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Archive for Thursday, April 11, 2013

County certifies election results

April 11, 2013

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Ivan Huntoon won a seat on the Baldwin City school board with 325 write-in ballots, and Tim McNish was elected to the Lecompton City Council with 31 write-ins.

Those were the only local races that were left to decide when the Douglas County Board of Canvassers met today to certify results of the April 2 municipal elections.

2013 Election

View the final, official results of the 2013 municipal elections in Douglas County.

Huntoon and McNish both ran write-in campaigns after no candidate had filed.

All told, the county canvassing board added 128 provisional ballots to the vote totals, but those ballots did not change results reported on Election Night in any contested elections.

The Board of Canvassers included County Commissioners Mike Gaughan and Jim Flory, and County Treasurer Paula Gilchrist.

Voters are allowed to cast provisional ballots when their names do not appear on the registration rolls, most often because they showed up at the wrong polling place or because they changed their address since the last time they voted.

In the Lawrence City Commission race, there was a close finish between Terry Riordan and Leslie Soden for the third at-large seat. Election Night results showed Riordan ahead by fewer than 100 votes.

The final canvass produced a net gain of seven votes for Riordan, who picked up 44 provisional ballots, compared to 37 for Soden. The final tally was 4,865 for Riordan and 4,770 for Soden.

Provisional ballots did not affect the Lawrence school district bond election. That proposal passed with 72.2 percent of the vote, 8,125 to 3,122.

One of the closest contested races in Douglas County was the race for Baldwin City mayor. On Election Night, Marilyn Pearse led Jason Mock by 13 votes, 235 to 222.

The canvass added five provisional ballots for Pearse and four for Mock, which means Pearse officially won the race by 14 votes.

In the Shawnee Heights school district, most of which lies in Shawnee County, Gene Edwards edged out Kevin McGinnis by three votes for the District A, Position 4 seat. A small portion of that district lies in Douglas County, but County Clerk Jamie Shew said there were no provisional ballots from Douglas County cast in that race. Edwards carried the Douglas County precinct in that race, 9 to 4.

Final totals showed 13,090 ballots cast in Douglas County, for a turnout rate of 16.58 percent. That's slightly higher than either of the last two municipal election cycles.

"Races make a difference," Shew said. "There was a pretty active (Lawrence) city commission race, but also the (school bond) question. Any time there's a special question it improves your turnout some."

Some observers had wondered whether the Lawrence school bond question would affect the pattern of voting by bringing out more voters in the traditionally low-turnout precincts of east and central Lawrence where the vast majority of the $92.5 million in bond proceeds will be spent.

But Shew said that did not appear to have happened.

"There was a slight uptick, but it was not huge," Shew said. "You still saw a lot of those western precincts with a huge turnout. Precinct 45 (which votes at Langston Hughes School) had almost 600 voters, which has been the trend over the last couple of elections."

That's a turnout of 26 percent in the precinct.

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