Marion voters reject Charter Ordinance 22

The Marion County Board of Commissioners met as the Board of Canvassers prior to their normal meeting time on Tuesday, Dec. 27 in order to conduct a canvass for the City of Marion’s recent election. This was a special election requested by the City of Marion as the result of a protest petition being filed against Charter Ordinance 22 being allowed to take effect. The Marion city council voted 3-2, with council member Jerry Kline and Ruth Herbel voting against, earlier in December to approve spending an estimated $4,000 for a referendum. The City of Marion is required by law to reimburse the County Election Office for the cost of administering the election.

Since Marion is a home-rule city they can opt out of state statutes. Charter Ordinance 22 would have allowed the sale of general bonds without citizen approval or a financial limit. It was originally passed by the city council in July. A petition then circulated in Marion which forced the vote about the ordinance.

According to County Clerk Tina Spencer, the special election was held on Tuesday, Dec. 20 at Eastmoor United Methodist Church which is the usual polling place for voters in the City of Marion. Early voting was at the Courthouse and took place from 12-4:30 p.m. daily from Dec. 12-16 and from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Dec. 19.

Spencer told the board that all ballots were through the DS450 tabulator with ballots from early, in-person voting run through first, advance ballots were run next and poll site ballots were run last.

“There were no ballots that could not be read by the scanner. However, there was one blank ballot cast,” said Spencer.

With a voter turnout of 21.75%, there were a total of 295 votes cast. Of those votes, 270 were no and 25 votes were yes for the charter ordinance to take effect.

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