Editor’s Note — This story has been updated to correct the number of registered voters in Highland County. The Times-Gazette previously reported that there are 19,415 registered voters; however, 19,415 ballots were cast in the 2020 general election.
As election officials continue to count votes from Tuesday’s general election, Highland County Board of Elections Director Debbie Craycraft said this year’s General Election voter turnout was the largest she could remember. Over 71 percent of the county’s 27,335 registered voters casted a ballot.
“We were a little late with getting the returns out, but besides that, there were no problems,” Craycraft said. “Our phones kept ringing all day, and we had so many absentee ballots to count that it was hard to keep up with it all.”
The polls closed at 7:30 p.m. — although those who were in line at the time could still vote — and the unofficial results were released at 11:39 p.m.
The results brought good news for the Highland County Health Department: 54 percent of Highland County voters voted in favor of Issue 2, which renewed a tax levy that helps fund the health department.
Highland County Health Commissioner Jared Warner told The Times-Gazette on Wednesday, “We are grateful for the community support. This funding will help us continue to support the health of Highland County.”
The official count, when absentee and provisional ballots that have not yet been counted will be added to Tuesday’s numbers, will be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17. The count is open to the public at the board of elections offices.
Craycraft said any absentee ballots the board of elections receives between now and the official count will be added to the final totals as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 2 and all directions were followed properly.
Craycraft added that provisional ballots will also be counted for anyone who needed to but didn’t change their name or address before Oct. 5.
The following are the unofficial results of the 2020 General Election in Highland County, according to the Highland County Board of Elections.
* U.S. President and Vice President — Donald J. Trump and Michael R. Pence received 15,369 votes. Joseph R. Biden and Kamala D. Harris received 3,741 votes. Jo Jorgensen and Spike Cohen received 140 votes. Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker received 49 votes. There were four write-in votes.
* Representative to Congress, 2nd District — Brad Wenstrup received 15,541 votes. Jaime M. Castle received 3,295 votes. There were three write-in votes.
* State Representative, 91st District — Shane Wilkin received 14,963 votes. Scott M. Dailey received 3,638 votes.
* Member of the State Board of Education, 10th District — Mary E. Binegar received 7,419 votes. Brendan P. Shea received 5,889 votes.
* Justice of the Supreme Court (FTC 1-1-21) — Sharon L. Kennedy received 9,723 votes. John P. O’Donnell received 5,844 votes.
* Justice of the Supreme Court (FTC 1-2-21) — Judi French received 9,155 votes. Jennifer Brunner received 6,034 votes.
* Judge of the Court of Appeals, 4th District (FTC 2-8-23) — Kristy Wilkin received 12,306 votes. Stacy Brooks 4,013 votes.
* Issue 1 — “An additional tax for the benefit of Penn Township for the purpose of cemetery maintenance at a rate not exceeding 0.5 mills for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to $0.05 for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for five years, commencing in 2020, first due in calendar year 2021.”
Issue 1 received 421 votes against the levy and 284 votes for the levy.
* Issue 2 — “A renewal of a tax for the benefit of Highland County for the purpose of providing sufficient funds to carry out the health programs of the Highland County Board of Health at a rate not exceeding 0.5 mills for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to $0.05 for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for five years, commencing in 2020, first due in calendar year 2021.”
Issue 2 received 9,631 votes for the levy and 8,158 votes against the levy.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.