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MCS referendum fails; voters keep Driscoll, Dazey

SIGN: Voters sign-in at vote centers in Wabash on Election Day.

by MACKENZI KLEMANN

mklemann@wabashplaindealer.com

and ANDREW CHRISTMAN

achristman@wabashplaindealer.com

Tuesday's election results suggest that things will stay the same for now in the county's school systems.

Todd Dazey and Matt Driscoll handily won their reelection campaigns for the MSD of Wabash County Board of Education. And voters in the Manchester Community Schools corporation overwhelmingly rejected a $15.7 million referendum to construct Squire Fieldhouse and make other safety, aesthetic and academic-related improvements.

Eighty percent of voters who answered the MCS public question voted no, while just under 20 percent voted yes. Only voters in Chester and Pleasant Townships were eligible to vote on the question.

But results from the MSD school board race show that a significant number of voters there would like to see some change on the board, although those votes were split between multiple candidates who publicly came out in favor of revisiting the Community Foundation's “Studies for Advancement.”

More than 9,300 votes were cast in the northeast and northwest district races. Of those, nearly 5,000 went to candidates who supported a study while another 4,321 went to Driscoll and Dazey combined.

Voter turnout was unusually high for a midterm year, a trend witnessed nationwide.

Returns show that nearly 56 percent of registered voters in this county participated this year. That's significantly higher than in the last midterm election in 2014, when turnout was just under 30 percent. And it's almost as high as the presidential election in 2016, which saw 60.52 percent turnout here, according to the Wabash County Clerk's Office.

Few complications were reported at the county's ten vote centers on Election Day. Lines were long at some vote centers, like Zion Lutheran Church in Wabash, which was the last vote center to close on Tuesday.

“Most are patient and seem to be excited and proud to vote,” said Marilyn Speicher, a site inspector at the Liberty Township Fire Department vote center in LaFontaine. “I'm very encouraged by the turnout. I think the school board and state elections are bringing people out.”

Speicher said she encountered many new voters along with old voters returning for the first time in years.

Republican candidates performed well in Wabash County: More than 4,600 voters cast straight-party tickets for the GOP, while 763 voted straight-party for Democratic candidates and just four voted a straight Libertarian ticket.

Local results

MCS Public Question: 80.43% No 19.57% Yes

County Council District 2: 74.93% Barbara Pearson 25.07% Jane Long

Lagro Township Trustee: Eric Terrell 70.57% Nancy Whitmer 15.31% Beverly Burns 14.11%

Lagro Township Board (Three winners): Deb Schenkel 33.67% Gary Hunter 30.62% Rob Cole 25.94% Lloyd Bentley 9.77%

Liberty Township Board (Three winners): Diana Heath 32.46% Greg Baldwin 31.32% Ronald Huston 26.38% Donald Rose 9.84%

Noble Township Board (Three winners): Steven Kirtlan 32.22% Brenda Hegel 30.02% Wiliam Plummer 24.98% Andrew Osborne 12.78%

Pleasant Township Board (Three winners): David Hawkins 30.76% Willam Parker 28.03% Stan Bagley 27.76% Glendon Morgan 13.45%

Manchester School Board Chester Township: David Terflinger 57.59% Sally Krouse 42.41%

Manchester SB Town District (Two winners): Benjamin Vanderpool 22.12% Richard Espeset 21.11% Michael Dixon 21.06% Amanda Shambarger 19.99% Kevin Kling 15.72%

MSD Northeast District: Matt Driscoll 49.78% Tiffany Haupert 39.7% Sandy Davis 10.52%

MSD Northwest District: Todd Dazey 43.02% Teresa Galley 28.82% Ryan Rosen 23.61 Doug Bogert 4.56%