CORRECTION: Because of an editor's typographical error, Charles Drinkard's name previously appeared with incorrect spelling in an earlier version of this story. Atchison Globe regrets the error.
The 2019 General Election is wrapping up, with some results yet to be determined for certain.
Deputy Election Officer Kalee Vanderweide of the Atchison County Clerk’s Office reported there were 2,251 voters who cast a ballot in the 2019 local election. This represents 19.6 percent of the 11,479 registered voters in all of Atchison County.
County Clerk Michelle Phillips reported that the county sent out about 150 mail-in ballots ahead of the election on Nov. 5. The exact number of these that had been received wasn’t clear by 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, but all mail-in ballots received by 5 p.m. Nov. 5 were counted on Election Day. Six ballots were received after Nov. 5. All of these ballots had to be mailed on Election Day or before, with postmarks proving they were mailed on time, but statute allows for them to arrive before 5 p.m. Nov. 8 on account of the time they are in the mail.
These six ballots will be examined in the near future by Phillips and Atchison County Counselor Patrick Henderson, Phillips said. Of the six, one doesn’t have appear to have a valid postmark on it, and it will probably be discarded, she said, but that decision has yet to be finalized. The other five appear to have postmarks for Election Day or before, and are likely to be counted, she said.
The following are the unofficial results for four city councils; six of the seven school board races within Atchison County; and the local results for the constitutional amendment:
For the Effingham municipal government, Justin O’Brien won the mayoral race unopposed, with 73 votes. For City Council, Harvey D. Fasse received 72 votes, David Lowe received 67 votes, Mark Hurst received 68 votes, Ross Montgomery received 58 votes, and Kirk Wohlgemuth received 67 votes.
For the Huron municipal government, Mayor Jaquetta Peak, running opposed, garnered three votes to retain her seat. Write-in votes have determined who will be qualified to serve on the five open City Council seats. Don Ball, Sandy Clem and Amy Clem each garnered three such votes, while Charles Drinkard and Amy Drinkard each received two.
For Lancaster, no candidates filed for the three open positions. Ronnie Myer received 42 write-in votes; Emily Bare received 21 write-in votes; and Erin Hager received 16 write-in votes.
For the Muscotah municipal government, Brian Higley ran for mayor unopposed, and won 24 votes. Susan J. Higley and Darryl Hundley each garnered 24 votes for city council; Margaret Jacobs received 23 votes; Dalia M. Wilson received 21 votes; and Dale W. Small received 19 votes.
Atchison County voters also reviewed a proposed constitutional amendment to remove a State of Kansas adjustment process that occurs with every decennial U.S. Census, with the next set to occur in 2020.
The process is meant to account for nonresident military personnel and the nonresident student population, but the state Legislature moved to get rid of it earlier this year, with virtually no recorded opposition, to save time and taxpayer money.
The amendment won approval by voters statewide on Nov. 5, as required by law. In this county, 1,079 voted in favor of the amendment, and 763 voted in favor of leaving the current census process in place.
In addition to Atchison Public Schools USD 409 — constituents of which tentatively elected three new school board members on Nov. 5 (Sally J. Berger, Pam Rizza and Stefanie Gardner) — Atchison County voters elected board members to various other districts, depending on their location.
The results of these elections are as follows:
For Atchison County Community Schools USD 377, covering Benton, Lancaster, Grasshopper, Center, Mt. Pleasant, Shannon, Kapioma and Walnut townships, Barbara Chapman received 393 votes and will serve in position 1 of the school board. Greg Smith received 422 votes and will hold the position 2 seat. Nancy J. Keith received 421 votes and will serve for position 3. Finally, James R. Cormode received 406 votes for the at-large seat.
Jackson Heights USD 335, based in Holton, covers a portion of Grasshopper Township, but candidates for that school board — David R. Allen, Melinda J. Wareham, Neal Keeler and Konrad Coe — received no votes in Atchison County.
Valley Falls USD 338 covers some residents in Benton Township, but candidates for that school board — Jody Lockhart, Donny Smith, Aaron Sprang, Stephanie Steinlicht, John D. Shipley, Kimberly Kirkham and Shannon Meyer — also received zero votes in Atchison County.
Jefferson County North USD 339, based in Winchester, covers portions of Benton and Center townships. For JCN Position 1, Paige Noll, with 13 votes, received more favor in Atchison County than Ronald Langston, who received two votes. For JCN Position 2, Lindsay Aspinwall did better in Atchison County, receiving 12 votes, than Justin Noll, who received three votes. For JCN Position 3, Traci A. Noll won 12 local votes over Kip Schmalz, who had the backing of three Atchison County voters. For Position 7, Lucas Hattemer won 10 local votes against Winda Ohlde Ladner, with one vote, and Katherine Wolfe, who had the support of four Atchison County voters.
South Brown County Schools USD 430, based in Horton, covers some residents in Grasshopper Township. For SBCS Position 1, April C. Keo received one Atchison County vote. For SBCS Position 2, Jason Selland also received one local vote. For SBCS Position 3, Laurence Berger received no local support, Carrie Miller received one local vote, and Gary Miller had the backing of zero Atchison County voters. Susana Cooper received one local voter against Rex Lockwood in the at-large election.
Some voters in Mt. Pleasant Township had the opportunity to cast ballots for USD 449 Pleasant Ridge, based in Easton. However, Rita M. Oatney, Sara Johnston, Jordan Pemble and Jennifer J. Kern received zero votes from Atchison County.