Among Tuesday's more interesting "down ballot" initiatives was a question put before voters in Weiser. And when all the votes were counted, Weiser voters strongly endorsed a merger between Weiser Memorial Hospital and the ever-growing network of St. Luke's.
All in, 2,167 voted in favor of the nonbinding advisory and 617 voted no. Hospital officials said they needed to gauge citizen support for the proposed partnership.
St. Luke's requested the advisory vote before the partnership talks became more formal. A special hospital district inside Washington County supports Weiser Memorial, which includes a Family Medical Center and Surgical Specialty Clinic. In December 2013, the hospital announced that they had approached St. Luke's in regards to a possible merger. Both parties soon thereafter signed a confidentiality statement, triggering merger talks.