Calling it a “mondo turnout,” Teton County Clerk Sherry Daigle said the volume of last-minute registrations and 96% turn-out caught Teton County by surprise. Five precincts, ran out of computerized ballots and had to resort to paper ballots that then had to be hand-counted. She says the county had planned for about a 5% increase over the registered voters in each precinct at the end of the primary, but she says “those numbers just exploded on us in the general, and we just had no indication that we were going to have that many more people come out.” Altogether, about 200 ballots had to be hand-counted. By the end of the evening, voters had re-elected Mark Barron as Jackson’s Mayor and Hailey Morton and Jim Stanford to the Town Council. Melissa Turley and Barbara Allen were put on the Teton County Commission in a tight race and two of the three SPET tax propositions were approved by margins that did not change as the various precincts were counted. Voters clearly approved of the plan to build the pathway along Highway 22 and to correct the environmental problems at the old county landfill, but just as clearly disapproved of expenditures of SPET funds to purchase land from the US Forest Service on the north end of town. Of the seven seeking a spot on the school board, voters re-seated Kate Mead and selected Syd Elliott, Patricia Russell and Robbi Farrow for the other three vacant seats. In state races, Senator John Barrasso narrowly won the county over Tim Chesnut, Chris Heinrichsen edged out Cynthia Lummis among the county’s voters and Bill Winney clearly won the Teton County precincts over Marti Halverson for House District 22 which spans Teton, Sublette and Lincoln Counties. Before the county’s results are sent on to the state, Daigle says they will need to be canvassed and verified. She says the county will do its canvassing Thursday, and then the state results will be canvassed November 14th.
Note: House District 22 total results were Marti Halverson 1835 to Bill Winney 1742