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Early voting starts next week


Early voting starts next week
By Tom Marshall
Senior Advocate writer

Early in-person voting for the November General Election kicks off next week in Montgomery County.

Early voting will take place Oct. 13 through Nov. 2.

Early voting hours are noon-6 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and 6 a.m.-noon Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can also vote 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays.

The Clay Community Center will serve as the county’s central voting location during early voting.

“My biggest bit of advice is to go early and not procrastinate,” County Clerk Chris Cockrell urged the public.

By voting early, voters can avoid long lines and the lower the risks associated with COVID-19 by ensuring proper social distancing.

The public can also still cast ballots 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Election Day Nov. 3.

There will be two voting locations that day—the Clay Center and Camargo Elementary School has been added as a second site.

Cockrell said the county Election Board wanted to add the second location because of an increase in the number of people expected to vote in-person rather than by mail-in ballots for the general election and the large number of voters in the southern end of the county.
The board saw Camargo Elementary as a central voting location for those who live in that portion of the county, he said.

The Camargo location is open to anyone, Cockrell said, adding that you don’t have to reside in that portion of the county or certain precincts to vote there.

“We want to make sure we’re capable of handling the numbers we’re expecting,” he said.

Cockrell said 3,498 voters cast mail-in ballots in the May primary, but there has been considerable drop off in requests for mail-in ballots for the general election.

The mail-ins totaled 55 percent of the votes cast in the primary, he said.

Cockrell said that was likely due to the encouragement of the governor and secretary of state to vote by mail-in ballot leading up to the primary out of concerns associated with the spread of the coronavirus.

State leaders have been encouraging early voting for the general election, Cockrell said.
For those who opt to vote in person, poll workers will be working behind plexiglass and with personal protective equipment in place. There will also be hand sanitizer available for the public, he said.

Voters can still apply to vote by mail-in ballot for the general election.
Oct. 9 is the deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot. You can do so online at www.govoteky.com or by calling the county clerk’s office at 498-8700. Cockrell, however, is encouraging the public to try doing so online first.

For those who do not want to mail back the ballot, you can drop it off at the county clerk’s office through election day.

Cockrell said Secretary of State Michael Adams is hoping for a 72 percent turnout for the general election, though locally Cockrell said he expects that number to be closer to 60 to 65 percent.

The county has 20,923 registered voters.
Statewide, the number of registered voters totaled 3,517,567 as of Aug. 31, according to the secretary of state’s office.

In the past month, there has been a rise of 19,626 registered voters, or 0.56 percent, the office said.

Currently, according to the secretary, Democratic registrants represent 47.5 percent of the electorate with 1,670,789 registered voters. Republican registrants total 1,533,095, or 43.6 percent of voters.

Almost 9 percent of voters are represented under other affiliations.

Topping the ballot is the race for president. The candidates are incumbent Republican Donald Trump and his running mate for vice president, Michael Pence. Former Vice President Joseph Biden with running mate Kamala D. Harris make up the Democratic ticket. Jo Jorgenson and running mate Jeremy “Spike” Cohen make up the Libertarian ticket. Rapper Kanye West with running mate Michelle Tidball appear on the ballot as Independents as are Brock Pierce and running mate Karla Ballard.

Candidates for U.S. Senator are incumbent Republican Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Amy McGrath.
Republican incumbent Andy Barr faces Democrat Josh Hicks and Libertarian Frank Harris in the race for U.S. Representative for the Sixth District in Congress.
Candidates for State Representative for the 74th District are Republican incumbent David Hale and Democrat Jeff Spradling.
There is also a contested race for Circuit Judge for the 21st Judicial District. Incumbent David Barber faces Mt. Sterling attorney Elizabeth H. Davis in that race.

Robert B. Conley faces Chris Harris for an open seat as Justice of the Supreme Court in the Seventh Supreme Court District.
Both of those races are nonpartisan.
There are also several unopposed seats on the ballot.

Sharon Smith-Breiner is the only candidate filed for the Third Educational District on the Montgomery County Board of Education. Alice Anderson is unopposed in the Fourth District and Daniel Freeman in the Fifth District.

Seats occupied by Carmela Fletcher-Green and Bill Morgan are not on the ballot this year.
There are four candidates filed for four seats on the Jeffersonville City Commission. They are Greg Arnett, Earl Johnson, David Amburgey and Christine Harris.

There are also six candidates filed for six seats on the Mt. Sterling City Council. They are Danielle King, Roger Barnes, James A. “Tony” Tipton, Steve Trimble, Pam Murphy and Debbie Helton.

There are only three candidates filed for four seats on the Camargo City Commission. They are Felicia M. Spencer, Sherri Beam and Melissa Arnett.

Cockrell said there is still time for a write-in campaign for the remaining seat. The deadline to declare intent to run as a write-in is 4 p.m. Oct. 23 at the clerk’s office.
There are also two Constitutional amendments on the ballot.

Constitutional Amendment 1 Marsy’s Law is back on the ballot after being struck down last year the Kentucky Supreme Court based on the language that was includ