Low voter turnout for March primary
By Randa Wagner
Four term Morrow County Commissioner Olen Jackson lost his bid for the Republican spot in the 2012 general election, taking 1180 votes to Richard Miller’s 2274. All three levies failed, though a Local Option/Patriot Synergy, LLC for Cardington Village West passed with 60% of the votes.
Competing for the Republican nomination for Morrow County Treasurer, Tim Garry upset Dennis Leader’s bid in a 2104/1721 win.
Less than 25 percent of registered voters in the county turned up at the polls. Board of Elections Director Marilyn Smith said it’s the lowest voter turnout in Morrow County she can recall since she began in 1996.
“I was shocked,” she said. “When we called into the polling places that night, they would tell us it was very slow.”
Smith noted voter turnout usually averages about 40 percent.
“What I think happened is, it’s a March election,” she said. “When you go to May and change it back to March, they just don’t realize it’s there.”
This primary only had 649 absentee ballots, which is low compared to about 1000 or more.
“I hope people come out to vote for the general election,” she said.
Actual cards cast in this March primary were 6,451: just 24.74 percent of the 26,073 registered voters in Morrow County.
Morrow County voters favored Rick Santorum (2421) over Mitt Romney (1260), Newt Gingrich (638), Ron Paul (502), Rick Perry (50) and Jon Huntsman (33) for the Republican presidential ticket.
The commissioner’s race between Olen Jackson and Dick Miller ended with Miller taking nearly 55 percent of the Republican votes.
“I am honored to be the Republican nominee for Commissioner in the November 2012 election,” Dick Miller said. “I have enjoyed being a public servant in the past and look forward, if elected in November, to working hard to do good for Morrow County.”
Jackson expressed thanks to his supporters and the county.
“Since May 1, 1996, when I was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Gene McClaren, I have had the pleasure of serving Morrow County as one member of the Board of Commissioners.” he said. “When I finish my term on January 2, 2013, I will have almost seventeen years in the Commissioners’ Office. The early years were great, we had enough money to do the things we wanted to do but the past ten years have been a constant challenge. The stress level has continued to increase each year trying to manage a budget that has gone from almost 9.5 million in the early 2000’s to 6.4 million in 2012. At the same time demands for services have increased and it has been a constant battle to supply each department with the funding they need to operate. The job is not easy, but I plan to finish my term, which expires on January 2, 2013, and at that time wish the next Board of Commissioners the best. I certainly have appreciated all the fellow Commissioners and staff I have worked with and the community support I have received over the years. Morrow County has been very good to me and my family.”
Positions for the county engineer, recorder, prosecutor, clerk of courts, common pleas judge, sheriff and coroner were unopposed. County Engineer Randy Bush, County Recorder Dixie Shinaberry, County Prosecutor Charles S. Howland, Clerk of Courts Vanessa K. Mills, County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert C. Hickson, Jr., and Sheriff Steven R. Brenneman retained their places in the fall election, and Matthew Hintz is on the ballot for the County Coroner’s position.
The much-needed 1.25 mill 5-yr levy for Morrow County DD failed 3893 to 2426.
Director Nancy Foglesong said, “We were disheartened with the levy results on March 6, as with any levy failure. However we also recognize and truly appreciate the growing number of community members who continue to support the work we do and take the time to vote and express their opinion and their civil responsibility. We are deeply saddened that for many families with members who have developmental disabilities, the levy failure can be taken more personally, and we certainly don’t want these families to feel abandoned. The challenges these individuals face are already a significant burden, and with another levy failure, the waiting lists will continue to grow. There are many opportunities throughout the year for county residents to learn more about the services and programs of the County Board. We welcome visitors and believe when people become informed, good changes will follow. We hope our efforts will reach those who don’t know what we do and they will have a change in heart.”
Unofficial results for Morrow County as of 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, March 7 were:
• Gilead Township Cemeteries (Additional 1 Mill 5 Years)
For The Tax Levy 546 Against The Tax Levy 771
• First Consolidated Fire Protection (Replacement & Increase 4 Mills 5 Years)
For The Tax Levy 46 Against The Tax Levy 67
• Morrow County DD (Additional Operating Exp 1.25 Mill 5 Yrs)
For The Tax Levy 2426 Against The Tax Levy 3893
• Cardington Vill W (Local Option Patrios Synergy on premise sales)
YES 7 NO 49
• Dem County Commissioner (Full Term Commencing 1–3-13)
Glenda G. Wilson 855
• Dem County Commissioner (Unexpired Term Ending 12–31-14)
John P. Gersper 846
• Dem County Engineer
L. Randy Bush 942
• Congressional District Presidential Delegates REP
Newt Gingrich 638 Jon Huntsman 33 Ron Paul 502 Rick Perry 50 Mitt Romney 1260 Rick Santorum 2421
• Rep U. S. Senator REP
David W. Dodt 188 Donna K. Glisman 445 Eric LaMont Gregory 219 Josh Mandel 2291 Michael L. Pryce 792
• REP Representative to Congress (12th District)
Pat Tiberi 3215 Bill Yarbrough 1293
• REP Judge Court of Appeals 5th Dist (Full Term Commencing 2–11-13)
Flite H. Freimann 1288 Jeanette Moll 2020
• Member of State Central Committee, Man (26th District) REP
Brad Culbert 411 Charles Knight 854 John R. Matthews 1736 Justin C. Smith 530
• Member of State Central Committee, Woman (26th District) REP
Lisa Cooper 2352 Karyle Mumper 1104
• State Representative (87th District) REP
Jeff McClain 2361 Dennis E. Sterling 1123
• Judges of the Court of Common Pleas (Full Term Commencing 1–1-13) REP
Robert C. Hickson Jr 3432
• County Commissioner (Full Term Commencing 1–2-13) REP
Tom E. Harden 3391
• County Commissioner (Full Term Commencing 1–3-13) REP
Olen D. Jackson 1180 Richard J. Miller 2274
• County Commissioner (Unexpired Term Ending 12–31-14) REP Thomas E. Whiston 3191
• Prosecuting Attorney REP Charles S. Howland 3312
• Clerk of Court of Common Pleas REP Vanessa K. Mills 3217
• Rep Sheriff REP Steven R. Brenneman 3763
• Rep County Recorder REP Dixie L. Shinaberry 3546
• Rep County Treasurer REP
Timothy D. Garry 2104 Dennis A. Leader 1721
• Rep Coroner REP Matthew A. Hintz 3512
• Gilead Twp SE Central Committee REP
Larry D. Harden 70 William H. Mills 50