General election fails to fill five township trustee positions
By STEPH TAHTINEN
Mt. Pleasant News
Although it has been a week since the general election, it is not over yet for the Henry County auditor’s office, especially as there are five elected positions that are still vacant.
“That’s just going to be a matter of calling and begging,” County Auditor Shelly Barber told the board of supervisors during their canvass of the general election on Tuesday morning. “That’s what that is going to amount to.”
These vacancies occurred because not enough people submitted their name to be put on the ballot for the position. Eight townships — Baltimore, Center, Jackson, Marion, Salem, Scott, Tippecanoe and Wayne — have the required number of township trustees as they each had two people listed on the ballot.
However, three townships — Jefferson, New London and Trenton — only had one person on the ballot, and Canaan Township did not have anybody on the ballot.
This means that Barber has five vacancies to fill, and she noted that this is where the write-ins really count, but she noted, “Even if their names are written in, it doesn’t mean they’ll take it.”
Canaan had 26 write-ins, Trenton had 23, Jefferson had 15 and New London had four.
Those write-ins with the most votes will get the first phone call, Barber noted, and if they refuse to be a township trustee the next name on the list will be called.
Overall, Barber noted that the election went fairly well with 66.8 percent voter turnout.
New London Township ran out of ballots, so voters had to either use the touch-screen machine for handicapped voters or plain paper ballots photocopied from an official ballot.
Since election night, there were 18 ballots added to the official count. Ten of these ballots were the plain paper ballots from New London that needed to be hand-counted, one was a provisional ballot and seven were absentee ballots that were postmarked by Nov. 5.
In other business, the supervisors heard a weekly update from County Engineer Bill Belzer.
Belzer reported that the concrete is now complete on the Fish Creek bridge and now the department is just waiting for the grading contractor to come and complete its job. The railing also needs to be added and the ground needs to be seeded.
The box culvert project on 300th street is wrapping up and the road should be opened soon.
The supervisors also heard a monthly update from Conservation Director John Pullis.