WAHOO – Saunders County voters have no shortage of ovals to mark for the upcoming General Election.
The Nov. 6 ballot will hold decisions for government in several rural areas of the county too. Voters in two townships – Elk and North Cedar – will have decisions to make about their township boards, as both have more candidates than open positions.
In five other townships, a declared write-in candidate has filed for a place on the board. In those townships, only two candidates had filed before deadline to sit on the three-person board.
Saunders County Election Commissioner Patti Lindgren said it’s been a busy year for township races.
“In my 26 years of doing elections, this is the best response for township candidates. So for whatever reason, they’re getting involved,” she said.
In a normal year for township elections, she added she is lucky to have at least 50 percent of the county’s 24 townships with a full slate of candidates.
Even taking out the two contested races and five with write-in candidates, there are 10 more townships that have three candidates running for three board openings.
However, that isn’t true for all townships. Wahoo Rural and Marble, which currently do not have active boards, have no candidates for township board.
In five other townships, there are fewer than three candidates.
Lindgren said Oct. 26 is the deadline for a candidate to declare themselves as a write-in candidates.
The advantage of a declared write-in candidate, she added, is for result tabulation after election. By law, write-ins on a ballot do not have to be hand counted unless they are above a certain threshold of ballots cast. If there is a declared write-in candidate, that automatically triggers a hand count.
“For certain races, we know we have to look at them” Lindgren said.
If there is a declared write-in candidate, there is also more leniency on the spelling of the name.
“It has to be spelled somewhat correctly or at least it has to be close enough that you can tell it’s an attempt,” she said.
Even if the last name is spelled incorrectly, if it is close enough to correct, the candidate will get the vote. Lindgren said that isn’t the case with non-declared write-in names.
She said township ballots are definitely a good example of every vote counts.
“This is one of those times you can get elected for office by one vote,” she added.
But, Lindgren said she can understand why some people are reluctant to run for township board.
“It’s kind of a thankless job,” she said.
While some new candidates have thrown their hat into the ring, many of those on the ballot are incumbents. Lindgren said many of the township officials have done the job for many years.
For those townships that do not have a full slate of candidates or do not get write in candidates on the ballot, the election commissioner said board members will have to be sought and appointed.
Three board members will be elected from each township. An asterisk indicates an incumbent.
Oak Creek: David A. Ludvik*, Arnold Cihal*, Gary Hellerich*
Newman: Keith Strizek*, Larry Pacula*, Dustin Woita* (declared write-in)
Elk: Douglas Havlovic*, Richard J. Kubik*, Schyler Shanahan, Chad Kreikemeier, Leonard J. Snitily*
Chester: Glenn Chvatal*, Eric Jelinek*, Daniel Ourada*
Bohemia: George Vrana*, Dwaine Brabec*, Roland Kavan*
Rock Creek: Lyle Cuda*, Michelle Novak*, Joe Bordovsky*
Chapman: Steve Breunig*, Curtis Havelka*, Jennessa Sabatka* (declared write-in)
Mariposa: David Chvatal*, Roger Johnson*
Douglas: Robert Dauel*, Milton Odvody*, Brent Zakovec*
Morse Bluff: Tonja Frank*, Drew Walker*, Jeffrey M. Hines*
Richland: Allen Mumm*, Mike Hass*, Arnold R. Heyen* (declared write-in)
Stocking: Ed Sladky*, Byron D. Nordstrom*, John E. Trutna* (declared write-in)
Center: Jim Chvatal*, James Jelinek*, Rick Gustafson*
South Cedar: Ronald V. Freeman*
North Cedar: Rodney Wiegand*, Harvey Callahan*, Norman A. Kavan Jr.*, Grant Fitzgerald, Donald J. Willmer
Green: Merlin E. Fick*, Tim Bartek
Marietta: Marc Johnson*, Timothy M. Johnson*, Roger Nelson* (declared write-in)
Pohocco: Bob Herring*, Jim Ondracek*, Jeff Pedersen*
Ashland Rural: Thad Book*
Clear Creek: Steve Jurgensen, Austin Ziegenbein, Anita Starns
Union: Ronnie L. Drews*, Kathryn H. Drews, Timothy R. Drews*
Leshara: Scott Cernin*, Richard Winkelman*