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LIVE UPDATES: Columbia Board of Education gets two new members

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ABC 17 News
A "vote here" signs is displayed Tuesday, June 2, 2020, outside the Boone County Government Center in Columbia.


UPDATE 10:05 P.M.: Two newcomers have won seats on the Columbia Board of Education.

Chris Horn and David Seamon garnered 8,235 and 6,875 votes, respectively. Horn was the lead vote-getter in the race, in which four candidates were seeking three open seats.

Incumbent Helen Wade won the other seat with 7,800 votes, leaving fellow incumbent Jonathan Sessions on the outside looking in with 6,193 votes.

Voters came out in favor of a $20 million bond issue for renovation, expansion and new construction in Columbia Public Schools, with 86 percent of voters casting ballots in favor of the measure. The vote total was 9,796-1,585.

Pat Fowler easily won election to the Ward 1 seat on the Columbia City Council and is set to replace outgoing Councilman Clyde Ruffin.

Richard Sullivan will be the next mayor of Ashland, defeating Dorise Slinker 346-290.

Voters in the Southern Boone Fire Protection District approved a $3.2 million bond issue 938-172.

Amy Marie Begemann, Dawn Sapp and Tiffany Clevenger emerged from a six-way race for the Southern Boone Board of Education.

Click here to get complete election results for races around the area.

UPDATE 9:45 P.M.: Voters in the California Rural Fire District rejected a tax increase to pay for a new fire truck.

The district, which includes parts of Moniteau, Cooper and Cole counties, had sought a property tax increase of 60 cents per $100 of assessed value. Voters rejected the measure 364-350.

UPDATE 9:30 P.M.: Callaway County's election officials will comb over results until they are certified Friday, when it will be determined whether two Fulton Board of Education candidates tied for third.

Joe Davis and Todd Gray each drew 1,038 votes in the school board race, good for third place. Three people are elected in typically school board races.

The first- and second-place candidates, Emily Omohundro and Connie Epperson, should remain in their respective places. However, results reported on election night are unofficial and subject to change as county officials check for discrepancies.

If the vote totals don't change, the tie between Davis and Gray will have to settled another way.

UPDATE 9:10 P.M.: A $20 million bond issue for Columbia Public Schools appeared on its way to passage Tuesday night.

Voters cast 7,682 ballots in favor of the issue and 1,192 against it. The margin was about 87 percent in favor of the issue with 28 of 436 precincts reporting countywide.

The race for three seats on the Columbia Board of Education appeared closer but two candidate held a major advantage -- incumbent Helen Wade with 6,135 votes and newcomer Chris Horn with 6,423 votes.

Pat Fowler appeared to be on her way to easy victory in the Columbia City Council First Ward race, with 362 votes compared to the second-place candidate's 129.

UPDATE 9:05 P.M.: It wasn't clear Tuesday night who would fill the three seats up for election on the Fulton Board of Education.

Four candidates ran for the three seats and two of them -- Todd Gray and Joe Davis -- tied for third with 1,038 votes. Emily Omohundro and Connie Epperson are guaranteed seats on the board, getting 1,238 and 1,175 votes, respectively.

Callaway County voters came out heavily in favor of increased property taxes to fund the operation of the Callaway County Library District.

Voters cast 2,034 votes in favor of the 6-cent increase per $100 of assessed value and 1,498 votes against it.

Fulton Public Schools voters approved a $27.5 million bond issue with 72 percent in favor.

Bob Washington defeated Steve Moore for the Ward 4 seat on the Fulton City Council 217-76.

UPDATE 8:55 P.M.: Cooper County voters decided to continue a road and bridge sales tax through 2024 but rejected an effort to fund University of Missouri Extension's 4-H programs with a property tax.

Voters approved the extension of the half-cent sales tax for roads 1,245-461. The MU Extension question was defeated by a tighter margin -- 879-814.

UPDATE 8:50 P.M.: Audrain County voters have approved a 1.75 percent use tax on online and out-of-state purchases.

Local governments have pushed hard for use taxes, complaining that increasing online commerce has dented local sales tax revenue. Audrain County voters listened, approving the tax 1,415-793.

Voters in the city of Mexico approved a 2 percent use tax 689-365 while Vandalia voters approved a 1.5 percent tax 136-117.

UPDATE 8:40 P.M.: Mike Lester will be the next representative of Ward 2 on the Jefferson City Council.

Lester emerged from a four-candidate race to win the seat, beating second-place finisher Aaron Mealy 243-186.

Jefferson City voters also overwhelmingly approved four propositions to change city laws, including two that create a cooling-off period for public officials and require some non-elected officials to be Jefferson City residents.

Nicki Russell, Douglas Moeller and Jason Paulsmeyer emerged victorious in a tight four-candidate race for the Blair Oaks Board of Education.

Click here to get complete election results for races around the area.

UPDATE 8:35 P.M.: Absentee ballots in Boone County have been counted -- all 3,656 of them.

The number of absentee ballots cast in the election -- originally scheduled for April but postponed because of COVID-19 -- eclipsed the less than 1,000 cast in April 2019.

In the Columbia Public Schools Board of Education race, absentee voters favored incumbent Helen Wade and newcomer Chris Horn, with incumbent Jonathan Sessions and newcomer David Seamon in a virtual tie for third. Three candidates will be elected to the board.

CPS absentee voters were in favor of a $20 million bond issue to renovate and expand current schools and help pay for a new middle school by a margin of 3,031 to 328.

Pat Fowler held a large lead for the Ward 1 seat on the Columbia City Council among absentee voters.

UPDATE 8:25 P.M.: Moniteau County voters came out in favor of a county-wide sales tax to support law enforcement and roads Tuesday.

Proposition P, a half-cent sales tax, passed with 1,200 votes in favor to 969 votes against.

In Tipton, voters rejected a 1.75 percent use tax on online and out-of-state purchases but voted in favor of a measure to abolish the position of city collector.

High Point R-III School District voters rejected a bond issue 76-72 and Moniteau County voters in the Tipton R-IV district rejected a bond issue there. However, the district includes voters in other counties.

California School District voters were poised to pass a bond issue, with 930 votes in favor to 403 against it. The total does not count district voters in Cole and Cooper counties.

UPDATE 8:15 P.M.: With a third of the precincts reporting Callaway County voters were casting ballots in favor of a tax increase to fund the Callaway County Library District.

Proposition L would increase the property tax levy from 20 cents per $100 of assessed value to 26 cents. With eight of the county's 24 precincts reporting, 911 votes had been cast in favor of the measure and 603 against it.

In the Fulton Public Schools Board of Education race, Emily Omohundro had a commanding lead, followed by Connie Epperson. Todd Gray and Joe Davis were in a virtual tie. Voters will elect three members to the board.

Fulton Public Schools voters were also coming out in favor of a $27.5 million bond issue, with 898 votes for the measure and 354 against it. Two-thirds of the county's precincts were yet to be counted, however.

UPDATE 8 P.M.: Mike Lester held a commanding lead for the Ward 2 seat on the Jefferson City Council with 10 of 24 precincts reporting Tuesday.

Lester had garnered 114 votes compared to 65 for Aaron Mealy and 64 for Gregory Butler. Ward 2 is the only contested city council race on the Jefferson City ballot. The ward covers part of downtown as well as the North Jefferson City area north of the Missouri River.

Voters had also cast ballots in favor of all four propositions on the Jefferson City ballot, including two that would create a cooling-off period for elected officials and establish residency requirements for some non-elected city offices.

UPDATE 7:55 P.M.: Jefferson City's absentee voters came out in favor of four propositions to change city laws on Tuesday, including measures that would create a cooling-off period for elected officials.

Absentee voters favored Proposition B, which requires the city clerk, city administrator and city counselor to be a Jefferson City resident, by a 351-45 margin.

They also voted in favor of Proposition D, which would prohibit council members and mayors from holding city office until two years after their terms expire, by a 322-75 margin.

In Jefferson City's lone contested city council race, absentee voters favored Mike Lester.

In Callaway County, voters in the Fulton Public Schools district were deciding on a $27.5 million bond issue Tuesday. With two precincts in voters cast 269 total ballots in that race, with 204 voting yes to the proposal.

ORIGINAL: Voting has ended in a rare June election marred by low turnout.

The election was rescheduled from April because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Clerks expected low turnout in part thanks to the rescheduling and voters' worries about the coronavirus.

The Boone County Clerk's Office reported just 5 percent turnout at 4 p.m. That number did not include absentees, which were requested at a rate more than quadruple the April 2019 election.

Despite that, several major items are on the ballot, including large school bond issues in Columbia and Fulton, school board races in districts throughout the area and contested city council races in Columbia and Jefferson City.

Polls closed in Mid-Missouri at 7 p.m. Look for major updates here and click here for complete results as they come in.

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.


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