The voter turnout for the Bentley civic by-election in order to fill a vacant councilor seat was good. In fact it was over 30%. If Saturday, February 24 hadn’t been so cold the turnout may have been even better.
Town mayor Lynda Haarstad-Petten said “Personally, I would have liked to have seen more people out to exercise their right to vote. Maybe the colder weather had something to do with it. I suppose in a smaller community, and with a by-election and not a general election, the numbers were probably good.”
Returning officer Cindy Roettger also felt the voter turnout overall was good for a by-election and said the first hour of the two-hour advance poll on February 22 even had a steady turnout.
Town Chief Administrative Officer Elizabeth Smart commented “There were 235 valid ballots, none spoiled. For a by-election, I believe that is a very good turnout. Approximately 30% of the eligible voters in Bentley.”
From the 235 ballots cast, political newcomer Cora Knutson came out on top with 102 votes and was declared elected.
Greg Rathjen, a past councilor, got 78 votes and business owner Ray Williams had 55 votes.
Knutson says she knows it will be a steep learning curve for her but said “I am ready for it. I can handle it!” She was sworn in the very next day on February 25 at her first regular town council meeting.
Rathjen says he will continue to support town council any way he can and continue to help promote the town.