Wayne County sees record voter turn-out


Wayne County broke a record for voter turn-out in the 2020 general election. In 2016, the county had an impressive 72 percent of its voter participate in the election. This year, that number rose to 78.74 percent, according to the Nebraska Secretary of State's website.

Three of the four wards in the City of Wayne had contested Wayne City Council races. In Ward 2, Yasuko Taoka faced Kathy Berry. Taoka won with 220 votes to 160. Incumbent Ward 3 representative Dwaine Spieker ran against challenger George F. Phelps. Spieker retained his seat taking 381 votes to Phelps' 53. In Ward 4, Nick Muir garnered 481 votes, defeating Christopher L. Welch, who received 125 votes. Terri Buck retained her seat in Ward 1.

Wayne County voters were asked to select up to three members for the District 17 Wayne Board of Education. In the race was Lynn P. Junck, Jaime Manz, Jeryl L. Nelson and Brent Pick. Voters chose Junck, Manz and Nelson to serve.

Thomas Schmitz will serve a six-year term on the Wayne Municipal Airport Authority. 

At a county level, District 2 Wayne County Commissioner incumbent Dean Burbach was challenged by a write-in candidate, Jeff Paustian. Burbach retained his seat 778 votes to 209.

Kelly J. Meyer and Randy Kleensang both will serve on the Wayne County Weed Board.

Tucker Hight earned a seat on the Educational Service Unit 1 for District 8. Jerry Allemann was elected to serve the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District, to serve subdistrict 5. Wayne County voted for Donovan Ellis to represent District 1 on the Northeast Nebraska Community College Board of Directors, while Jeff Sherer and Timothy Miller faced off for the At-Large position. Sherer won with 1,798 votes to 1,303 for Miller.

In District 17, incumbent Joni Albrecht face challenger and Wayne-native Sheryl Lindau for the Unicameral seat. Albrecht received 2,746 in Wayne County and will retain her seat.

Judges Thomas E. Stine and Dirk V. Block will both retain their positions as Nebraska Workers Compensation judges. Patti S. Gubbels carried Wayne County for State Board of Education, District 3 against Mike Goos with 2,374 votes to 1,045.

Adrian Smith, the republican incumbent took 3,133 votes in the Congressional District 3 race and Ben Sasse defeated challenger Chris Janicek, 3,000 votes to 638. Libertarian Gene Siadek earned only 276 votes.

In Wayne County, President Donald Trump earned 3,055 votes; Joe Biden, 1,022 votes; and Jorgensen, 123 votes.

Winners in Wayne County also included Aaron J. Zimmerman for Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District-subdistrict 1; Ronald Stech for Northeast Nebraska Public Power-subdistrict 2 and Leroy Mostek for Cuming County Public Power-subdistrict 1.

Lana Oswald won for Educational Service Unit 1, District 6; Dan Garner for Educational Service Unit 8, District 4; Matt Heineman, Jason Roth and Jean C. Karlen won Pender School District 1, while Jenna Hatfield, Sandy Wolfe and Arnie Robinson won the Norfolk School District 2 race.

Voters in Wayne County were asked to vote for up to three candidates on the Pierce School District 2 ticket. Dan Unseld and Craig H. Peters took the top two most votes, while there was a tie between Dave Lienemann and Lisa D. Freeman for the third spot.

Harlan Sateren, Mark Glaubius and Travis Bellar all topped the Wisner-Pilger School District 30 race. Jim Scott, Cody Backer and Lisa Linville did the same for the Randolph School District 45 race. Carol Erwin, Dustin Thompson and Samuel Recob took the most votes for Laurel School District 54 and Wayne County voters voted 6 to 3 against that school district's bond.

For Wakefield School District 560, Eiric Riewer, Emily Godinez and James A. Litchfield gained the most votes. Carmie Marotz, Landon Grothe and Josh Kruse topped the Winside School District 95R race.

Voters in Wayne County elected to continue Wakefield's 1 percent sales and use tax and to continue the Wakefield economic development program as amended. Wayne County voters also favored Valerie Bard for Wakefield City Council Ward 2.

Diana Davis, Mark Tietz and Joseph Dangberg garnered the top three votes for Carroll Village Board and Kris Thies and Sarah Kimmel eared the top two spots on the Hoskins Village Board. Lisa Rath, Michael J. Haberman and Kyle Greene each took 10 votes for the Sholes Village Board.

All State amendments and initiatives, including those to allow the state's licensed racetracks to offer gambling, were voted in favor of.

Wayne County election results will not be official until the canvassing board meets.