Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Disappointing turnout statewide for Primary Election - Kimball County logged 33 percent

 


The 2018 Primary election results are in and Kimball County counted 921 votes of 2,773 registered voters, for a turnout of 33 percent.

According to the Secretary of State, John Gale’s, office, voter turnout statewide was less than hoped for despite outstanding turnout in several counties.

Statewide, preliminary turnout for this primary election was less than 25 percent prior to canvassing, but once all of ballots are counted, the total is likely to fall below the expected 28 percent.

In a recent press release Gale said, “Unfortunately, while counties like Blaine and Arthur experienced turnout of better than 70 percent, in some counties, turnout was much smaller than hoped or anticipated.”

Five counties (Douglas, Scotts Bluff, Nance, Thurston and Dakota) had voter turnout in the teens according to the same report.

“It is disappointing to be sure. When you think about what drives voters to the polls, it is largely about the issues and the nature of the contested races that appear on the ballot. That was true in this election. There were strongly contested races for U.S. Senate, Congress and several state executive offices and yet, a majority of voters chose not to participate.”

Locally, according to the Kimball County Clerk’s Office, final results are as follows:

The County Clerk primary race decided one Republican candidate to move on to General Election ballot. Incumbent Cathy Sibal received 531 votes and will move forward to the General Election while challenger Dawn Hickman will not move forward, after receiving 225 votes.

Two Republican candidates vied for the County Clerk of District Court, only one of which will move on to face Diana Engstrom, Democrat, on General Election ballot. That one candidate is Incumbent Deb Diemoz with 484 votes while challenger Darcee Wheeland will not after receiving 255 votes.

Six cadidates will move forward to the General Election ballot for three open positions on the Kimball School Board. Those six candidates are, in order of number of votes, Matthew Shoup with 531, Travis Cook with 446, Lynn M. Vogel, 347, Brad Reader with 288, Jared Reich, 284, and Renee Castagna with 196 votes. Dakota Kuhns received 140 votes and will not move forward on the General Election ballot.

Two open positions on the Kimball City Council gained interest from seven candidates, four of whom will move on to General Election ballot. Those candidates moving forward, in order of number of votes received, are Stephanie Pedersen with 228 votes, Christy Warner, 207, John Morrison with 197, followed by Matt Bright with 181 votes. Candidates Robert Martin, 140, Aaron J. Rabin, 81 and Jim Calvin, 62, will not move forward to the General Election ballot.

Though the turnout was less than desired, statewide, Gale said in the press release that he is nevertheless excited about the potential for doubling the turnout in the general election. “There will be major partisan state races to be resolved, in addition to many contested partisan county offices. Also, Nebraskans will be voting on 17 of 24 contested legislative races that will be on the ballot.”

 

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