By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
President Barack Obama won another four years in the White House in Tuesday’s General Election.
Obama defeated former Massachussetts governor Mitt Romney. As of Wednesday morning, Barack had won 303 electoral college votes, eclipsing the needed 270 votes to retain his job.
However, Obama’s margin of victory this year fell far short of the landslide that swept him into office in 2008.
In that election, Obama swept Sen. John McCain with 365 electoral votes compared to McCain’s 173.
With some states yet to tabulate all votes, Obama prevailed in the popular vote, with a 50.3 percent to 48.1 percent margin.
Democrats also retained control of the Senate while the Republicans retained control of the House of Representatives. Many voters want to see Congress and the president break the gridlock that has marked Obama’s first term.
City council seats filled
In the only locally contested race, non-incumbents Dan Thompson and Junior Reeder won seats on the Imperial city council.
Thompson won the most votes cast with 600. Reeder earned the second seat on the council with 501 votes. Incumbent Sue Moore finished with 437 votes to come up third and lose her seat on the council.
Fischer wins Senate race
Nebraskans voted Tuesday to send a Republican to represent Nebraska in the U.S. Senate.
Former state senator Deb Fischer claimed a landslide victory over Bob Kerrey, a former Nebraska governor and two-term U.S. Senator, in a hotly contested race.
Fischer is the first woman from Nebraska elected to a full term in the Senate after a full-scale campaign. Two other women served brief terms in the 1950s.
While polls showed that Kerrey had closed the gap to single digits late in the race, Fischer’s campaign said their own polling showed a 16 percent margin. When all the votes were counted, Fischer won 58.18 percent of the state’s voters compared to 41.82 percent for Kerrey.
The U.S. senate seat opened up when two-term Democratic Senator Ben Nelson opted not to seek re-election to the body.
Nebraskans approved two constitutional amendments while turning down two others.
When it comes to the state legislature, Nebraskans still feel state senators don’t need any more than $12,000 per year to do their job. A proposal to raise senators’ salaries to $22,500 went down hard with 68 percent of voters saying no.
Voters also decided to keep the term limits for senators at two consecutive four-year terms. Amendment 3 would have extended the limit to three terms.
Amendment 1 that would allow impeachment of civil officers for acts committed while running for office gained approval with 83 percent of the votes.
Voters also put the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife into the Constitution with 77 percent voting in favor of the measure.
Voter turnout strong
Voter turnout in Chase County came in at 72.5 percent, according to Chase County Clerk and Election Commissioner Debbie Clark. That compares to 69 percent in the last presidential election.
A total of 2,572 people were registered to vote in the county with 1,866 casting ballots.
A total of 370 voters, or 14.3 percent, cast their ballot early. That was up from 321 in the 2008 election.
Statewide, voter turnout totalled 66.96 percent, according to the Sectary of State’s office. That compares to a 68 percent turnout in 2008.