Election 2017 results: Lawrence sales tax questions win; incumbents re-elected to city commission, school board

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Lawrence voters showed up at the polls Tuesday and renewed three special sales taxes, re-elected two Lawrence city commissioners and re-elected the one incumbent running for Lawrence school board.

Unofficial final numbers from the Douglas County Clerk’s office placed voter turnout at 22.36 percent, a jump from 16.5 percent in the last city and school board general election in 2015.

Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew attributed the increased turnout to an increase in advance ballots.

Shew’s office spent $27,000 to mail out advance ballot applications to county voters for the current election cycle. It was the first time the office had done that for city and school board elections, and 5,500 mail-in ballots were requested, Shew said. More than 5,000 had been returned as of Tuesday evening, and the clerk’s office will continue to receive additional mail-in ballots over the next few days, Shew said.

This year’s election also marks the first time city and school elections have been held in November. State legislators made the change with the belief that a November election would draw more voters than past city and school board elections, which have been held in April.

Lawrence City Commission (three seats)

Top two finishers win 4-year terms, third place wins 2-year term

Candidate Votes
1. Lisa Larsen (incumbent) 8,405
2. Jennifer Ananda 6,875
3. Matthew Herbert (incumbent) 6,619
Dustin Stumblingbear 5,985
Mike Anderson 5,144
Bassem Chahine 2787
(Unofficial results, 63 of 63 precincts reporting ) 35815

Lawrence school board (three seats)

Candidate Votes
1. Melissa Y. Johnson (incumbent) 8,493
2. Kelly Jones 6,464
3. GR Gordon-Ross 4,455
Gretchen Alix Lister 3,543
James Alan Hollinger 2792
Jill Hayhurst 2079
Steve Wallace 1636
(Unofficial results, 83 of 85 precincts reporting ) 29462

* Jill Hayhurst and Steve Wallace have withdrawn from the race for Lawrence school board, but Kansas election statute does not allow candidates to remove their names from the ballot after the June 1 filing deadline.

Sales tax renewals

Ballot Question Yes No
Question 1: Transit sales tax renewal 9,950 4,284
Question 2: Infrastructure sales tax renewal 10,396 3,788
Question 3: Affordable housing sales tax renewal/repurposing 8,784 5,425
(Unofficial results, with 100 percent of precincts reporting )

Results provided by: Douglas County Elections Office