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Posted 11/06/08 (Thu)
After Mercer County Election officials experienced difficulties with final ballot tallies and, "reconciling ballots with the poll books," according to the Mercer County Auditor's office, the final county vote counts were in.
The majority of the county's voters -- 3,685 -- took advantage of the Vote by Mail option, while 787 residents cast their vote at the Mercer County Courthouse in Stanton, the county's only open polling site. In total, 4,472 ballots were cast.
In the 2004 General Election, 4,650 ballots were cast in Mercer County.
Staying true to their conservative roots, Mercer County voters overwhelmingly supported presidential candidate Sen. John McCain with 2,788 votes, compared to 1,472 votes for the nation's president-elect Barack Obama.
In the only race among Mercer County officials, Lyle Latimer ran unopposed and was re-elected to the Mercer County Commission with 3,599 votes -- almost 97 percent of votes cast. Their were 116 write-in ballots cast and 742 under votes.
Two Hazen city measures were also on the ballot.
Regarding city Measure No. 1, which stated, "Shall the Hazen Board of City Commissioners adopt ordinances that would impose up to an additional 5 mills on real property in the City of Hazen for the purpose of establishing a fire department reserve fund, Mercer County voters cast 623 in favor, 701 opposed.
In Hazen city Measure No. 2, which asked: "Shall the Hazen Home Rule Charter be amended to allow for the imposition of an additional one percent sales and use tax to be used for recreational or aquatic center purposes?" Mercer County voters denied the measure with 810 votes opposed and 523 in favor.
Concerning state measures, Mercer County residents who cast their say voted 2,028 in favor and 2,222 opposed to Constitutional Measure No. 1, which would establish a permanent oil tax trust fund from oil and gas tax revenue.
For Measure No. 2, which aimed to amend the North Dakota Century Code to lower state corporate tax rates and adjust state income tax, Mercer County voters cast 1,613 votes in favor and 2,669 opposed.
On Initiated Statutory Measure No. 3, which would establish a tobacco prevention and control advisory committee and fund a prevention and control plan, voters in Mercer County narrowly opposed the measure, casting 2,029 votes in favor and 2,263 opposed.
Concering Initiated Statutory Measure No. 4, which would provide for the appointment by the governor of the director for the Workforce Safety and Insurance Agency, local voters voted 2,960 in favor and 1,268 against.
In the race for governor of North Dakota, Incumbent John Hoeven recieved an overwhelming show of support in Mercer County, garnering 3,368 votes -- or 76 percent -- versus 957 votes for challenger Democrat Tim Mathern. Independent challenger DuWayne Hendrickson earned 137 local votes.
Democrat incumbent Earl Pomeroy ever so narrowly earned county voters' vote of confidence, with 2,195 votes versus 2,187 votes for Republican challenger Duane Sand.
Among county voters, Robert Peterson defeated Daryl Splichal 2,848 votes to 1,398. State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt retained her post with 2,047 votes to Democrat challenger Mitch Vance's 1,373 votes. Adam Hamm earned the nod over Jasper Schneider in Mercer County for the race of Insurance Commissioner, with 2,515 votes to Schneider's 1,748. Brian Kalk recieved 2,481 votes to 1,731 votes for Cheryl Bergian in the race for Public Service Commissioner.
Also among county voters, Wayne Sanstead retained his seat as Superintendent of Public Instruction with 53 percent of the vote versus 47 percent of the vote to Max Laird.
Mary Maring and Daniel Crothers ran unopposed for Justices of the Supreme Court. In the South Central Judicial Court, David Reich ran unopposed for Judgeship No. 1, Gail Hagerty was unopposed in Judgeship No. 6, and Thomas Schneider was unopposed in for Judgeship No. 7.