The winners of the April 2 city and school board elections can rest easier now ó after the remaining provisional ballots were canvassed, there were no major changes to report in county races.
Harvey County Commissioners reviewed provisional ballots before their Monday morning meeting and voted to officially certify the election. Harvey County Clerk Joyce Truskett reported overall, this election was a fairly smooth process, and election staff always are working to improve the process for voters.
"I think all in all, it went well," Truskett said. "Each election, we never leave things alone. We're constantly making changes."
However, she said staff were disappointed by voter turnout this election, which was only at 16.77 percent. This year, 700 ballots were mailed to voters, but only 411 were returned. About 340 voters came to the courthouse to participate in advanced voting.
"It's not as good as we had hoped for, but it is what it is," Truskett said.
Deputy County Clerk Rick Piepho reported after the canvassing of 38 provisional ballots, 27 could legally be counted.
A provisional ballot is used to record a vote if there is doubt about a voterís eligibility. State statute stipulates which provisional ballots can be counted.
For example, provisional ballots from voters who moved within the county but did not re-register and from voters who changed their names by marriage but did not re-register could be accepted. Provisional ballots from voters who sent in advanced ballots by mail and then passed away and from†voters who are not registered in Harvey County or are not registered at all cannot be counted.
Two voters cast ballots without presenting valid photo IDs, Truskett said. Although they were given a chance to bring in photo IDs before the canvassing, neither voter did so.
"We gave them every opportunity," Truskett said.
After the canvassing, final totals for Newton City Commission winners were:?- Leroy Koehn, 1,142?- Glen Davis, 1,100?- Bob Smyth, 917
Final totals for USD 373 school board winners were:?- Barbara Bunting, 1,542?- Dick Koontz, 1,464?- Renee Erickson, 1,357
Final totals for North Newton City Council winners were:?- Theodore J. "Jim" Goering, 285?- Jane Schmidt, 264?- Gregg A. Dick, 256
Other county-wide election results can be viewed at www.harveycounty.com.
Newton City Commission candidate Bob Smyth attended the canvassing and thanked staff for their hard work during the election.
"I know it is a tremendous job," he said.
County commissioners also heard a quarterly financial report from Anthony Swartzendruber, assistant administrator and finance director for the county.
"Believe it or not, the first quarter of the year has already come to an end," he told commissioners. "... I think we're in good shape at this point in time."
So far, general fund revenues are up from the same time last year. In 2013, the county is ahead by about $230,000 from where it was during the same time in 2012.
Swartzendruber said the county has also been experiencing lower delinquency rates.
"More people are paying their taxes on time," he said.