Pratt City Commissioner elect Zach Deeds appreciated the large voter turnout, over 62 percent, for the primary election.

In one of the biggest voter turnouts in Pratt County, more than 3,251 ballots were cast representing 62.8 percent of the total registered voters. These are unofficial results until the county commissioners canvass the ballots at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 13 in the Chamber Room in the Pratt County Courthouse,said Pratt City Clerk Sherry Kruse.

Local voters chose Zach Deeds for the new city commissioner. Deeds gathered 1,274 votes to Eric Nystrom’s 739 votes. In the county commission race, Thomas Jones received 744 votes and had no opponent.

Deeds said his initial reaction when he found out he had won was feeling really proud of the people who came out and voted. “It was an exceptional turnout. I’m proud of that,” Deeds said.

He was appreciative of the people for the support from the people who want to do the next thing to move Pratt forward. Those were the people that were most vocal, Deeds said.

Deeds said he appreciated the voters in the 20 to 50 age demographic for their willingness to get involved with the election process. Sometimes its an older demographic that gets involved but this other demographic got engaged.

Besides the voters, Deeds has praise for other supporters.

“I want to thank my family and my church family for their support. I want to thank God,” Deeds said.

Now that he has been elected, he is eager to get going as a commissioner. Raising more revenue is first on his list of goals as a commissioner. He would like to see more industry and more economic development to bring in more revenue and raise wages in town.

“I’d like more manufacturing opportunities,” Deeds said.

He would encourage ideas on how to accentuate Pratt Regional Medical Center.

As far as the voter turnout goes, Kruse said it was definitely higher than other mid term elections. She said there was a lot of interest in the race because of the governor’s race and having a city commission position on the ballot helped bring out more voters.

Kruse got a sense that this election would have a big turnout when the pre voting numbers were big. Some 436 voters came to the county clerk office to cast an early ballot and there were an additional 186 mail in ballots for a total of 622 that voted early for this election. Four years ago in the last mid term election, Kruse said the total advanced voting was 475 so this year was definitely up from other mid term elections.

In the last presidential election year in 2016 the advanced voting was 914.

This is just the second time the new voting system has been used in Pratt County. The first time was the primary election in August. At that election, it was discovered that there was a bottle neck at the registration desk. For the General Election, Kruse added a fourth registration station at the Community Center and a third at the Church of Christ. That helped speed up the process and worked very well, Kruse said.

Besides speeding up the registration process, everything else at the polling stations went very smooth and there were no problems with the system.

“Everything worked great. There were no issues. The system worked well,” Kruse said. “I’m very happy with the way things turned out.”

Kruse said a big part of the smooth voting operation was because of Deputy County Clerk Lori Voss. She was a big part of getting everything ready.

“Thanks to Lori and thanks to the board workers for their help,” Kruse said.