NEW MADRID - In the only countywide race, New Madrid County voters decided to stay with the incumbent. However, a proposal to consolidate elementary schools in the New Madrid County R-1 School district was defeated almost 2-1 by those living in the district.
Overall County Clerk Jim Farrenburg noted this election was "a little hectic" as some 5,432 or nearly 48 percent of the voters came to the polls Tuesday and many were unprepared for the new requirements they must show valid identification in order to receive ballots. "A lot of people had left their IDs in their cars or at home and had to go back and get it," said Farrenburg. "Hopefully this will smooth out with the next election."
Even with the changes, Farrenburg noted only one provisional ballot was issued during Tuesday's election.
As the ballots were unofficially tallied Tuesday evening at the New Madrid County Courthouse, Presiding Commissioner Clyde Hawes watched until the final precinct brought him a win. Hawes, a Democrat, received 4,031 votes to defeat Jared Jones, who ran as an Independent and tallied 794.
Obviously pleased with the outcome, Hawes offered his thanks to New Madrid County voters for their support. "I appreciate the confidence the citizens of New Madrid County have continued to show in me," said Hawes.
None of the other county office holders were opposed in their election bids. Elected to fill the posts were Democrats Associate Judge Charles Spitler, 4,339 votes; Circuit Court Clerk Marsha Meatte Holiman, 4,176 votes; County Clerk, Jim W. Farrenburg, 4,220 votes; Recorder of Deeds Ann Evans Copeland, 4,216 votes; County Treasurer Tommy Bradley, 4,202; Prosecuting Attorney Lewis H. Recker, 4,127 votes; County Auditor Brian Mauk, 4,216 votes; and collector, Dewayne Nowlin, 4, 314.
The other race drawing interest was New Madrid County R-1 School District's proposal to issue $6 million in bonds for construction of a central elementary school. The bond proposition had 1,740 voters casting ballots against while 1,015 favored the issue.
Two communities had issues on the ballot and in both cases voters gave their approval. With 95 of those casting votes in favor compared to 52 no votes Marston will be able to issue $600,000 in bonds for construction of water and sewerage improvements.
Matthews' residents gave the nod to a proposal to appoint the chief of police rather than elect one. The vote tally was 126 in favor of the issue, compared to 78 who opposed it.
The senator's race was close in New Madrid County. Locally Democrat Jean Carnahan garnered 2,818 votes over opponents, 2,534 votes for Republican Jim Talent, 24 for Tamara A. Millay, Libertarian candidate, and five for Green Party candidate Daniel (digger) Romano.
Just like on the state level, Democrat Claire McCaskill had overwhelming support in her bid for re-election as state auditor. New Madrid County voters cast 3,279 votes for McCaskill; 1,731 for Republican Al Hanson; 80 votes for Libertarian Arnold J. Trembley; and 36 votes for Fred Kennell of the Green Party.
Missouri Supreme Court Judge, Laura D. Stith, received 2,864 over1,347 votes from county voters in favor of retaining her position. Nancy S. Rahmeyer had 2,808 over 1,347 votes in favor of keeping her position as Southern District Missouri Court of Appeals Judge.
Republican incumbent Jo Ann Emerson was the favorite in New Madrid County just as she was in the Eighth District. In the county, Emerson had 3,225 votes over 2,081 for Democrat Gene Curtis and 33 votes for Libertarian Eric Van Oostrom.
New Madrid County is divided into three state representative districts. Those in the 160th District in the county favored Peter Myers over Donnie Kiefer, 213 to 119 while residents of the 161st District gave the nod to Republican incumbent Lanie Black, who polled 1,745 votes, compared to 1,158 votes for Democrat Wayne Petitt. Denny Merideth, incumbent Democrat in the 162nd District, was unopposed and tallied 1,668 votes.
New Madrid County residents opposed the proposal to increase the cigarette taxes, voting 3,227 no votes on Proposition A compared to 1,752 yes votes.
On Constitution Amendment No. 1, which would provide home rule for St. Louis, there were 2,367 votes in favor compared to 1,999 votes in opposition. Voters cast 2,509 votes in opposition to Constitutional Amendment No. 2 which would allow collective bargaining for firefighters in Missouri, while 2,045 persons favored the issue in New Madrid County.
Also residents opposed Constitutional Amendment No. 3, a proposal to amend term limits in Missouri, by 2,380 voting no compared to 1,934 yes votes and for Constitutional Amendment No. 4, a joint utility issue, there were 2,250 no votes and 2,091 favoring the issue. New Madrid County voters did not want a constitutional convention with 3,216 opposing the proposal and 1,278 voting yes.