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Voters turn out early and in numbers

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

McCook City Councilor Janet Hepp, above left, and candidate Lonnie Anderson wait early voting numbers, Tuesday evening, at the Red Willow County Courthouse. Anderson fell short of defeating incumbents Hepp and Jerry Calvin.
(Bruce Baker/McCook Daily Gazette)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Early voting and overall voter turnout numbers were up for Red Willow County in Tuesday's General Election. One thousand sixty-five Red Willow County voters cast their ballots early in the 2012 General Election, compared to only 478 in 2010 and 920 in the 2008 presidential election.

Overall voter turnout increased as well. 68 percent of registered voters cast a ballot Tuesday, compared to 53 percent in the 2010 General Election and 67 percent in the 2008 presidential election.

Red Willow County Clerk Pauletta Gerver said 58 provisional ballots will be verified and counted by the canvassing board Thursday, which could potentially affect a close Natural Resources District vote, where Dan Nelson is 36 points behing Benjie Loomis.

Red Willow County Clerk Pauletta Gerver instructs first-time volunteers on how to enter voting results into the county computer, Tuesday evening. From left, Veronica Waddell, Gerver and Jessica Midkiff. Both Waddell and Midkiff are McCook Community College students.
(Bruce Baker/McCook Daily Gazette)
She said the increase in early voters was very noticeable by her staff and one polling place reported a 33-year-old voter informing election officials that Tuesday was the first time in his life he had voted.

Voters favored the incumbents in the hotly contested Middle Republican Natural Resources District Board of Governors race. All four incumbent candidates on the ballot, Joseph R. Anderjaska, James W. Uerling, Buck Haag and Rick McConville, were voted in for another term. If his lead holds, Loomis will join them.

Incumbent McCook City Councilors Jerry Calvin and Janet Hepp also fended off a challenge from former City Councilman Lonnie Anderson. Anderson received 1,205 votes compared to Hepp's 1,847 and Calvin's 2,419.

In similar fashion all three incumbent McCook Schools Board of Education members, Tom Bredvick, Diane Lyons and Teresa Thomas, will be returning after beating out challenger Darin Morgan. Morgan received 1884 votes with all three incumbents receiving more than 2,200 each.

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