AP NEWS

Election Day runs smoothly in Madison County with expected voters turning out

November 9, 2018

MADISON — About half of the registered voters in Madison County turned out Tuesday on Election Day, and most absentee ballots were turned in.

County Clerk Nancy Scheer’s prediction of 48 percent of voters casting ballots Tuesday was almost perfect, as 49 percent actually showed up at the polls.

That translates to 10,544 people voting out of the possible 21,488 registered voters in Madison County.

Additionally, 1,287 early voting ballots were counted out of the 1,350 that were issued.

Scheer said the federal and state races and Initiative Measure 427 — the Medicaid expansion ballot issue — seemed to be the focus by various groups encouraging individuals to vote in this election.

Statewide, the Medicaid expansion initiative passed, though Madison County voters were against the proposal, 5,684 to 4,148.

In the race for U.S. senator, voters were much less divided. Republican Sen. Deb Fischer captured 7,898 of the Madison County votes, or about 75 percent, while Democratic challenger Jane Raybould only garnered 2,221 votes, or about 21 percent. Libertarian candidate Jim Schultz received 319 votes for 3 percent.

U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry received more than 77 percent of the votes, or 8,070 in total, in Madison County, while statewide the Republican won with about 60 percent.

Jessica McClure, his Democratic challenger, took home 2,332 votes, or 22 percent in Madison County, while she received almost 40 percent in Nebraska as a whole.

Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts was re-elected with nearly 60 percent of voters supporting him in Nebraska. In Madison County, he received more than 75 percent of the votes, with 7,855.

His Democratic challenger, Bob Krist, captured about 40 percent of Nebraska’s votes, while he received only 24 percent in Madison County, or 2,541 votes.

CONTESTED RACES closer to home included those for the mayor of Madison.

As of Wednesday morning, unofficial vote tallies put Alvin Brandl just over his opponent Robert Jurgens. Brandl received 290 votes, while Jurgens received 281.

The Madison City Council race had four candidates vying for two seats. Top vote-getter Griselda Beery was a clear winner with 310 votes, while her three challengers had a closer race.

Rick Schommer received 261 votes to capture the second seat, while fellow candidates Jerry Aschoff received 224 and Randy Rutten received 200.

The Battle Creek City Council race was also very close, with the three candidates for two seats having only a 55-vote spread. The top vote-getter was Eric Kraft with 283 votes, followed by Richard Vakoc with 246 votes. John Hrabanek did not win a seat, getting only 228 votes.

Another contested race in Battle Creek was for school board, with six candidates running for three seats. The majority of the race’s voters were in Madison County, though there were a few in Pierce County as well.

Tammy Bierman was the top vote-getter with 577 votes in Madison County and three in Pierce County. She was followed Paul Kuchar with 509 votes in Madison County and one in Pierce County.

The final school board seat went to Brent Bode with 448 votes in Madison County and two in Pierce County.

Fellow candidates who did not win a seat included Andy Hrabanek with 381 votes total, Brian Daum with 336 and Adam McCracken with 282.

Norfolk school board candidates ran unopposed, with incumbents Tammy Day, Patti Gubbels and Bruce Mitchell all retaining their seats.

The Meadow Grove Village Board had four candidates running for three seats. Three of the candidates were clear winners, each receiving more than 25 percent of the votes.

Zach Humphrey captured 74 votes, David Bykerk had 73 and Josh Anderson had 71.

Scott Tracy only received 23 votes and did not win a seat.

The Newman Grove City Council race also had clear winners for the two seats sought by three candidates.

Brain Wallin received 175 votes, and Jarod Adams received 166 to capture the seats. Donald Roberg received 99 votes and was not elected to the council.

THE OFFICIAL vote count for Madison County is expected to be completed by the canvassing board on Friday.

Write-in affidavits were filed for the Humphrey Public School District and those voters who reside in Madison County will have their votes tallied by the canvassing board, Scheer said.

Scheer said there are 68 provisional ballots that must still be processed.

Overall, Election Day went very well, she said.

“Initially, there were some problems with ballots not feeding properly through the scanner. However, after several adjustments were made, the scanner worked well,” she said.

The final voting report was printed by 10:44 p.m.

Election board workers who called the clerk’s office reported steady voting throughout Tuesday, with times during the day when voting was very brisk, Scheer said.

As always, it would have been impossible to have a successful election without the great volunteers who serve on the election boards at the various polling places in Madison County, she said.

The volunteers receive a written training manual and attend a training session prior to Election Day, but they must also be able to assist voters who aren’t properly registered and issue correct ballots to voters in precincts where multiple ballot styles are required.

“These election workers have an enormous responsibility on Election Day and do a wonderful job. My sincere gratitude is extended to all voters who volunteer to serve on Election Day,” Scheer said.

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