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C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

County Officials Sworn In
Jan. 2, 2013 11:37 a.m.

Candidates-elect from the most recent Livingston County election cycle were individually sworn into office on Monday afternoon (Dec. 31) in the third floor Circuit Courtroom of the Livingston County Courthouse. Livingston County Clerk Sherry Parks oversaw the process and assisted office-holders in their Bible-sworn oaths.

Swearing-in order went as follows:

  • Tom Chapman, Circuit Judge, 43rd Circuit, Division 1 (Bible held by children Wagner and Callaway Chapman);
  • Kenneth Lauhoff, Eastern District Commissioner (Bible held by granddaughter Olivia Lauhoff);
  • Todd Rodenberg, Western District Commissioner (Bible held by wife Jody Rodenberg);
  • Sherry Parks, Public Administrator (Bible held by children Ashley Hawkins and Andy Parks).

Notably absent from Monday's swearing-in was Livingston County Coroner re-elect J. Scott Lindley.

Each of the aforementioned officials held their respective positions during the term prior to the elections, which took place back on Nov. 6, 2012.

Lauhoff, Rodenberg, Parks, and Chapman (CT Photo)

Livingston County Voting, by the Numbers

CAPTION: A couple dozen people gathered in the lobby of the Livingston County Courthouse Tuesday evening to watch the posting of election results. There were two displays being continually updated throughout the evening - one with Livingston County results and another with the updates on the presidential election.

C-T Photo - Election 11/06/12

The following are Livingston County's results for Tuesday's 2012 General Election:

Incumbent Democrat Barack Obama faced a stark contrast to the eventual results of the national presidential election, receiving 1,906 votes (31.4 percent) in the county - trailing by a nearly two-to-one margin Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who received 4,006 votes (65.99 percent). Libertarian Gary Johnson received 127 votes (2.09 percent) and Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode 15 (0.25 percent). There were 17 write-in candidates, which made up 0.28 percent of the county vote.

In the United States Senate election, Democrat incumbent and overall victor Claire McCaskill won 2,877 Livingston County votes (48.24 percent), compared to Republican Todd Akin's 2,592 (43.46 percent). Jonathan Dine, the Libertarian candidate, received 485 votes, or 8.13 percent. There were 10 write-ins (0.17 percent).

In the United States Sixth District Representative race, veteran incumbent Sam Graves, Republican, took in nearly three quarters of the votes cast in Livingston County (4,435, 74.53 percent). Little-known Democrat Kyle Yarber received 1,402 votes (23.56 percent) and Libertarian Russ Lee Monchil received 114 votes (1.92 percent).

The Governor's race saw Democrat incumbent Jay Nixon slightly edged by Republican challenger Dave Spence 2,922-2,906, with neither earning a majority of the county vote. Spence got 48.7 percent and Nixon 48.43 percent. Libertarian Jim Higgins siphoned off 169 votes (2.82 percent). There were three write-in votes. As with the presidential election, Nixon was reelected.

For Lieutenant Governor, Republican and overall winner (by four percent) Peter Kinder received 57.34 percent of the vote in Livingston County with 3,359 votes, compared to Democrat Susan Montee's 2,197 (37.5 percent). Libertarian Matthew Copple picked up 208 local votes (3.55 percent) and Cynthia Davis of the Constitution Party 93 (1.59 percent). There was one write-in.

Republican Shane Schoeller received 3,032 votes to lead the Secretary of State race in the county with 52.86 percent. Jason Kander, the Democratic candidate, received 2,488 votes (43.38 percent). Libertarian Cisse W. Spragins netted 149 votes (2.6 percent), while the Constitution Party's Justin Harter took home 63 votes, or 1.1 percent. Four write-in votes also were cast. Statewide, with only one precinct unreported, Democrat Kander had a very slender, but decisive, 33,000-votes lead.

For State Treasurer, Livingston County accorded its greatest support to Cole McNary, the Republican, by a margin of 2,981-2,479 (52.34-43.53 percent) over Democrat Clint Zweifel, the statewide victor. Sean O'Toole, the Libertarian Party candidate, received 4.09 percent of Livingston County's vote with 233 ballots cast in his name. There were two write-ins.

Although he lost statewide by 15 percent, Livingston County favored Republican Ed Martins for state Attorney General. Martins sneaked by Democrat Chris Koster in the immediate area, 2,824 (48.45 percent) to 2,777 (47.64 percent). Libertarian Dave Browning received 226 votes (3.88 percent) from the county electorate. Two write-ins rounded out the county balloting.

In state legislative elections, Republican David Pearce took in 66.06 percent of Livingston County's votes in the reconfigured 21st district state senator race, outpacing Democrat ElGene Ver Dught by a tally of  3,889 to 1,576 (27.58 percent). Libertarian Steven Hedrick received 246 votes, or 4.31 percent of those cast. There were three county write-ins in the election won, district-wide, by Pearce.

In the state house race affecting Livingston County, Mike Lair, the incumbent Republican from Chillicothe, received 3,721 votes (62.08 percent of the electorate) versus the 2,267 votes (37.82 percent) received by Chillicothean Harry Wyse, the Democrat. There were six write-in candidates in the race, in which Lair easily won election to the reshaped district which now includes portions of Linn and Grundy counties.

In the only contested local race, Democrat Sherry Parks kept her position as Livingston County Public Administrator, defeating Republican challenger Lisa Koenig via a 4,208 (71.94 percent) to 1,638 (28 percent) 
vote count. Three write-ins were cast.

Republican Tom Chapman retained his position as Circuit Judge for Circuit 43, Division 1, in an uncontested race, by receiving 99.1 percent of the vote (5,198). There were 47 write-ins (0.9 percent).

Democrat Brent Elliott got 4,613 votes (98.32 percent) in his own unopposed bid to retain the position of Circuit 43, Division 2 Judge. There were 79 write-in candidates in opposition, or 1.68 percent.

In uncontested Livingston County Commission district races, Ken Lauhoff, Democrat, received 2,681 votes (99.37 percent), versus 17 write-ins (0.63 percent) in the eastern district and Todd Rodenberg, Democrat, also handily won his re-election bid in the western district by a final count of 2,309 votes (98.89 percent) to 26 write-ins.

Sheriff Steve Cox, a Republican, received 98.57 percent of the vote (5,246) as he was unopposed to retain his position. There were 76 write-ins.

County Assessor Steve Ripley, Democrat, received 4,923 votes (99.17 percent) while unopposed for re-election. Forty-one write-in ballots were cast.

Democrat Martha Peery received 5,116 votes (or 99.4 percent) in her unopposed re-election bid for Collector-Treasurer. There were 31 write-ins (0.6 percent).

Democrat Scott Lindley will remain the Livingston County Coroner, getting 5,057 (99.06 percent) votes as he ran without opposition. There were 48 write-ins.

There were 222 write-in votes marked for the County Surveyor, for which there were no declared candidates from any party nor any officially-filed to seek write-in support. The county's election verification board will review and tabulate those votes with the person receiving the largest number technically winning election. It then would remain to be seen whether that person actually accepts the responsibilities.

CAPTION: After being identified within a ledger by their form of photo identification, Livingston County voters were shown the correct voting process on the large, two-sided ballots, prior to them entering the voting kiosks and making their final decision on several political questions, including who they believe should be the next president of the United States of America. Voters connected the front and back of an arrow next to their candidate's name with a solid pen line to cast their vote.

C-T Photo

In non-office voting yesterday...

  • State Constitutional Amendment No. 3, revising the state supreme court and appellate court judge selection process, failed decidedly in Livingston County, 78.51 to 21.49 percent (4,347 votes against to 1,190 in favor).
  • Proposition A, dealing with control of the St. Louis City police department, was favored here, 62.21 to 37.79 percent (3,333 for, 2,025 against).
  • Proposition B, the cigarette tax increase for education, lost in the county, 56.25 to 43.75 percent (3,288 against, 2,557 in favor).
  • Proposition E, prohibiting health-care exchanges without approval by popular or legislative vote, was supported here by a 64.08 to 35.92 margin (3,466 to 1,943).
  • Missouri Supreme Court Justice George Draper III was seen fit by those in Livingston County to retain his position, getting 71.05 percent support (3,446-1,404).
  • Likewise, for the State Court of Appeals, current judges Cynthia Martin (3,470-1,369), Thomas Newton (3,401 -1,394), and Gary Witt (3,437-1,398) each were supported for retention by Livingston County voters.

Missouri Rep. Mike Lair Wins Bid
11/07/12 CT

Missouri Rep. Mike Lair, who was elected 7th District state representative in 2008, won his bid for re-election Tuesday, once again beating out Democrat Harry Wyse. The margin of victory was larger than it was in 2008, with Lair capturing 60 percent of the votes cast. Lair received a total of 8,621 votes, compared to Wyse's 5,748 votes.

Tuesday's election reflected boundary changes in the Missouri House's 7th district. While Livingston County remained in the 7th district, the counties of Carroll, Caldwell and a tiny bit of Clinton County, which had been in the 7th district, are now in other districts. The new 7th District boundary consists of Livingston and Grundy counties, as well as a large portion of Linn County.

Lair carried all of the counties, with the closest margin coming in Linn County, where Lair received 2,169 votes, compared to Wyse's 1,936 votes - a 233-vote spread. Livingston County voters gave a strong nod to Lair, providing him with 3,721 votes to Wyse's 2,267 votes. Grundy County was the last to post election results, giving Lair 2,731 votes, compared to Wyse's 1,545 votes.

Lair carried each of Livingston County's voting precincts, while his opponent's strongest support in the county came from the Green and Mooresville voting precinct, where Wyse captured 48 percent of the votes cast, 133 votes to Lair's 143 votes.

This election cycle was the second time Lair and Wyse met at the ballot box. In 2008, the two were the party nominees in a tight race for the open seat created by John Quinn (R-Chillicothe), who had reached term limits. In that election, Lair received 51 percent of the votes cast in the entire district, reflecting a 428-vote spread. Wyse carried Livingston County with 54 percent, compared to Lair's 46 percent. However, Lair pocketed the most votes in Carroll and Caldwell counties. Wyse had hoped to pick up greater support following redistricting.

With Lair's victory, Livingston County will continue to be represented by a Republican in the House of Representatives. The county has been represented by a Republican in the House since 1987 when Dale Whiteside was elected in a special election after Democrat Steve Danner resigned the post to take the administrative position as a law judge. Lair said he was pleased with the election results. "I ran for the Missouri House of Representatives in 2008 to reaffirm what I had taught in social studies classes for years," Lair said. "Public service is a high calling and should be a citizen's way of repaying all of the blessings that we, as Americans, enjoy." "I am so pleased," Lair said, after the Livingston County votes were posted at the courthouse, and he had learned of his victory in Linn County.

Lair spent 38 years as a school teacher. "I've got an awful lot of kids who were in my classroom and an awful lot of people who we have dealt with over the last four years, and I really feel like that was the key... the fact that they know what I've done," Lair said. "They know what I've tried to do over the time period, and they came out in force."

Parks Retains Administrator Post

Livingston County Public Administrator Sherry Parks won her bid for re-election Tuesday, pocketing over two-thirds of the votes cast for the office. Parks, a Democrat, received 72 percent of the votes, winning over challenger Lisa Koenig, a Republican. Parks garnered 4,208 votes, compared to Koenig's 1,638 votes. There were three write-in votes cast. Parks carried all of the 13 voting precincts.

"I am absolutely thrilled with the results of the election," Parks said after the last votes were announced. "I want to thank all my family, friends, co-workers, and my campaign team. They really went out and supported me a lot this year, and I really appreciate all their help."

Parks, 56, was elected to the administrator's post eight years ago. "My sole focus has been on making responsible decisions about the health care and living arrangements of each of my clients," she said. "I absolutely love this job," she added. "Every day is a new challenge. And, it's very rewarding to help people, and take care of them, and see that their lives are bettered each day."

Koenig's biggest percentage of votes cast came from the Blue Mound/Monroe townships, where she received 36 percent of the votes cast for administrator.

Missouri Primary Election August 7, 2012

Live election results: Livingston County Primaries

  • Missouri State Representative, 7th District (D): Harry Wyse 562; Travis Gonzalez 77
  • Circuit Judge, Circuit 43, Division 2 (D): Brent Elliott 467; Bill Burris 232
  • Missouri State Attorney General (R): Ed Martin 385; Adam Warren 956
  • Missouri State Senator, 21st District (R): David Pearce 894; Mike McGhee 445
  • Missouri State Representative, 7th District (R): Mike Lair 1,198; John A. Myers 173
  • Amendment 2: Yes 1,800; No 216
  • City of Chillicothe First Ward Committeeman (D): Ken Lauhoff 77; Gordon Smith 64
  • City of Chillicothe First Ward Committeewoman (D): Rosemarie Smith 61; Brenda A. Lauhoff 73

Missouri State Primary Results: Click here.

Livingston County primary elections
August 7 2012 CT

Jerry Marrs, left, signs in to cast his ballot at Chillicothe Township's voting precinct at Farmers' Electric Cooperative shortly after 7 a.m. today. Polls opened at 6 a.m. for the primary election and will close at 7 p.m. Local election results will be posted in the lobby of the Livingston County Courthouse tonight beginning around 7:15 with absentee ballot results. The final local results are expected to be posted by 8:30 p.m. according to Livingston County Clerk Sherry Parks, who also serves as the local election authority.

Low Turnout Marks Primary
August 8 2012 CT

Just about one in five registered voters cast ballots in Livingston County's primary election Tuesday. County Clerk Sherry Parks, who also serves as the local election authority, reported that 18.7 percent of the registered voters cast ballots - which amounts to 2,190 ballots cast in the election. She had predicted a 30 percent turnout. Statewide, the turnout was expected to be 25 percent.

CT Photo

Locally, the voting confirmed party nominations for individuals seeking spots in the general election and also decided who will fill the seats as Chillicothe's 1st Ward committeeman and committeewoman.

A computer glitch delayed the posting of results for over an hour, as a crowd gathered in the lobby of the Livingston County Courthouse. The first results were posted shortly after 8 p.m., and the final results came in just before 10 p.m. It is believed that the memory pack reader for the balloting counting process is defective. After attempts with the computer program to correct the malfunction failed, Parks had to enter the results in manually, which delayed the posting of results. The total figures she used were taken from the tapes printed at each voting precinct at the close of the voting period. The system is expected to be repaired, if not replaced, prior to the November election.

The voting precinct for Jackson and Sampsel townships had the largest voter turnout with 27 percent of the registered voters casting ballots.

Special Hours for County Clerk's Office - The Livingston County Clerk's office will be open from 8:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m., including the lunch hour, Monday through Friday until Aug. 6, and Saturday, Aug. 4 from 8:30 a.m. through 12:30 p.m. for the convenience of absentee voting in the Aug. 7 Primary election. Anyone wishing to vote absentee who is unable to vote during these times can contact the County Clerk's office at 660-646-8000 ext. 3 to make special arrangements.

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District Democrats Meet 04/26/12 | District GOP Convention 04/21/12

District GOP Convention
Romney, Gingrich, Santorum one delegate each
04 23 12

C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

CAPTION: Delegates to the 6th Congressional District Republican Convention gathered at the Gary Dickinson Performing Arts Center Saturday to, in part, elect delegates to the national convention. Representatives from 36 counties (comprising the new reapportioned 6th district) were in attendance. The district elected three delegates, one each for Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, to attend the national convention.

The 6th Congressional District Republican Convention was called to order at 10 a.m. Saturday at Gary Dickinson Performing Arts Center in Chillicothe, with one of the best delegate and alternate attendance records in recent history. With 302 delegate positions available at the district level, 297 seats were filled, representing the 36 counties now comprising the new expanded district. "The Sixth Congressional District has grown since we last met," said Matt Gerstner, 6th District GOP chairman, who provided the welcoming comments to the crowd. "Our district now stretches from the Missouri River to the Mississippi River. The 6th District is larger now than three states."

Gerstner provided a special welcome to the newest counties from part of the old 9th Congressional District. An estimated 600 people, in all, were in attendance. "Many people in this room put in not days, not weeks, but months of preparation for this event," he said. "Whether here as a delegate, alternate or visitor, we have gathered for a common purpose - elect a Republican as the next president of the United States." After resounding applause, Gerstner continued his comments. "Let us proceed in a united front from this moment through November to ensure that our country will move in a positive direction under new leadership in the White House," he said.

Following his remarks, the convention moved on with the roll call of delegates and the appointment of alternates. (Delegates from Livingston County attending were Mike Lair, Rusty Black, Mary Quinn, Louise Reasoner, Nikky Norman, and Brian Murrell. The county's alternates were Carrie Almond, Dave Akins, Ernie Akers, Robert Lewis, Steve Whitson and Danny Perry). James Thomas, of Platte County, was elected chairman of the convention, and Ben Wierzbicki, of Clay County, was elected secretary.

The 6th District Republican Convention was one of nine taking place Saturday in Missouri to select delegates to the National Convention, as well as nominate presidential electors. Statewide, a total of 12 delegates were bound to Mitt Romney, seven delegates were bound to Rick Santorum, four delegates were bound to Ron Paul and one delegate was bound to Newt Gingrich.

At the 6th District Convention, delegates elected were Jim Willis, of Macon County, (Romney), Jim Rooney of Platte County (Gingrich), and Matt Johnson, of Buchanan County (Santorum). Alternates elected were Missy Roe, of Clay County (Santorum), Carrie Almond, of Livingston County (Romney), and Ben Wierzbicki, of Clay County (Romney). The slate reflects geographical diversity, Thomas stated. "We drew people from five different geographic areas and had a wild card," he said. The slate included Clay County, Platte County, Buchanan County, and also included representation from the old 6th District (which includes 20 counties), and someone from the 9th. "We did not want to just go and take everyone from one county," Thomas said, noting that the selection was made "so that everybody throughout the entire district felt represented." He said the slate was comprised of dedicated volunteers "who have been in the trenches and have worked very hard for the party."

Two other slates - an all Ron Paul slate and a Santorum slate were also presented, but defeated by a vote of the delegates.

Matt Gerstner, of Buchanan County, was chosen elector by the district delegates.

The results are unofficial until the State GOP receives signed documentation from each convention - a process which may take several days to complete.

In addition to the delegates chosen throughout the state on Saturday, there will be an additional 25 delegates who will be bound at the state convention in June. The state chairman, national committeeman, and national committeewoman will also serve as delegates. In all, Missouri has 52 national delegates.

Louise Reasoner, chairman of the Livingston County GOP caucus, said she was pleased with Saturday's convention. "Everything went well," she said. "When I hear about all the dissention across the state, we just don't see that up here. I am thankful for that."

The convention lasted about 2-1/2 hours.

District Convention Chairman Thomas, who chaired the 2004 and 2008 district conventions, said he was equally pleased. "We had nearly perfect attendance," he said. "It was exhausting, but everything went relatively smoothly. "There are people who may not be happy, but they all came and had their right to vote. They may not have had the votes to be successful, but did get to vote." Thomas said one reason Saturday's convention had a large turnout was that the delegates selected would not be bound by the result of the presidential preference primary election.

This year's process, compared to those in previous years, was that in 2004 and 2008, whoever was elected to attend the national convention was obligated to vote for the winner of the presidential preference primary election held earlier in the year. This time, the result of the presidential preference primary election does not impact the national convention.

The new reapportioned 6th Congressional District now includes the following 36 counties: Adair, Andrew, Atchison, Audrian, Buchanan, Caldwell, Carroll, Chariton, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Holt, Jackson, Knox, Lewis, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Marion, Mercer, Monroe, Nodaway, Pike, Platte, Putnam, Ralls, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby, Sullivan and Worth.

Livingston County Elects GOP Delegates
By Drew Van Dyke, C-T Writer
March 19, 2012

CAPTION: Jerry Norman collects ballots for Livingston County's delegates for the Republican district and state conventions in he coming months during last Saturday's GOP county caucus. Six of these delegates (and six alternates) were selected at the meeting, and changes were made to the party's platform.

C-T Photo / Drew Van Dyke

The Livingston County Republican Caucus was held on Saturday on the third floor of the Livingston County Courthouse. The purpose of the caucus was to elect six delegates and six alternate delegates for the District Six Republican Convention on April 21 (which will be held at Gary Dickinson Performing Arts Center in Chillicothe) and for the Missouri State Republican Convention (held on June 2 in the Union Plaza Hotel in Springfield, Missouri), as well as to discuss and make alterations to the party's state platform. This appeared to be a surprise to several of the participants, who expected the county to be picking a set GOP candidate to back at the caucus.

Persons began arriving for the event shortly before 9 a.m. Saturday. They had to bring valid photo identification and their voter registration card to the caucus, in order to be admitted as an active participant. Prior arrangements had the caucus taking place in the second floor courtroom of the building. However, at 9:50 a.m., it was announced that the session was being moved to the third floor courtroom to accommodate the unexpectedly large crowd. "Four years ago, we didn't have enough people show up for delegates," said Louise Reasoner, who was later elected chair of the caucus event. "It's wonderful to have such a turnout. Thank you so much." 

The caucus doors closed at 10 a.m. The event did not end until close to 1:40 p.m. "None of our delegates or alternates today will be bound to a candidate until the state caucus," Reasoner said. She also explained that Missouri had become a proportional primary state, in which delegates are awarded to several different candidates per percentage of approval. Nikki Norman was elected secretary for the event.

Reasoner read the bylaws and process for delegate selection and caucusing to the gathered crowd. Delegate numbers explained as one delegate awarded per 700 votes cast in the prior presidential election. Because of this, Livingston County was awarded six delegates of representation. She also announced that the caucus event was announced three times in the Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune, including on the front page.

Rusty Black was announced as the parliamentarian for the caucus, keeping voting and discussion procedure in line. Volunteers and nominees from the floor for delegate candidates were asked for. In all, 20 persons (17 volunteers and three nominees) were on the "ballot" for the 12 spots. They included: Volunteers - Debbie Hershberger, Mary Quinn, Carrie Almond (not present), Cliff Harlow (not present), Kathy Harlow (not present), Brian Burrell, Patti Lewis, Steve Whitson, Robert Lewis, Kathy Devor, Mike Lair, Danny Perry, Dave Akins, Sylvia Akins, Rusty Black, Ernie Akers, and Melissa Perry.


County Voters Pick Obama, Santorum

CAPTION: Chairs were set up and the latest election results were being posted at the Livingston County Courthouse Tuesday evening, as the ballots came in and were counted. The only thing missing was interest in Missouri's presidential primary election. The courthouse lobby typically fills with people eager to see up-to-the-minute election returns; however, the chairs remained mostly empty throughout the counting process. Totals were counted just before 8 p.m. There was an overall 7.68 percent voter turnout in the election.

C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley
02 08 12 CT

Livingston County voters - at least the 7.7 percent who cast ballots in Tuesday's presidential preference primary election - showed support for Barack Obama on the Democrat ticket and Rick Santorum on the Republican ticket.

Most voters on Tuesday chose Republican ballots where 10 candidates, and an uncommitted designation, were listed. Of the 737 ballots cast, 600 were Republican ballots. Rick Santorum garnered the most support, with 281 ballots cast in his favor. Mitt Romney received 181 votes, and Ron Paul received 87 votes. Also on the GOP ballot were Herman Cain, who received 6 votes; Michele Bachmann, who received 6 votes; Rick Perry, who received 6 votes; Gary Johnson, with 2 votes; Jon Huntsman, with 2 votes; and Michael J. Meehan, 1 vote. Keith Drummond received no votes. There were 28 voters who chose uncommitted Republican ballots.

There were 116 Democrat ballots cast in Tuesday election, with Obama receiving 116 votes in his favor (85 percent of the Democrat votes cast). Randall Terry received 5 votes; John Wolfe, 4 votes; and Darcy G. Richardson, 1 vote. There were 10 uncommitted Democrat votes cast.

One uncommitted Libertarian vote was cast, and none for Libertarian candidate James Orland Ogle III.

No one voted on the Constitution Party ballot.

Livingston County's absentee voters gave Romney the most support, 27 votes, compared to Santorum's 12 votes. In all other voting precincts, Santorum garnered the most votes on the Republican ballot. Obama took the lead on the Democrat ballot in all precincts, including the absentee ballot count.

Voter turnout in Tuesday's election ranged from 4.4 percent in Chillicothe's 3rd Ward to 9.06 percent in the Blue Mound/Monroe Townships voting precinct. The overall turnout was 7.68 percent (or 737 of the 9,599 of Livingston County's registered voters) casting ballots. Of the total amount, there were 136 Democrat ballots, 600 Republican ballots, 1 Libertarian, and no Constitution party ballots.

Livingston County Clerk Sherry Parks had anticipated a higher turnout, but said that overall, number would be low. She said she appreciated those who did take part in the election. "We appreciate the people who voted, and the election judges, for their work," she said.

Voter turnout by precinct:

  • 1st Ward 114 ballots 6.9 percent

  • 2nd Ward 64 ballots 4.5 percent

  • 3rd Ward: 55 ballots 4.4 percent

  • 4th Ward 104 ballots 8.7 percent

  • Blue Mound/Monroe 52 ballots 9.1 percent

  • Chillicothe/Rich Hill 86 ballots 7.0 percent

Precincts Counted (of 13) - 12 votes, 92.31%
Registered Voters - Total - 9,599
Ballots Cast - Total - 737
Voter Turnout - Total - 7.68%

Piglets Add Interest to Otherwise Dull Election Day
02 08 12 CT
Photo by Bonnie Noah

CAPTION: Jackie Woodworth holds a newborn pig during idle time at the Jackson/Sampsel voting precinct at the Mildred Litton 4-H and FFA Community Center on Tuesday. Just 48 people cast ballots at that precinct during the 13 hours the polls were open. Woodworth is a regular ag center volunteer and helps students tend to their animals.

Knitting, working crossword puzzles, and reading books are traditional ways for election judges to pass time on a slow Election Day. But, for judges in Jackson and Sampsel townships, whose voting precincts were at the Mildred Litton 4-H and FFA Community Center, such diversions may have paled somewhat in comparison to the lure of newborn pigs.

The polling place was immediately adjacent to the livestock area of the center, where the pigs were born. One pig was born prior to the judges' arrival at 5:15 Tuesday morning, and the others were born after the judges had arrived. Three piglets were brought inside to stay warm because their mother was having complications outside.

Livingston County Clerk Sherry Parks says that she encourages election judges to bring things that occupy their time. "They get there at 5:15 and can't leave until after 7 when the polls close," Parks said. "They enjoy visiting with their neighbors, working on puzzles and knitting... just things to help them pass the time."

Bonnie Noah, who has served as an election judge for many years, said that she has read, crocheted, embroidered, and painted ceramics during down times while working at the polls. Yesterday, though, she and other judges enjoyed holding and/or watching the newborn pigs.

Polling was slow throughout the day and countywide with slightly less than 8 percent of the county's registered voters casting ballots. In the Jackson/Sampsel precinct, only 48 people cast ballots during the 13 hours that the polls were open. "The pigs made the day go amazingly fast," she said. In addition to Noah and Woodworth, other judges were Becky Wisner and Dixie Christison.

Each of the county's 12 polling places (including absentee) have at least four election judges (two Democrat and two Republican), and some have three from each political party. Their responsibilities are to open the polling place, get the equipment set up and ready to go, verify the voters are properly registered and have arrived at the proper precinct. They are also available to offer assistance.

Parks said that she keeps judges on reserve to fill in if a judge doesn't show up or if an emergency arises and a judge has to leave.

Voting Day
02/07/12 CT

C-T Photo / Drew Van Dyke 02 07 12

It was voting day across Livingston County today (Tuesday), as the Missouri edition of the 2012 Presidential Primaries hit the state. Voter turnout was expected to wane, sticking at around the 20 percent mark, according to Livingston County Clerk Sherry Parks. At Turning Point Church (above) - the Second Ward polling locale - 17 voters had cast their ballots by 9:03 a.m. The first voter came in at 6:06 a.m. The polls opened at 6 a.m., and are to close at 7 p.m. Local results will be posted shortly after 7 p.m. on the first floor of the Livingston County courthouse. The final count is expected to be posted by 8:30 p.m. There were 79 absentee ballots cast in Livingston County, Parks said.

Low Turnout Expected
02 06 12

Voters going to the polls Tuesday will need to ask for a party ballot before casting their vote: Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or Constitution. A 20 percent voter turnout is expected at the polls tomorrow (Tuesday) for the presidential primary election in Livingston County, according to Livingston County Clerk Sherry Parks, who serves as the local election authority.

Parks' prediction is slightly lower than the 23 percent which Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan has predicted statewide. Livingston County posted a 32 percent turnout in the last presidential preference primary, held in February 2008. In 2004, the turnout failed to reach even 10 percent.

Tuesday's election is expected to cost the state between $7 million and $9 million, with the state fully funding the cost. Livingston County's portion is expected to account for $40,000, which includes payment for the election workers, rent, publication, programming, programming maintenance, printing of supplies. "We are in an electronic age and we have to have a lot of electronic equipment," Parks said. "All these things add up. This is a financial burden on this state."

The secretary of state has encouraged people to vote in the primary, although the results won't count for awarding delegates to the Republican National Convention. The state Republican party has chosen to allot its presidential delegates based on the results of caucuses that will begin in mid-March. The Associated Press reports that under national party rules intended to prevent a crush of early primaries, Missouri Republicans could have risked losing half of their presidential delegates if they had used a February primary to award delegates. Missouri law requires a presidential primary to be held, but it does not require political parties to use its results for awarding delegates.

In 2008's presidential preference primary in Livingston County, there were more Democrat ballots cast than Republicans (1,584 Democrat ballots cast compared to 1,255 Republican and three Libertarian ballots). Most Democrat voters gave the nod to Hillary Clinton (948) while her rival, Barack Obama pocketed 550 Democrat votes cast in the county. On the Republican side, John McCain received the most votes (488) from Livingston County Republicans. However, he was closely followed by Mike Huckabee, who earned 426 votes.

Candidates of tomorrow's presidential preference primary ballot are as follows:

  • Democrat - Barack Obama, Randall Terry, Darcy G. Richardson, and John Wolfe;

  • Republican - Gary Johnson, Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Michael J. Meehan, Rick Perry, Keith Drummond, Jon Huntsman, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul;

  • Libertarian - James Orland Ogle III;

  • No names appear on the Constitution Party ballot.

Voters may choose for the candidate of their choice or for the party of their choice. Voters will have to select a party ballot at the polls. From there, they may choose to vote for an individual. Those who are not ready to cast a ballot for a particular candidate may select to vote only for the party, by choosing "uncommitted" on the party ballot.

Voting Machines Tested
C-T Photo / Drew Van Dyke 01 31 12

Livingston County Clerk Sherry Parks (middle) sought assistance in testing the electronic voting submission machines on Tuesday morning. Louise Reasoner (right) submitted the ballots, while Gordon Smith (left) watched.

The polls will be open for the Missouri Presidential Preference Primary Election on Tuesday, February 7, 2012. The Clerk's office will be open on Saturday, February 4, from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. for absentee voting.

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Livingston County Courthouse
700 Webster Street
Chillicothe, MO 64601