The official results of Ellis County’s elections were canvassed Thursday night, but two positions in Schoenchen elections still are not yet known.
Commissioners Marcy McClellend and Dean Haselhorst voted to approve the final results after they were presented by Ellis County Clerk Donna Maskus. Commissioner Barbara Wasinger was absent.
There were no candidates on the ballot for Schoenchen mayor or for the five city council seats, so write-ins determined those positions. Because Kevin Bieker was the top vote-getter for mayor and also was fifth in number of votes for city council, he will have to choose which position he wants to serve, Maskus said.
Bieker received 19 votes for mayor, followed by Richard Klaus with 14.
In the Schoenchen City Council, the results were Thomas Cole Dinges with 28, Kyle Zimmerman with 22, Matt Grabbe with 19, LaVerne Dreiling with 14, Bieker with 10 and Ron Sauer with 9.
If Bieker takes the mayor’s position, Sauer will fill the fifth seat on the council. If any of those receiving write-in votes turn down the position, the county commissioners will fill the positions, Maskus said.
For the Hays City Commission, the race for the third seat was too close to call on election night, with only 17 votes separating Chris Dinkel and Dustin Roths. That difference changed by only two after provisional votes were counted.
Dinkel won the two-year term by 19 votes, with the final tally at 1,825 to 1,806 for Roths.
Dinkel, 32, is marketing coordinator for High Plains Mental Health Center and an adjunct professor of history at Fort Hays State University. He was unavailable for comment Thursday night.
Roths said Thursday night the final results were about what he thought it would be. He said he would think overnight and talk with his family about a recount, but didn’t expect he would ask for one.
“Most likely machine voting and that kind of stuff I would assume was accurate, especially within that kind of percentile,” he said.
“I’m not one to want to waste anybody’s resources or time or anything. I think they took plenty of time, and I’m sure they did their due diligence on their job.”
Roths, 31, said he wasn’t sure if he would run for city commission in the future. He is the owner of Diamond R Jewelry.
“Obviously I’m disappointed. I really think I could have done some great things for the city of Hays,” he said.
“I consider myself a businessman and not necessarily a politician. I guess it depends on how busy I get with my businesses and business interests and whether or not I feel like I need to run to help change our government system to what is more beneficial to our society in general.”
Write-in votes made a difference in the Ellis USD 388 school board election as well. Dean Gottschalk ran a write-in campaign and ended up receiving the second most amount of votes. He received 422 of the 479 write-in votes from Ellis County, with an additional 13 from Trego County voters who live within USD 388’s boundary.
Jared Schiel was the top vote-getter for the Ellis school board. Mike Gaschler will fill the third seat.
Maskus provided some statistic from the Nov. 7 election:
• Voter turnout: 39.61 percent. The 2015 city-school elections had a turnout of 20 percent.
• There were 87 provisional ballots. Fourteen could not be counted because the individuals were not registered in Ellis County. One of those individuals needed to present a proper identification, but never returned.
• Of the 73 provisional ballots that were counted, 70 were filled out as provisional due to a change of address in the county, one for a name change and two for a change of name and address.
• Sixty-five provisional ballots came from polling stations; 22 were from advanced voting.
• There were two advance votes that arrived before the mail-in deadline of Nov. 10.