By Kim Brooks, Express Editor
After the Nov. 6 election, voters decided to make a few changes in Iowa.
Voter turnout for Jones County was just over 75 percent: 10,462 ballots were cast out of the 13,926 registered voters in the county.
Almost 3,000 people in Jones County voted straight ticket in this election.
The biggest race in this year’s election was for President. Sitting President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden (D) won the U.S. popular vote as well as the electoral vote against Republican opponents Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Obama secured 332 electoral votes; Romney gained 206. It takes 270 electoral votes to win the race. Percentage-wise, the U.S. popular vote was close: 51 to 48 percent.
In Iowa, the race wasn’t as close. Obama had 52 percent of the votes; Romney had 46 percent. The numbers showed 816,429 votes for Obama and 727,928 votes for Romney.
One of the hot button issues on the ballot during this election was the retention of Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins. In 2009, Wiggins was one of the judges to unanimously rule to legalize same-sex marriage in Iowa. Fifty-five percent of Iowa voters ruled in favor of Wiggins’ retention. He needed a simple majority vote to remain on the bench.
Congressman Bruce Braley (D) once again defeated Ben Lange (R) for the U.S. House District 1 seat. The two faced each other in 2010, with just 4,200 votes separating the two. The race this time was not as close, with Lange trailing almost 59,000 votes behind Braley. The incumbent Braley had 57 percent of the vote, 220,795 votes. Lange had 42 percent, or 161,864 votes.
The change in the election came in Iowa Senate District 48. Dan Zumbach (R) defeated the incumbent Nate Willems (D). This was a close race, with just 2 percent separating the two. Zumbach received 16,368 votes; Willems had 15,805 votes.
While Zumbach won the race overall, Willems was able to win the votes of Jones County with 54 percent compared to Zumbach’s 45 percent here.
Iowa House District 58 was just as close. Brian Moore (R) earned 51 percent of the vote, 7,954 votes. Tom Schueller (D) had 49 percent, or 7,514 votes.
Iowa House Rep. Lee Hein ran unopposed for House District 96. Hein (R) earned 98 percent of voters’ support, or 10,259 votes. Two percent of those votes were write-ins.
The only race in Jones County was for County Supervisor District 5. Current Supervisor Keith Dirks (D) was up for re-election. Jeff Minger (R) was running against Dirks. With 56 percent of the county’s vote, Dirks was able to reclaim his seat. Minger earned 44 percent, 4,337 votes to Dirks’ 5,577 votes.
Other Jones County races:
• Wayne Manternach was re-elected to Jones County Supervisor District 1 with 98 percent of the vote, or 7,513 votes. He ran unopposed. There were 94 write-in votes.
• Joe Oswald won for Supervisor District 2, with current Board member Leo Cook retiring. Oswald had 98 percent of the votes, or 7,378 votes. There were 109 write-in votes.
• County Auditor Janine Sulzner was re-elected. She had 7,996 votes, or 99 percent. There were 60 write-ins.
• Jones County Sheriff Greg Graver was also re-elected with 8,406 votes, or 99 percent. There were 86 write-ins.
For complete voting results in Jones County, including township races, visit the county website at www.jonescountyiowa.org.
PHOTOS: The Veterans Hall in Monticello was for those in the Monticello 1 voting precinct. Voters on Election Day fill out their ballots before placing them in the electronic counter. By noon, over 100 people had already been in to vote at this particular polling place. (Photo by Kim Brooks)