke County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court – a position she has held since 2006. Her appointment takes effect Monday, according to information from the county. She will receive a salary of $52,561.

“I’ve been here almost a decade and after a decade, you know, I’m ready for a change and ready for something closer to home so I don’t have the commute,” Lisa W. McDonald said Thursday. “It looks like an exciting opportunity.”

McDonald, 48, and her husband Howard live in Fisher’s Hill.

“There is going to be a learning curve,” McDonald said. “However, some of the duties I already do like writing budget proposals, supervising staff, dealing with the public, record keeping, all those types of things, will be the same.”

The Electoral Board faced a task of finding a replacement so close to the Nov. 3 election. Chairwoman W. Joyce Gary said the board received almost 40 applications, down a bit from the 70 filed the last time. The panel then interviewed the top five candidates.

“We obviously had quite a few candidates and I was pleasantly surprised that so many of them were just such highly skilled people,” Gary said. “It’s a unique position so it was difficult to find anyone that had any direct experience as such.”

Lisa W. McDonald holds a master of business administration from the Byrd School of Business at Shenandoah University and a bachelor of arts from the university.

Gary said, “So we’re anxious and excited about her coming on. She obviously has the education and the experience skills that would make her a stellar registrar. We just have to get her through the learning process and I think participating in this upcoming election is gonna be really noteworthy and very helpful to her.”

The Department of Elections used to provide training for registrars and electoral board members but stopped about 10 years ago, Gary said. However, the state agency might offer some training for the new registrar in the near future, Gary added.

The clerk noted that she didn’t have court experience when she took the job in Clarke County. However, she did have a paralegal certificate and office-management experience.

The Electoral Board handles elections while the registrar oversees voter registration. However, the new registrar will participate with the board in the election process by attending their meetings and planning sessions to learn and to contribute, Gary said.

“We recognize the fact that because we are under the gun that the new registrar is unable to be helpful to us much right now,” Gary said. “What we’re hoping to do is to turn it around the other way and we’ll be helpful to her as she goes through this process with us.”

The Department of Elections doesn’t want the Electoral Board to mix its duties with the registrar’s, limiting the panel’s ability to help her, Gary explained.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com