Poor voter turnout marks county

August 8, 2014

By Rosemary Horvath

In spite of campaign material flooding mailboxes and TV screens, turnout at Tuesday’s primary election to nominate party candidates caused a ripple among the 23,096 registered voters in Clare County.

Turnout was slightly above 15 percent and that boils down to 3,547 ballots cast compared to the near 21 percent voting in the 2012 primary.

State Representative John Moolenaar outdistanced his two opponents on the Republican side to bid for the 4th District U.S. Congressional seat in November. Democratic opponent is Jeff Holmes.

Moolenaar drew 1,378 votes compared to big spender Paul Mitchell’s 792 votes and Peter Konetchy’s 242 votes.

A statewide proposal to permanently eliminate personal property tax on such things as office equipment drew the most voters locally. Some 2,379 propelled State Proposal 14-1 to victory here compared to the 900 against.

Locally, incumbent road commissioner Dick Haynak survived a challenge from Don Kolander for the Republican nomination for another term. Tally was 1,322 to 951.

Township precincts began transmitting results to the county clerk’s office soon after polls closed at 8 p.m. Some election workers from rural polling places had equipment or electronic failures to slow the process.

Redding Township with the least number of voters had the highest number of issues, including no phone service to modem in results.

Creating a city manager position for the city of Harrison passed 142 to 76. City Clerk Tracey Beadle is expected to assume the title of city manager-clerk.

All uncontested candidates will move on to face competition at the November general election.

Staff in the county clerk’s office was still finishing primary night duties until around midnight.

Numbers are unofficial until the Board of Canvassers finalizes precinct documents this week.


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