It was a wild ride at the Morgan County Courthouse Tuesday night for the Primary Election.
Before a single ballot was counted, staff, media and residents curious about the results were shuffled to the basement due to severe weather in the area. The all-clear signal was given after about 15 minutes and the first precincts started reporting to the courthouse at around 7:40 p.m.
Besides the weather, another delay in getting the final numbers out was caused by faulty memory cards from one of the precincts, which meant the votes had to be manually inputted.
The final numbers were released at around 12:30 in the morning. Despite the delay, County Clerk Jill Waggener says she was proud of her staff.
“My election judges did a great job representing my office and my office staff did an exceptional job. I’m lucky to have everyone helping me out.”
Morgan County didn’t have the problems some other counties had. Sangamon County had to keep the polls open until 8:30 last night because of ballot shortages.
WLDS-WEAI News predicted a 38 percent turnout for Morgan County voters yesterday. It’s worth noting it’s a significantly-higher turnout than the last presidential primary in 2012, which drew about 31 percent of Morgan County voters.
Waggener was hoping for a better turnout.
“We always like to see better than that, but I realize that most people don’t like to declare parties. I guess some of the low turnout is due to that.”
The final numbers for the presidential race are in and the nation has placed their faith in Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hilary Clinton.
Looking at voting numbers from Morgan County, Trump edged Ted Cruz by just over 300 votes, winning 2,378-2,030. On the Democratic side it was Bernie Sanders defeating Hilary Clinton 1,278-917.