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Primary election brings out voters

St. Francois County voters went to the polls Tuesday to decide a primary election where only one candidate faced an opponent representing the same political party.

Incumbent District 115 State Representative Elaine Gannon, a former teacher from De Soto, beat fellow Republican Marvin Fricke, a small business owner also from De Soto, with a vote of 758 (73.24 percent) to 277 (26.76 percent) for the right to represent their party in the November election. She will not be facing an opponent then.

Most likely bringing out the greatest number of voters in the county and across the state today was Proposition A, which, if passed statewide will add an amendment to the state constitution that would make Missouri the 28th state to adopt right-to-work.

While results from the rest of the state have yet to be tabulated, in St. Francois County at least — excluding the final numbers from Iron Mountain Lake — Proposition A went down to a resounding defeat with a vote count of 9,422 (77.64 percent) against the measure and 2,714 (22.36 percent) in favor. As of 9:45 p.m. less than half of the precincts statewide had reported their totals. For totals visit http://enr.sos.mo.gov/

Meanwhile, citizens of Bismarck and Desloge voted down two propositions placed on the ballot by their city governments.

In Bismarck, voters narrowly defeated a half-cent sales tax that would have provided an additional source of revenue for the municipality’s general fund to provide the police department with better equipment and higher salaries for police officers. The final vote was 153 (52.76 percent) opposing the sales tax and 137 (47.24 percent) voting in favor — a difference of only 16 votes.

Desloge voters largely opposed a proposition that would have authorized the city to impose a local use tax to help offset sales tax lost from sales on out-of-state websites like Amazon.com. A total of 702 voters (60.57 percent) gave a thumbs down to the local use tax, with 457 (39.43 percent) voting in favor of the measure.

All in all, St. Francois County Clerk Mark Hedrick was impressed with the turnout and the way election day turned out overall.

“I don’t know what the final turnout is at this point because I haven’t seen all the figures, but I think it was fairly heavy for an off-year primary election,” he said. “We had a couple of precincts that I know eclipsed the 1,000-voter mark, which is very, very good.

“That was Bonne Terre and Farmington District 1. The other places were fairly heavy, like Bismarck which is one of the smaller precincts — not really small now because we’ve added more people to them. They were at 475, which is quite a few voters to come to the polls.

“The biggest thing we had was a lot of address changes — people who had not changed their address or they moved, and they haven’t changed their address here. They were able to vote. We just had to make the change and make sure they were in the right location when they went in. Everything worked fine, it’s just they had to wait for a little bit, but we had to make sure they were registered and at the right polling place.

“Now we’ve got to get ready for the November 6 election because this is just a nomination election. Anyone that won tonight is nominated to run in the general election from all of the parties that ran on the ballot — the Republicans, the Democrats, the Green, the Libertarians and the Constitution.

“All these people were nominated tonight statewide, local, whatever. They will now be on the general ballot in November. I think everything went really well. We had that little snafu tonight, but people are human and mistakes happen. We’re going to make it just fine.”

Final county results were unavailable at press time. Poll workers from Iron Mountain Lake had reported to the courthouse without their flashdrive and had not retrieved it before press time. For a rundown of final county results visit http://www.sfcgov.org/coclerk/results.pdf

In Madison County, Fredericktown voters said “yes” to Proposition P in Tuesday’s primary election. The vote was 404-314 in favor of the proposition.

The measure will impose a city-wide, half-cent sales tax “for the purpose of improving public safety of the City” by providing revenue for the Fredericktown Police and Fire Departments to construct a new police and fire department facility, hire a school resource officer, and “other enhanced public safety services.”

In Madison County, the only contested race was for Presiding Commissioner on the Republican ticket. In that race, challenger Jason Green defeated incumbent Robert “Bob” Mooney 1,007-663.

Green will face Democrat April Sarakas in the Nov. 6 General Election.

A small crowd of candidates, union leaders and other interested parties gather in the third floor county commissioners chamber located in the courthouse annex to get the most up-to-date voting results from County Clerk Mark Hedrick's office next door.

A small crowd of candidates, union leaders and other interested parties gather in the third floor county commissioners chamber located in the courthouse annex to get the most up-to-date voting results from County Clerk Mark Hedrick’s office next door.

Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or kjenkins@dailyjournalonline.com

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