Counting votes

Marcia Sommers, left, and Sharmella Morgan work for the Allen County Election Board on Nov. 4 as votes were still being tallied. They were processing votes from local military members who are deployed and are allowed to vote via email.

Allen County election officials continued counting ballots through the day following the Nov. 3 General Election.

On Nov. 4, Beth Dlug, director of elections, said they were still processing around 30,000 mail-in absentee ballots. They also needed to process military ballots from servicemen and servicewomen deployed overseas.

That afternoon, other than dispersing with a few provisional ballots, Dlug and her employees were starting to tear down the area in the basement of the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne that they have called home since August. With COVID-19 restrictions, the department didn’t have enough room in its Rousseau Centre offices to handle all the activity and keep people at a safe distance.

Marcia Sommers said she started back in August her temporary job of processing absentee ballots. She and Sharmella Morgan have worked together processing ballots for the past several months.

“It’s a great learning experience,” Morgan said.

By the evening of Nov. 4, Allen County Election Board reported that 63.59% of registered county voters had voted. Here’s how it broke down:

• Election Day votes: 64,541 (38% of total votes)

• Paper absentee 33,011 (19% of total votes)

• Early walk-in: 72,925 (43% of total votes)

• Public count: 170,477

• Voter turnout: 63.59%

• Registered voters: 268,069

The number of votes was not reported by precinct.

Straight party votes

• Libertarian Party: 91

• Republican Party: 46,440

• Democratic Party: 24,412

Allen County voters, like the state at large, chose to give Donald Trump a second term with former Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice president with 54.38% of the votes compared with 43.10% for Democratic challenger former Vice President Joseph Biden.

Nationwide, counting continued through Sunday, Nov. 8, with most news outlets calling the election in favor of Biden after an apparent victory in Pennsylvania gave him more than the 270 electoral votes needed. The president had not conceded.

Allen County voters also chose to stay the course with Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, Republican, who had to make tough decisions on closing some businesses during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. He took 58.48% of the county’s votes, more than both his challengers combined: 32.01% for Democrat Woodrow “Woody” Myers and 9.51% for Libertarian Donald Rainwater II.

With Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill having his bar license temporarily suspended earlier this year in connection with 2018 sexual misconduct accusations, and out of the picture at the state’s delayed primary in June, 57.87% of Allen County voters chose his fellow Republican Todd Rokita. Democratic challenger Jonathan Weinzapfel received 42.13% of the votes. Rokita previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives and as Indiana’s Secretary of State. Weinzapfel is a former mayor of Evansville on the far south end of the state.

U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, R-3rd, celebrated his third-term victory long before Allen County’s traditional Republican base’s votes were announced. Less than an hour after polls closed Nov. 3, Banks celebrated his win, which ended up with 59.11% of Allen County’s votes compared with 40.84% for Democrat Chip Coldiron, a public school teacher, Army veteran, and former health care worker born in Allen County and raised in Wells County.

Other contested state races:

* denotes winner(s)

State Senator — District 16

*57.41% (R) Justin Busch

42.59% (D) Juli Dominguez

State Representative — District 52

*67.98% (R) Ben Smaltz

28.79% (D) Martha (Marty) Lemert

3.23% (L) Morgan Rigg

State Representative — District 81

*52.03% (R) Martin Carbaugh

47.97% (D) Kyle R Miller

State Representative — District 83

*59.40% (R) Christopher N. Judy

37.07% (D) Michael Bienz

3.53% (L) Jason Eicholtz

State Representative — District 84

*61.11% (R) Bob Morris

38.89% (D) Emma Steele

State Representative — District 85

*71.88% (R) Dave Heine

28.12% (D) Pablo Hurtado III

Allen County races:

Allen County Surveyor

60.04% (R) Jeff Sorg

39.96% (D) Nicholas Nelson

Allen County Council At Large

*19.88% (RP) Robert A. Armstrong

*20.48% (RP) Kenneth C. (Ken) Fries

*17.49% (RP) Kyle Kerley

15.55% (DP) Melissa Fisher

11.81% (DP) Erin Fogg

14.70% (DP) Stephanie Henry

Contested school boards:

EACS Board — District 4E

44.79% (NP) Scott Garner

*55.21% (NP) Steven M. Screeton

EACS Board — District 5R

*54.70% (NP) Jennifer Blackburn

36.98% (NP) Robert Nelson Jr.

8.33% (NP) Lee James Wilson Jr.

FWCS Board — District 2

33.01% (NP) Glenna L. Jehl

26.60% (NP) Regenia Jones

*40.38% (NP) Jennifer L. Matthias

FWCS Board — District 3

49.13% (NP) William D. Critell

*50.87% (NP) Thomas E. Smith

FWCS Board — District 5

*64.41% (NP) Steve Corona

35.59% (NP) Jose Dominguez

NACS Board — District 2

*50.11% (NP) Steve Bartkus

49.89% (NP) Zachary R. Felger

SACS Board — District 1

*69.94% (NP) Bradley M. Mills

30.06% (NP) Paul G. Moss

SACS Board — District 3

*42.08% (NP) Jennifer Bennett

29.25% (NP) Tracy Bilodeau

28.66% (NP) Scott Myers

For full results, uncontested elections, visit allencounty.us.

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