The Votes Are In

Unofficial election results include a landslide victory for Vice Mayor Hailey Morton Levinson. Meanwhile, Jim Rooks and Jessica Sell Chambers take seats on Jackson Town Council and incumbents Natalia Macker and Greg Epstein retain their positions…
A voter walks into the Jackson/Teton County Recreation Center around 4 p.m. on Election Day. People enjoyed walk-in voting at the polling site all day. (Robyn Vincent/KHOL)

by | Nov 3, 2020 | Elections

Unofficial Election Results

Amid local results for the 2020 general election, one notable figure jumps out and it reflects Teton County’s legacy of civic engagement. The number of registered voters rose significantly from 2016 to 2020. Four years ago, there were 13,245 voters. This year, there are 15,966 registered voters—a 20.5 percent increase. 

That said, with all the new voters, turnout decreased slightly from 2016 to 2020. Four years ago, there was a 96.6 percent turnout. This year, turnout was 92.62 percent, representing 14,787 voters. But Teton County Clerk Maureen Murphy is focused on the rise in new voters when she reflects on turnout. She told KHOL it is an overall indication that civic engagement remains remarkably high in Teton County. 

Stay tuned for in-depth coverage of the winners and losers of this historic election. 

Mayor

Hailey Morton Levinson: 3,405 votes – 61.01%

Michael Kudar: 2,140 votes – 38.34%

Jackson Town Council (two seats)

Jim Rooks: 2,797 votes – 29.28%

Jessica Sell Chambers: 2,574 votes – 26.94%

Devon Viehman: 2,304 votes – 24.12%

Pete Muldoon: 1,825 votes – 19.10%

Board of Teton County Commissioners (two seats)

Natalia Macker (D): 6,647 votes – 26.70%

Gregory Epstein (D): 5,149 votes – 20.68%

Peter Long (R): 4,889 votes – 19.64%

Christian Beckwith (R): 4,776 votes – 19.18%

Wes Gardner (I): 3,391 votes – 13.62%

Sales and Use Tax (the ‘general penny’/seventh cent of sales tax)

Against: 7,468 votes – 53.18%

In Support: 6,576 votes – 46.82%

State Rep. House District 22

Jim Roscoe (I): 1,679 votes – 72.37%

Bill Winney (R): 635 votes – 27.37%

Teton County School District Board of Trustees (four seats)

Kate Mead: 8,209 votes – 25.53%

Betsy Carlin: 7,230 votes – 22.49%

Jennifer Zung: 6,388 votes – 19.87%

Bill Scarlett: 5,928 votes – 18.44%

Thomas Smits: 4,214 votes – 13.11%

State Rep. House District 16 

Mike Yin (D): 4,237 votes – 96.19%

State Rep. House District 23 

Andy Schwartz (D): 4,885 votes – 95.02%

State Senator Senate District  16 

Dan Dockstader (R): 1,258 votes – 90.18%

St. John’s Health Hospital District Trustee (four years – three seats)

Bruce Hayse: 8,347 votes – 36.32%

Cynthia Hogan: 7,688 votes – 33.45%

C. Scott Gibson: 6,720 votes – 29.24%

St. John’s Health Hospital District Trustee (two years )

Sue Critzer: 9,155 votes – 98.80%

St. John’s Health Hospital District Trustee (two years )

Deborah Hopkins: 9,159 votes – 98.87%

Conservation District Supervisor – Urban

Roby Hurley: 9,644 votes – 99.04%

Conservation District Supervisor At Large

Nate Fuller: 9,962 votes – 99.10%

Constitutional Amendment A (removes debt ceiling municipalities face for sewer projects)

In Support: 7,808 votes – 62.49%

Against: 4,686 votes – 37.51%

President and Vice President

Joe Biden/Kamala Harris (D): 9,848 votes – 67.10%

Donald Trump/Mike Pence (R): 4,341 votes – 29.58%

Jo Jorgesen/Jeremy Spike Cohen (L): 255 votes – 1.74%

Brock Pierce/Karla Ballard (I): 89 votes – .61%

United States Senator

Merav Ben-David (D): 9,030 votes – 62.56%

Cynthia Lummis (R): 5,370 votes – 37.20%

United States Representative

Lynnette Grey Bull (D): 8,628 votes – 60.11%

Liz Cheney (R): 5,210 votes  – 36.30%

Richard Brubaker (L): 383 votes – 2.67%

Jeff Haggit (C): 116 votes – .81%

 

Addicted… to Elections

Election judge Amanda Lawson is addicted to the energy of Election Day. This is her sixth time working an election. “I like being able to see everybody and their mother in the community and just connect with people. It’s an awesome ambience,” she said.

But Lawson’s polling station, the Jackson/Teton County Recreation Center, did not provide the excitement that Lawson has come to expect. At 4 p.m., the gymnasium was a bit, well, quiet. Still that’s something to celebrate, Lawson said. 

The lack of crowds was largely because election officials like Lawson have been busy helping people to vote early—70 percent of registered voters cast their ballots before Election Day or via mail. When Lawson Spoke with KHOL, roughly 630 voters had cast their ballots at the recreation center, a paltry number, Lawsone said. “I would compare it to a shift at our early voting office where we were doing close to that on an eight-hour shift with only two stations.”

The other positives to a relatively quiet Election Day? No waits—every voter who walked through the rec center’s doors today was processed immediately, Lawson said. That made for a rather cheerful atmosphere among the slow trickle of voters who did cast their ballots at the rec center. 

 

A voter walks into the Jackson/Teton County Recreation Center around 4 p.m. People enjoyed walk-in voting at the polling site all day. (Robyn Vincent/KHOL)

 

In the end, a lack of people at her polling place on Election Day did little to dampen Lawson’s enthusiasm for the Democratic process. Voting, she says, is “probably our most important privilege and responsibility—it’s definitely both, they go hand-in-hand, and I am stoked to live in a county where everybody takes it seriously and everybody takes advantage.” – Robyn Vincent

Voters Feel Relief After Casting Ballots

Polling lines were just a dozen or so people long at around 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday. And election Judge Sandy Shuptrine says that’s a lot fewer people than she was seeing earlier this morning. Lines were 45 minutes at least, and they stretched around the block into the parking lot. 

I think it was a little bit of a surprise for a lot of us that are working here,” she said. “Just because of the statistics we’ve heard from our own county about how many people had already voted.” 

Although it was a bit chilly as polls opened, Shuptrine said enthusiasm was high, and that voters have remained respectful and socially distant from one another throughout the day. 

You see people who, actually, this year in particular, are eager to do the work of being a citizen,” she said. 

Many voters shared Shuptrine’s optimism regarding local turnout, including first-time voter Caitlin Huhn. “I’ve been waiting for years to have a say in our government,” she said. “And now I can finally–I just turned 18.”

Not only does Huhn care about national issues–Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ Rights and others—but, also, as someone born and raised in Jackson, she put a lot of thought into local candidates. For the Board of Teton County Commissioners, she’s voting for Wes Gardner. And for Jackson Town Council, Huhn supports Jim Rooks, who taught her in high school.

Plenty of other voters at the library today also have opinions about local issues. Sean Schuster has lived in Jackson for five years, and opposes the ballot measure, called “the general penny,” which would increase sales tax countywide.  

I think that we have a lot to offer, and I think that pushing to take more money from people isn’t necessarily the right thing to do,” Schuster said. “I think we should just work with what we have.”

Voter Walt Moore has lived in Jackson for the past 16 years, and he cares about housing, traffic, and wildlife conservation. He also says he didn’t vote along party lines this year, but instead supports the individuals who kept in touch with him personally. 

“The reason why I voted for the people I did is they actually sought me out and had conversations with me,” he said. The candidates, “stopped by the house, knocking on doors, and gave me phone calls. And actually kept in touch with me throughout this whole process.” 

Most voters walking to their cars after casting their ballots showed a visible sense of relief, even through their masks. It starkly contrasted what Shuptrine and Schuster described as a palpable tension from those waiting in line. 

As of 1:40 p.m., roughly 600 people had voted at the Teton County Library, according to one election volunteer.  – Will Walkey

 

A Perfect Day to Vote

It was a gorgeous morning for voting in Jackson Hole. Clear blue skies and warm for November temps greeted people at polling stations. The morning saw voters from all walks of life. Parents with kids in tow, senior citizens, well-heeled professionals and plenty of folks in jeans and puffy jackets. 

At the Rec Center, election judge Bob Culver said the day was off to a good start. “The county runs a very smooth and reliable operation here,” Culver said. 

Janet, who gave only her first name, said voting is part of being a citizen. “I have the right to vote. It’s part of our history,” she said. “Whoever can vote, come out and vote so your voice gets heard out there.”

“Healthcare and the economy” were two of her top issues. 

A sunny path at the Old Wilson Schoolhouse welcomes people to vote. (Meg Daly/KHOL)

At the Old Wilson Schoolhouse Community Center, Tovi Santiago said the biggest issue for her this election was “that Donald Trump does not get in.”

The COVID-19 pandemic infused the day. Most voters wore masks and stood six feet apart. Volunteers cleaned each voting station after each use. Santiago talked through a colorful mask printed with Route 66 imagery. 

“The coronavirus is paramount,” she said. “I don’t know if anyone can solve it perfectly but let’s start doing something.”

Meanwhile, Ron Lucas said he was voting to keep conservative values in place. “I like politicians who lower taxes and don’t get off track headed toward the more liberal ideas that I didn’t grow up with over the last 70 years.”

For some county residents, however, it was a day like any other. Outside of Wilson, staff from the Raptor Center stood in a field with a large hawk. As they tossed him in the air, he took flight, soaring over the golden grasses before landing solidly and fluffing his feathers back in place. – Meg Daly

 

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