Light election in Copper Country

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette L’Anse Township election worker Lee DeLeon helps resident Marc Pirkola with his ballot during Tuesday’s election. The vote on a zoning referendum to allow wind energy projects in forest areas topped Tuesday’s issues.

L’ANSE TOWNSHIP — The May ballot was mostly light in the Copper Country, but several municipalities did have items on the ballot.

L’Anse Township was voting on a referendum for a zoning ordinance that would allow zoning for wind energy projects in forest areas.

Renewable Energy Systems (RES) canceled plans in late April for its Summit Lake Wind project, which would have included 49 turbines in part of the Ottawa National Forest.

At the L’Anse Township Hall, there had been 356 ballots cast as of about 12:30 p.m., said Baraga County Clerk Wendy Goodreau. Election workers said the turnout was fairly typical for an off-year election.

In Hancock, where school district voters were voting on a renewal of the district’s operating millage, there had been about 208 voters by 2:40 p.m., said election worker Shirley Baril. The city’s precincts were condensed into one polling place in Lakeview Manor for the May election.

A couple of voters had registered for the election the same day in Hancock. This was the first election with same-day registration, following November’s passage of Proposal 3.

“Things have been going smoothly,” Baril said. “Steady and smooth.”

Elm River Township voters were considering millage renewals for general fund, general services, fire protection and road fund.

By about 2 p.m., there had been 32 voters, including absentee ballots.

“It’s running smoothly,” said Deputy Clerk Joyce Pirhonen. “It’s just quiet, because we just have the renewals.”

Full election results will be available in Thursday’s Daily Mining Gazette.