Over 1,000 people participated in the special election to decide whether the city should issue a bond for up to $5 million to construct a new pool.
County Clerk Cynthia Newman explained that this was the first election the county has conducted all by mail. She estimates that it took three days for her and her staff to prepare the ballots and mail them to registered voters.
“It’s different,” Newman said. “This is the first time we’ve done an election like this all by mail. It took a lot of county time to do this. To stuff the envelopes alone took three days.
Newman noted that there were roughly 300 ballots that were unable to be delivered to registered voters, which is why she emphasized the need for people to update their voter information.
“People need to keep their voter registration up to date,” said Newman. “If they change their name, or change their address, they need to come in and update it or do it online. If people have a P.O. Box number that they let go, they also need to come in because we need to change that because they are sent to your mailing address.”
Officially, 1,052 ballots were accepted by election officials, with 399 ballots being rejected for various reasons, such as not signing the oath on the envelope. There were a total of 2,418 ballots sent, bringing the participation rate in this special election to 43.5 percent.
Approximately 560 people voted in favor of passing the bond, while 490 voted against it; two ballots were left blank. There were 967 ballots not returned.
The City of Fairbury will be required to reimburse the county for the cost of the special election, including over $2,800 in postage. Now the Fairbury City Council will review some of the designs for the pool and choose which one is the best fit for the community.