Two Incumbents lost seats in municipal elections

Molly Dotson, Photographer

Dennis Malak and Matthew Hutti won the Charleston City Council race, according to the unofficial election results.

Hutti received 48.95 percent of the vote with a total of 886 votes; Malak received 29.12 percent of the vote with a total of 527 votes; and Jim Dunn received 21.93 percent with a total of 397 votes, according to the results.

Dunn was not the only incumbent to lose his seat. Charles Jarrell was not re-elected for his position on the Charleston Community Unit School District No. 1 Board of Education.

Jerrell lost by 679 votes with a total of 1,619 votes casted for this particular race, according to the unofficial election results.

Matt Titus, a newcomer, will succeed Jerrell.

In spite of the decisiveness of the school board and city council races in Charleston, Eastern student turnout was low at the polls, Coles County Clerk Sue Rennels said.

“We were on campus and out of the two precincts, there were five voters,” Rennels said.

Rennels said of the five votes on Eastern’s campus, three were cast by students.

However, the lack of student voting was not because of a lack of importance. Rennels said this election was actually more relevant to people living in the area.

“This is a grassroots election where it directly affects the people at home,” Rennels said. “It’s not like voting on something statewide or on a federal level.”

In spite of this, the overall voter turnout was 1,251 ballots casted out of the 12,229 registered voters in Charleston.

Rennels attributed the overall low turnout to the fact that there was little to contest on the ballot this year. She said other than the two competitive races in Charleston and a couple of mayor elections in nearby townships, few things were up for debate.

In spite of this, she said people should understand their votes count even more in these types of elections because the margin of victory is less than it is in bigger areas.

Molly Dotson can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].