While Callaway County Clerk Ronda Miller didn't anticipate anywhere near a massive number, the minuscule figures dumbfounded her.
A meager 1,567 of Callaway's 25,033 registered votes — translating to a sparse 6 percent — came out to take part in Tuesday's municipal election, according to unofficial totals released by Miller's office.
Miller had noted earlier in the week that turnout for April elections is "typically 10-15 percent."
"It's unbelievable that (Tuesday's turnout) was that small," Miller said Wednesday morning. "I don't know why people don't come out to vote. It's unimaginable.
"I don't know if people have lost interest in governmental issues or it's just the way things are in society now. It's hard to understand," she said.
Miller thinks a dearth of locally contested races resulted in the diminished turnout. Just six of the 15 races on the ballot in Callaway were contested.
"I believe it did (have an impact) — it almost had to," Miller said. "I don't know if people are looking at one person running for each spot and say, 'Why vote?' That's what I would attribute it to."
Of the contested races, duals for wards 1 and 4 seats on the Fulton City Council drew the highest number of voters at 12 percent each. Mike West defeated incumbent Valerie Sebacher 133-113 in Ward 1, while Lauren EH Nelson turned back incumbent Rick Shiverdecker 107-57 in Ward 4.
The race for the Fulton 58 School District Board of Education attracted an 8 percent turnout. Incumbents Jacqueline "Jackie" Pritchett and Leah Williamson Baker emerged from the three candidates with 602 and 439 votes, respectively.
The New Bloomfield R-3 School District Board of Education race also saw 8 percent of voters cast ballots. Doug Glick and Craig Abbott triumphed out of the three candidates with 201 and 149 votes, respectively.
In the South Callaway R-2 School District Board of Education race, 7 percent of voters showed up Tuesday. Incumbent Micah Benningfield and Caleb James Bartley were victorious among the four candidates with 133 votes apiece.
A paltry nine votes (3 percent) were cast for the North Ward alderman race in Auxvasse. Robin Burch edged incumbent Monica Ayers 6-3.
"These are the people running your schools and taking part in councils," Miller said. "There's a lot of stuff that people don't realize."
Miller explained she is a member of a Facebook page with other election officials from across the state, and the number of voters also lagged elsewhwere.
"They all had a very low turnout, but we were one of the lowest," she said.
Miller was appreciative of the hard work put in by her office and poll workers Tuesday.
"Everything was very smooth, which is what we always want to have," Miller said. "We have a great bunch of election workers and everyone gets along so well. They had a long day sitting there for 13 hours, some with less than 50 votes (cast), but they hung in there."
Meanwhile, the following is a list of Callaway candidates who will assume the responsibilities of office under the state's non-election entities statute.
According to the statute, if the number of candidates who have filed for a particular office equal the number of positions in the office to be filled by an election, there will not be an election for the office. Candidates will assume responsibilities as if they had been elected.
Village of Kingdom City Board of Trustees: Allen Flood-Thompson and Denise Shaw
New Bloomfield Aldermen: Daniel Kliethermes and Dean Powell
North Callaway R-1 School District Board of Education: Amy Sue Reinhard and Rebecca Burget-Wall
Holts Summit Fire Protection District Board: Tim Massman
North Callaway Fire Protection District Board: Larry Kuehner
Callaway Water No. 1 District Board: Gery Heimericks (sub-District 3) and Roy Boessen (sub-District 4)
Callaway Water No. 2 District Board: David D. Moore (sub-District 2) and David E. Winkler (sub-District 1)
Callaway County Ambulance District Board: Marilyn Macker (District 1) and Jeffery Stone (District 4)
Final results from Tuesday's election will be certified by Miller and her office no later than April 20. The next scheduled municipal election is in April 2022.