By Jeff Lampe
Voter turnout was light across Illinois on Tuesday for a Consolidated Election that in many communities included few, if any, contested races for municipalities, school boards and other posts.
Stark County saw just 6.12 percent of its 4,036 registered voters cast a ballot on Tuesday. That total of 247 votes may be a record low according to Stark County Clerk Heather Hollis, who said turnout was 939 in 2017 and 347 in 2015.
“It could be because I combined (polling place) and people were like, ‘Aw forget it.’” said Hollis, who received no complaints about consolidating. “We only had a few calls from people making sure they knew where to vote. And I asked the judges if they heard (complaints), and none of them had any issues.”
Hollis said all Stark County polling places will be open in 2020.
Despite the lack of votes cast, there were races decided. Here is an unofficial rundown of those contested elections decided on Tuesday and a few other notable results.
LaFayette Village Trustee
Clarence Wagher – 19 votes
Leslie Peterson – 16
Vicki McRell – 15
Richard Shipman – 6
Wagher and McRell were incumbents reelected to the LaFayette Village Board and Peterson is a newcomer. Shipman was also an incumbent.
Williamsfield School Board*
Lora Ann Kutkat – 204 votesTeresa Stewart – 191
Jolene Ann Tucker – 188
Douglas B. Baird – 151
*(NOTE: Multiple counties involved in Williamsfield school board election).
Stewart and Baird were the incumbents. Kutkat and Tucker are newcomers to the board. Vicki Massie opted not to run for reelection this year.
Galva School Board
John Vandevelde – 526 votes
Megan Flowers – 432
Michael Clucas – 421
Whitney Sue Olson – 380
Jeffry Hawes – 376
4 Richard Volkert – 276 votes
Douglas Anderson – 241
Volkert will take over for Rich Nordstrom, who opted not to run again for mayor. Volkert was city treasurer for three years, served as a Galva alderman for two years, was on the school board for five years and was a member of the Galva Fire Department for 28 years.
Anderson has been on the Galva City Council for 21 years and served as Galva’s Park District superintendent for 20 years.
Black Hawk College Trustee
Kim D. Goodley of Annawan and Douglas L. Strand of East Moline were elected to six-year terms on the Black Hawk College Board of Trustees in the April 2 consolidated election.
Two seats were up for election. Strand, the current board vice chair, was re-elected. Goodley was elected to her first term. Tim A. Black of Galva, the current board secretary, did not seek re-election.
Galva had relatively strong turnout, with 29 percent of 1,879 voters casting ballots. Knox County was at 11.5 percent for turnout.