The 2019 election by the numbers
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY — The 2019 election in St. Joseph County had a couple of big ticket items, mainly the St. Joseph County Intermediate School District’s Career and Technical Education millage request. Was that enough to get people to the polls this year? How many people voted for and against certain proposals, ordinances, and elected officials?
Here is a breakdown of how this year’s election went, according to unofficial numbers from the St. Joseph County Clerk’s office.
Turnout county-wide was at just over 29 percent for the 2019 election, with a total of 6,689 votes cast out of 22,943 registered voters. In the City of Three Rivers proper, turnout was a paltry 17.29 percent, with 802 votes cast out of 4,639 registered voters. In the City of Sturgis, where just the CTE millage was on the ballot, turnout was a mere 8 percent, with 433 votes cast out of 5,401 registered voters.
Mendon Township Solar Ordinance
The closest result throughout the county Tuesday, Mendon Township residents narrowly approved an ordinance that would permit the construction of small and large solar energy systems in the township. The ordinance had been a divisive issue in the township, with the township approving the ordinance back in April, but a petition drive by residents contesting the decision put approval of the ordinance itself on November’s ballot.
The ordinance passed with just 50.9 percent of the vote out of 650 total votes cast, with 331 “yes” votes and 319 “no” votes.
St. Joseph County residents passed the ISD’s Career and Technical Education millage, which will levy no more than 1 mill over a 10-year period to establish a CTE program in the county, and enhance the program currently offered by a consortium of local school districts.
The millage passed with 59.4 percent of the vote out of 6,540 votes cast, with 3,889 “yes” votes and 2,651 “no” votes.
Three Rivers Community Schools Bond Proposal
Voters in Three Rivers overwhelmingly passed the bond proposal, which will be an extension of the current 4.9 mill rate the school district is levying for 10 years to generate funds to improve and update facilities, buildings and athletic sites in the district.
The bond passed with 64.7 percent of the vote out of 2,485 ballots cast, with 1,607 “yes” votes and 878 “no” votes.
Three Rivers Mayor
In the Three Rivers mayoral election, Tom Lowry overwhelmingly won an 11th two-year term. While Tuesday’s ballot featured a two-man race for mayor between Lowry and challenger Richard Bovee, as previously reported by the Commercial-News, only Lowry was eligible to be elected mayor due to a recent change of residence for Bovee.