By Sarah Pridgeon
Two seats on the ballot at the general election remained in question after the preliminary results were in: the Sundance City Council seat for which no candidate ran and the seat won by Roger Jones on the Crook County Senior Services board. Jones had previously announced a change of heart and asked voters to choose a different candidate instead.
However, having successfully secured a seat and after considering the situation, Jones has decided to accept voters’ decision.
“I have decided to change my mind again and be on the board,” he says.
Meanwhile, one candidate received four write-in votes and became eligible to accept a seat on the Sundance council: Todd Fritz. At time of going to press, he has not yet made an official decision on whether to accept the position.
Fritz will need to accept the seat in writing and would be sworn in at the first council meeting of the year in January. If he does not accept, a council member will be appointed.
Lack of record turnout is its own silver lining
Some pundits predicted a 50-year record turnout at the general elections last week, so how did we fare locally?
Some parts of Wyoming did see higher numbers than usual, such as the 74 percent reported in Laramie County, while the United States Election Project made an early estimate of 47 percent turnout nationwide.
Crook County didn’t break any records, but only because this community has a long tradition of ordering extra “I voted” stickers.
“Crook County just has a really good voter turnout in general,” nods County Clerk Linda Fritz.
The Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office places the total number of ballots cast in Crook County at 3136 for Tuesday’s election. That’s 74 percent of registered voters, Fritz says.
It’s a pleasingly high number, but not far above the 68 percent who turned out for the 2014 midterms.
It’s lower than the 77 percent who voted in 2010, during President Obama’s first term, and also below the 80 percent who cast their ballots in 2006, halfway through George W. Bush’s second term.
So while we can’t claim any new records, it’s safe to say we have an ongoing tradition of civic-minded voters to be proud of.