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Low voter turnout for Cherokee County School Elections

Thursday, September 15, 2011

WITCC levy sails with record 91-percent vote

Trending as expected, the area School Elections in Cherokee County Tuesday attracted an extremely low percentage of voter turnout, with all unopposed candidates sailing to victory, with very minimal write-in votes filed.

In an historic poll occurrence, the proposed Plant Fund Levy (Public Measure 18-B) for Western Iowa Tech Community College achieved an overwhelming 91.49 percent Yes vote in Cherokee County, with 258 Yes votes and 24 No votes registered.

Serving Western Iowa, Western Iowa Tech Community College of Sioux City, with branch campuses in Cherokee and Denison, and satellite facilities in Le Mars and Mapleton, must take the levy to the voters every 10 years. It costs less than one half cent for every dollar paid in property taxes. It is used for instructional buildings and labs, instructional equipment and infrastructure maintenance.

The voting numbers were very modest throughout all area precincts, with a total of 372 votes cast in the County out of a total of 7,995 registered voters for an apathetic 4.65 percent. Unopposed incumbents and the lack of any interesting races for the available seats must also be factored into the low voter turnout.

In the Cherokee School District, incumbents Laura Dawson, Deb Johnson, and Jack Creel were re-elected, with Dawson receiving 208 votes, and Johnson and Creel 204 each. There were seven write-in votes.

For the Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn District, three of the seven were up for election, with incumbents Brian Mugge, Karla Prunty, and Vernon Letsche voted in, with Mugge receiving 80 votes in District 4, Prunty 87 votes in District 5, and Letsche 82 votes in District 6. There were three write-in votes.

In the Aurelia School District, four of the five Board positions were up for election, with incumbents Myron Radke, Bradley Rohwer, Sue Sangwin, and Dan Winterhof re-elected, with Radke receiving 49 votes, and at-large candidates Rohwer 48, Sangwin 47, and Winterhof 47. There was one write-in vote.

For the River Valley School District in Woodbury County, three Board positions were up for election, with incumbents Kirk Utesch in District 2, and Gaylen Goettsch at-large re-elected, with Utesch receiving 112 votes, Goettsch 111, and first-time candidate Scott Knaack 107, filling the District 3 position previously occupied by interim Mary Todd, who did not seek re-election. Todd served out the term of Lyle Poulson, who had to resign after he took a position on the School's staff.



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