MAHASKA COUNTY — The polls are closed and the unofficial results are in for this year’s city and school elections.
Across Iowa, voters had the chance to vote for mayor, city council and school board members all in one day for the first time on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Last year, Iowa legislature voted to combine the city and school board elections in an effort to save taxpayer dollars by eliminating the costs of a separate election for school board members in September, since they typically have a lower voter turnout. This change makes this year’s election day different for voters throughout the state.
Mahaska County Auditor Susan Brown said this creates some different ways things are run for the county and all the counties in Iowa.
“All Mahaska County residents will vote in the county – whether its the school or the city election and we’re using our general polling places for that,” she said. “So that’s a little different, as far as where they go to vote. Typically school and city elections are slower turnouts. Especially school elections have been that way.”
Poll workers across the city agreed with Brown that there were slower turnouts. The county auditor’s office shows 985 ballots cast, which includes some absentee ballots. That number represents a little over 7 percent of the 14,038 registered voters in Mahaska County.
Chairman of the Third Ward, Carole Comstock, was stationed at the Assembly of God church gym. She said that only 69 residents had come out to vote between 7 a.m. when polls opened and 2 p.m.
“I would say it’s been slow,” she said. “Normally we would have had a hundred and something voters by now.”
Something else that’s different for Oskaloosa residents is that there was a lack of candidates to choose from for each position, but that didn’t stop some constituents from still exercising their right to vote.
“Everyone that’s on the ballot will be elected, that’s the main thing, but a there are a lot of people that are coming because they just feel it’s important to vote,” Comstock said. “I think that great. I voted and we all voted. I just feel it’s important to vote no matter what.”
Local resident Eric Christensen agreed but was also a little disappointed by the lack of candidates to choose from on the ballots.
“It would be nice to have more people wanting to get involved with the government, but I think it’s just important to cast your vote regardless of how many people are on the ballot,” he said. “We have that right so I think it’s just a good idea to vote.”
Former University Park Councilman Colleen Pratt brought her two children with her to vote, showing them the importance of always exercising their right to vote, especially locally.
“I think the local government is the level of government that most directly affects everything and to ignore that and get upset about national government, well you should start in your community where you live,” she said. “So it’s important to vote.”
The unofficial results for the 2019 City and School Election Day Results for Mahaska County listed below.
David Krutzfeldt was re-elected mayor, with 284 votes. Robert Drost was elected as Ward 2 city council member, with 83 votes. Steve Burnett was re-elected, with 82 votes, as Ward 4 councilmember. Joe Caligiuri, with 271 votes, was re-elected as city council at-large member.
Barbara Davis was re-elected as mayor, with 43 votes. Elected to the Barnes City City COuncil were Donald Baker with 37 votes and Nancy Dunnick with 27 votes.
Jim Hughes was re-elected as mayor, with 44 votes. Dwight Teeter, Bill Williams, Richard Thomas, Thomas Van Der Veer and Ron Kauffman have been elected to fill seats on the Beacon City Council.
Elizabeth Haring received 21 votes, while 81 votes were cast for write-in candidates. Filling two seats on the Fremont City Council will be Sherri Baxter, with 75 votes and Zachary Neff with 49 votes.
Filling unexpired terms will be John Van Zante with 78 votes and Dollie Horn with 62 votes.
H. Craig Coen, with 16 votes, was elected mayor of Keomah Village. Paul Riggs and Mike Sinnett were elected to the city council, each with 16 votes. Filling an unexpired term will be Alyce Chandler, with 16 votes.
Mayor Keith Beintma was re-elected, with 23 votes. City council members elected were Charles Bogaard and Kimberly Sytsma, each with 23 votes; Henry Van Roekel, Steve Nieuwsma and Dan Gleason, each with 22 votes.
Jeffrey Long was elected mayor, with 135 votes. Larry Applegate, with 133 votes, and Ron Wyatt, with 119 votes, joined the New Sharon City Council. There were 29 votes for a city council unexpired term.
Kevin Molyneux was re-elected as mayor, with 10 votes. Jacob Dannels, with 15 votes; Matt Montgomery, with 14 votes; Terry Lowe, with 12 votes; Aaron Molyneux, with 9 votes; and Channa McMillan, with 6 votes, were elected to the Rose Hill City Council.
George Toubekis was re-elected as mayor, with 53 votes. Harry Graham was elected to city council, with 49 votes.
Amanda McGraw was re-elected to Oskaloosa Community School District Director District 1, with 434 votes. Sharma Parlett was elected to District 3 with 423 votes. Charlie Comfort was elected to District 4 with 402 votes. Shawn Moyer was elected to District 6 with 420 votes.
Michelle Sampson was elected to North Mahaska Community School District Director District 1 with 49 votes. Dirk Wilkin was elected with 73 votes to District 2. Keith Foster was elected to District 3 with 28 votes.