By TESA GLASS
---- — MT. VERNON — For the second time, voters in the unincorporated areas of Jefferson County have voted against electric aggregation.
The question was defeated with 1,688 votes in favor to 1,975 votes against.
This is the second time electric aggregation has been presented to voters in the unincorporated areas of Jefferson County. Previously, cities and villages in the county approved aggregation, and the unincorporated area voted against the issue, leading the way for a second ballot question.
During the previous election, the issue was defeated and there were 710 undervotes, which Jeff Haarmann of Affordable Gas and Electric said he believes was due to a lack of education for residents who receive their electricity from Tri-County Electric Cooperative. Aggregation only affects Ameren Illinois customers, not the electric cooperative.
During this election, Haarmann said Tri-County Electric customers were asked to vote in favor of aggregation to allow their Ameren neighbors the opportunity to procure electric service at a lower rate.
The Jefferson County residents are among 41 central and Southern Illinois communities to vote on aggregation during the primary election. Those which approve the issue will be included in the aggregate group. Four electric supply companies put in their intent to bid for services with AGE in preparation for a positive vote on electric aggregation. Homefield Energy, Constellation, First Energy Solutions and Integrys have responded with an intent to bid on the aggregation for those communities which passed the question.