Archive for Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Official tally raises vote totals

August 11, 2004

Just 26.4 percent of Leavenworth County's registered voters cast a ballot during last week's primary election, said Linda Sheer, Leavenworth County clerk. What's worse, those numbers fall in line with average voter turnout in recent years.

"Actually, it's probably about the same," Sheer said.

Four years ago, Sheer said, 25 percent of the county's registered voters turned out at the polls. Two years ago, that number was 20 percent, she said.

Last Friday, the Leavenworth County clerk's office validated results from last week's primary election. The Friday vote canvass included the addition of 199 of 310 provisional ballots.

Of the provisional ballots -- ballots that didn't match in some way with voter information on voter registration logs -- counted Friday, 111 were tossed out because of voter error. Some of those ballots were set aside because voters registered as either a Republican or Democrat voted on races not affiliated with their party, the county clerk said.

While none of the validated counts changed the election results, some of the numbers finalized Friday are different from the unofficial returns reported Tuesday night.

Like Tuesday night, the closest of all local races came down to two Republican candidates seeking the GOP nomination for the 3rd District Leavenworth County Commission seat, a position that covers Basehor, Tonganoxie and other parts of southern Leavenworth County.

Dean Oroke, a Tonganoxie developer and former commissioner, overcame a surprising challenge from Jon Gallion, who lives just north of Basehor, and will face Democrat Jerry Wilburn in the general election Nov. 2. Oroke earned 605 votes in the primary and an additional 16 during the canvass; 457 voters tagged their ballots for Gallion and he earned another 13 votes Friday.

Other totals for the Third District seat include:

  • Ken Rahjes received 426 votes during the primary and an additional 14 during the vote canvass.
  • Richard "Dick" Brauer received 303 votes during the primary and six more during the vote canvass.
  • Marvin Torneden received 202 votes during the primary and four more on Friday.
  • Fauna Dean received 148 votes during the primary and four more during the canvass.

Either Oroke or Wilburn will replace incumbent Joe Daniels, who after one term is not seeking re-election.

The Third District county commission seat isn't the only one that will have a new face in 2005. Like Daniels, Second District County Commissioner Bob Adams also did not seek re-election.

Republican Clyde Graeber, a Leavenworth resident, earned his party's nomination for the position Tuesday night by receiving 1,050 votes. Another 20 votes were added to his total after the canvass.

Graeber will face Democrat Mike "Whiz" Scanlon in November.

Totals for the three other Second District Republican candidates are:

  • Larry Dedeke received 597 votes on Tuesday and an additional 15 after the canvass.
  • Harold Hunter received 319 votes on Tuesday and an additional four after the canvass.
  • Arthur Davidson received 130 votes on Tuesday an additional four after the canvass.

In one of the few Democratic races, Leavenworth County Undersheriff Dave Zoellner saw his Election Day lead increase over challenger Gene Tomrell, a former Leavenworth police officer, for the office of sheriff.

Zoellner received 2,710 votes Aug. 3 and earned another 38 votes after the canvass. Tomrell received 1,160 votes and an additional 28 votes following the canvass.

Because there is no Republican opposition, and barring a write-in candidacy from a challenger, Zoellner will win the sheriff's position unchallenged Nov. 2. He would assume office Jan. 10.

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