Selection of clerks and trustees for townships in Cherokee County will be mixed in the future, with some townships continuing to have those positions filled by election, while some of those positions will be filled by appointment.
A measure to have township offices appointed by the Cherokee County Board of Supervisors passed in nine townships, was defeated in five townships and tied in two townships.
Bonnie Ebel, Cherokee County auditor and commissioner of elections, said that a legal opinion is being sought as to whether the tie votes in Willow (26 to 26) and Silver (37 to 37) mean that the supervisors will decide the results or those elections simply failed for a lack of a majority.
The townships of Afton, Diamond, Pitcher, Spring, Liberty, Sheriden, Cherokee, Cedar and Pilot passed the measure calling for appointment of township officers while in the townships of Marcus, Amherst, Grand Meadow. Rock and Tilden, voters rejected that measure.
The elections for township offices on Tuesday are not affected by the public measure, even in townships where it passed. Appointments will only be made to fill future vacancies.
Ebel said that the township offices are seldom contested elections and that more ballots have to be printed to have enough spare ones for each township. There are 16 townships in the seven voting precincts.
Usually a candidate for township office has to be talked into running for the office and sometimes nobody appears on the ballot for the office, according to Ebel. There were no contested township offices on the Tuesday ballot and some offices had no candidate on the ballot.
Ebel said that the measure will be brought back for a vote in townships that rejected it, with the expectation that eventually these positions will all be appointed throughout the county.
She said that O'Brien County had started this process several years ago and as of the Tuesday election, there is one holdout township in O'Brien County that rejected the measure to have township positions filled by appointment.