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Cornelius News

Voter turn-out looks strong in local election

Candidates Tricia Sisson, Denis Bilodeau, Kurt Naas, Mike Miltich and Ava Callender

ELECTION DAY 4 PM. BY Dave Yochum. Voter turn-out looks higher than in previous off-years as Election Day winds down in Cornelius where 11 people are running for five seats on the Town  Board.

Almost all of the candidates are out at the Jetton Park or Town Hall polling places greeting voters and hoping to make an impression that lasts all the way to the ballot box. There is no electioneering allowed at churches, which means voters at Bethel Presbyterian and Community in Christ can prayerfully consider their choices.

As of 1 pm at Town Hall, there were about 400 voters, on top of 692 early voters. At Jetton Park, there were 370 voters up through 2:45 pm, on top of 300 early voters. With several hours left to vote, it looks like turn-out may exceed 20 percent. “This could be one of the highest turnouts we’ve ever had,” said political consultant Andy Yates.

Andy Yates

But exactly how the 11-way horse race shakes out is anybody’s guess. In 2015, during the last local election, fifth-place winner Mike Miltich landed a seat on the board with 1,425 votes, edging out Denis Bilodeau by 223 votes.

Mayor Pro Tem Woody Washam, who is running unopposed for mayor, guessed that results would be closer this year. He came in first among a field of only seven in 2015, although one, James Mount, announced he was dropping out before Election Day that year. Washam was the top vote-getter with 1,925 votes.

“Two things I have found to be true, is when turnout is historically high or history low, that’s when weird things happen,” said Yates. “I think it’s a crapshoot.”  Yates represents incumbent Jim Duke and Bilodeau.

The candidates are all anxious for a check mark in the winner’s column. Some plan parties tonight, some don’t. Miltich and wife Ann plan to pick up signs. Winners and losers have 10 days to take them down, according to a Cornelius ordinance.