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home : local news : local news May 24, 2016

11/8/2012 1:36:00 PM
Hartrich, Romney are big county winners
GOP once again dominates Crawford County election results.
Polls opened at 6 a.m. in Illinois, and election volunteers at Robinson 1 and 2 at the First United Methodist Church said they had a steady stream of voters. (Sarah Ruholl photo)
Polls opened at 6 a.m. in Illinois, and election volunteers at Robinson 1 and 2 at the First United Methodist Church said they had a steady stream of voters. (Sarah Ruholl photo)
General election 2012 came off without a hitch locally, election officials say.

"It went really well," Crawford County Clerk Patty Lycan said. "We were busy all day, but we just had minor problems."

The final results were posted shortly after 9:20 p.m. The only real delay in tabulating the returns was caused when some figures didn't match up in Oblong 2.

Local voters only had two local races to decide, but were also asked to decide on four electrical aggregation referenda and to help elect state and national officials.

Republican Matthew Hartrich won a convincing victory over Democrat James Lane to become the new Crawford County State's Attorney.

Hartrich won 5,561 of the total 8,456 votes cast in the states attorney race for 65.76 percent of the votes. Lane received 2,895 of the votes for 34.24 percent.

County voters chose Mitt Romney over Barack Obama by a vote of 5,577 to 2,855, though Obama carried the state and the nation. This mirrored 2008 when the county picked John McCain over Obama by a vote of 5,067 to 3,877.

Romney carried every county precinct, often with more than 60 percent of the vote. He garnered 75 percent of the Southwest Township vote, 74.07 percent of the Martin Township ballots and 70.75 percent of the votes cast in Hutsonville 2. Essentially, the county backed GOP candidates in all regional, state and national races.

Romney's local margin, though, was narrower in the historically Democratic-leaning Palestine-area townships, where the Republican garnered 56 percent of the vote in LaMotte 1 and 51 percent in LaMotte 2. The south-side Robinson precincts, Robinson 7 and Robinson 2, were also closer, going for Romney with 57 percent and 56 percent of the vote, respectively.

Crawford County also chose GOP candidate John Shimkus over Democrat Angela Michael for U.S. House and narrowly turned down a proposal to amend the state constitution to make it harder for lawmakers to change the state pension program. Shimkus won election, the referendum failed.

Local voters also picked Stephen McGlynn over Judy Cates for state appellate court and approved retaining judges Chris Weber, Melissa Drew and Melissa Chapman.

Of the county's 14,232 registered voters, 8,664 cast ballots for a 60.88 percent turnout. This was down from the 65.06 percent turnout in 2008, the last presidential election year.

The highest turnout out was in Prairie 1, where 170 - or 75.22 percent - of the 226 registered voters cast ballots. The lowest was 45.83 percent in Robinson 7. Only 247 of its 539 voters participated in the election.

Four years ago, the 72.81 percent turnout posted by Honey Creek 2 was the highest in the county. Robinson 7 reported the lowest turnout then, too, with a rate of 51.43 percent.

At least 1,473 county residents voted before election day this year. This included 1,053 who cast early ballots, 361 who voted absentee and 59 who registered late during the grace period and had to vote immediately.

"I was hoping to surpass 2008," Lycan said, adding she always hopes to improve turnout with each election.

"I'm still proud of all the voters that got out and voted," she said. "That's what makes this all worthwhile."

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