Lincoln clerk commends voter turnout

Lincoln Charter Township Municipal Building

Don Campbell / HP staff

STEVENSVILLE — Lincoln Township voters had the highest turnout in Berrien County during last week’s election.

Clerk Stacy Loar-Porter revealed the boost in attendance for the May 8 election during Tuesday night’s board meeting.

According to the county’s election page, 28.5 percent of registered voters turned out in Berrien communities with elections. Lincoln Township produced a voter turnout of 32.1 percent.

The big turnout stemmed from the Lakeshore school district’s proposed $21 million bond request for technology and security upgrades.

The bond request was denied by 393 votes – 2,300 to 1,907. The same proposal was shut down by voters in the November election by 92 votes. Six months later, nearly 900 more voters showed up to the voting booth in May to strike down the proposal again.

Based on the number of ballots cast, hours in worker pay and absentee voter supplies, Loar-Porter said the school district will be charged about $9,000 for the election.

“Outside of a few odds and ends, the election went pretty smoothly,” Loar-Porter told trustees.

Loar-Porter said the biggest surprise to come from the election was the amount of challenges.

Out of all the districts, Loar-Porter said there were 29 challenges made on a voter’s eligibility or the voting process itself.

Prior to last week, the most ballot challenges Loar-Porter had seen in one election was six.

Public hearing

Trustees didn’t take votes on several items, including changes to the township’s ordinance language on hotels and motels.

Due to a discrepancy on which the maximum building height is measured, the agenda item was tabled and sent back to the Planning Commission.

The township will have a 6 p.m. public hearing May 22 in regards to medical marijuana. The township has spent months gauging how residents feel about potentially altering township ordinances to allow certain marijuana operations.

The May 22 public hearing will give residents a chance to talk about the merits and disadvantages of allowing such grow operations in the township.

Contact: twittkowski@TheHP.com, 932-0358, Twitter: @TonyWittkowski