Results of local, state elections in year with record turnout

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CERTIFIED RESULTS—The Marquette County Clerk Office housed in the courthouse certified the election results and helped voters register for the election. With an increase in absentee ballots, the clerk office had to hire additional staff to count the ballots. Justin Van’t Hof/NW

Justin Van't Hof

With the 2020 election season coming to a close, a record number of voters cast their votes to decide the future of their communities. Michigan had an increase of 704,453 for a total of 5,579,072 from the previous presidential election. Marquette County was no exception to increased turnout and had a total of 37,727 votes cast which is an increase of nearly 4,000 votes from 2016. A complete overview of the North Wind’s previous coverage on races can be found at www.thenorthwindonline/2020-elections

In a close election for a seat on the U.S Senate incumbent Gary Peters (D) defeated John James (R). Peters received 49.7% or 2,698,061 votes, and James received 48.4% or 2,624,699 votes, according to ballotpedia. In Marquette County Peters received 20,408 compared to 16,247 for James, according to Marquette’s official results.

Another race, the 1st Congressional District of Michigan, which contains the U.P. and a few counties in the lower peninsula was not as close with incumbent Jack Bergman (R) defeating Dana Ferguson (D) in the race. Bergman received 61.6% or 256,582 votes, whereas Ferguson received 36.8% or 153,334 votes, according to the Associated Press. In Marquette County Bergman received 17,217 and Ferguson received 19,281. 

In Marquette, Alger, Luce and Schoolcraft Counties the race for the 109th House District also appeared on the ballot. Incumbent Sara Cambensy (D) defeated Melody Wagner (R) to represent the counties in Lansing. Cambensy received 56.6% or 26,420 votes and Wagner received 42.1% or 19,644, according to ballotpedia

Marquette elected three city commissioners, Fred Stonehouse, Jessica Hanley and Cody Mayer. Stonehouse received 3,953 votes, Hanley received 3,868 votes and  Mayer received 3,432 votes, according to Marquette’s official results

The City also voted on the County Sheriff race and re-elected incumbent sheriff Greg Zyburt (D) who defeated Joseph Kozub (R). Zyburt received 25,018 votes compared to 11,411 for Kozub.

Marquette County voters also decided on two open seats for the Marquette Board of Light and Power. Edward Angeli and John Sondregger were both elected to the seats with Angeli receiving 4,669 votes and Sondregger obtaining 3,679 votes. 

The two proposals that appeared in the ballot statewide and focused on the use of funds raised from oil and gas on public parks as well as the requirement of a warrant to obtain electronic data. Both proposals passed and were enacted by Michiganders with both receiving over 80% approval. 

The first proposal The Use of State and Local Park Funds Amendment was focused on the reallocation of gas and oil revenues used in state park projects. The proposal was approved receiving 84.3% or 4,155,437 votes, according to ballotpedia. The proposal allows the State Parks Endowment Fund to continue receiving money from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. The State Park Endowment fund, which helps improve and maintain state parks, will be allowed to collect until the total amount received reaches $800 million. 

The second proposal, Search Warrant for Electronic Data Amendment, requires law enforcement to obtain a search warrant to view an individual’s electronic data. The proposal was enacted receiving a total of 88.75% or 4,472,661 votes, according to ballotpedia. The approval of the proposal now requires state law enforcement to obtain a warrant before accessing an individual’s phone or computer.