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Election

Linda Martz (left) and her husband Max Martz vote at Maxey Elementary on Tuesday. Turnout for the city election topped 36%, a new record.

The more than 61,000 votes cast in Tuesday's general election set a new turnout record for a local election cycle, Lancaster County Election Commissioner Dave Shively said Wednesday. 

Those votes accounted for more than 36% of registered voters in Lincoln, toppling the record set in 2007 when Mayor Chris Beutler was first elected.

Shively said he was surprised and thrilled turnout exceeded his projection of 35%.

"I think that speaks volumes for the citizens of Lincoln," he said.

He attributed record early voting numbers and mayoral and City Council elections that featured many new faces as driving factors in the turnout. 

Voters on Tuesday elected Leirion Gaylor Baird as mayor and selected three new Lincoln City Council members. Only one City Council incumbent, Jane Raybould, was on the ballot and won re-election.

During this year's city primary April 9, 31% of those registered voted, Shively said. The primary election included a sales tax proposal to fund city street improvements.

Voting ahead of Tuesday's election continued a trend, with more than 19,000 ballots mailed or cast prior to the opening of polling places across the city, Shively said.

Previously, the record for early voting for a city election stood at 15,732 in 2015.

Early votes accounted for slightly less than one-third of all votes cast in Tuesday's election.

The city's growth has played a role in growing numbers. 

This year, residents in newly annexed neighborhoods near Hillcrest County Club were able to vote in their first city election. 

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2657 or rjohnson@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSRileyJohnson.

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Reporter

Riley Johnson reports on local government in Lincoln.

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