By a 61 to 38 percent margin, voters in the Robertsville and Catawissa area said they were in favor of the Calvey Creek and Crestview Sewer Districts consolidating but, although they were in the majority, the yes votes didn’t reach two-thirds majority threshold.
Of the 81 overall votes cast, 50 voters were in favor of the sewer district merger and 31 were against it.
Franklin County Clerk and chief election authority Tim Baker explained the proposition needed 66.6 percent of the total votes to pass but received only 61.73 percent.
“It missed its mark by four votes. It needed 54 and only got 50,” Baker said. “It just goes to show you that every vote counts. We keep preaching that.”
Only 6.3 percent of the total 1,272 registered voters in that particular area cast ballots during the special election Tuesday.
Baker said he and his staff read over the court order about 100 times to make sure they were interpreting what the results of the votes must be for the proposition to pass.
“After the votes were tabulated by the voting machines, we did a physical hand count on election night since there were only 81 ballots,” Baker said.
The clerk said he was hoping for a 6 to 10 percent turnout and the clerk’s office mailed out 1,039 letters to active voters to alert them of the impending election and polling place change.
The special election was held at the request of the sewer districts, who also had to pay $7,000 to $8,000 for it.
Baker said any recount or another special election would have to be paid for by the districts as well.
“I don’t know what they will decide to do now. It has to go back before their boards,” Baker said. “We’ve stressed to the attorney for the sewer district we will do whatever we are directed.”
The residents of both sewer districts encompass two voting precincts in Robertsville and Catawissa, but only one polling place was open at the Robertsville Masonic Hall, 1228 Adler Lane, Robertsville.
The change in polling place was for Tuesday only and although the special election is nonpartisan, there were four election judges, two Republicans and two Democrats, who also oversaw the hand ballot counting Tuesday evening.
Baker said despite the change being in The Missourian and letters sent to each affected voter there was still some confusion.
“Other than that there were no problems,” he said. “Everything ran smoothly.”