Osceola County residents cast their votes
OSCEOLA COUNTY — Voters in Osceola County overwhelmingly came out more for Tuesday's midterm election more so than others in recent history.
It was a busy Tuesday night in the office of county clerk Karen Bluhm, as she and her staff were busy much of the night with precinct tallies coming in following the closing of the polls at 8 p.m.
“I've been to every precinct in the county (Tuesday),” she said just after 11 p.m. Tuesday. “The voting was very steady all day.”
In the days ahead, Bluhm said she would be looking back to see recent midterm elections to compare turnout numbers.
“Some of my high ones (this election) are in the 67-percent range,” she said. “The lowest precinct is around 50 percent turnout. Turnout really hasn't been on my mind.”
Bluhm points to today's political climate as a driver for the high turnout for Tuesday's election.
“The ballot proposals were really important to voters,” she said. “We were receiving a lot of phone calls in the last few weeks with people asking a lot of questions about the proposals, and where they could get more information and do research about them.”
With 16 of 18 precincts reporting, unofficial voting numbers from the Osceola County Clerk's office indicate huge Republican candidate support for national, state and local races.
In the race for the 35th District State Senate, Osceola County voters backed Curt VanderWall nearly 3 to 1, State Rep. Michele Hoitenga for the 102nd District and Jason Wentworth in the 97th District.
Many of the local races were uncontested against Republican incumbents and no Democratic challengers.
However, residents in Reed City voted Nate Bailey (464), Karen Lea McKinney (430), Trevor Guiles (411) and Carol Tillotson (375) to serve on the city council.
In Hersey, unofficial results indicate Village President Robin Marvel was re-elected, and Gretchen Pemberton (82) and Chris Willard (68) were voted to serve on the village board.
In the city of Evart, residents selected John Joyce to be the next mayor and city clerk Heather Pattee reelected.
City residents turned down two charter amendment proposals, but approved one to change the date for the final payment of city taxes from Aug. 10 to Sept. 15.
City residents also approved the public safety millage, 294-207.
All results are unofficial.