Low election turnout expected Tuesday

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By Randy Patrick

The Secretary of State’s Office is expecting few people to go to the polls in Tuesday’s election to decide on their parties’ nominees for governor and other statewide offices.

According to a press release Thursday, only about 12.5 percent of the 3.4 million registered voters are expected to vote in the May 21 Democratic and Republican primaries.

Deputy County Clerk Cathy Marks wouldn’t be surprised if it is less than that.

“It was 11 percent in Nelson County four years ago, and just judging by the absentee ballots, it’s probably going to be that,” she said.

This past Tuesday was the last day voters could request an absentee ballot, and those must be returned by 4 p.m. Monday, the day before the election.

Despite the low turnout expected, Kentucky has a record number of registered voters. Of the 3.4 million, 49 percent are registered as Democrats, 42 percent as Republicans and the remainder as independents or others.

In Nelson County, there are 34,076 voters registered, 18,619 of whom are Democrats, 12,287 Republicans and 3,170 independent or other.

On the ballot Tuesday are all the state executive offices elected statewide.

In the Republican primary, incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin and his running mate, state Sen. Ralph Alvarado of Winchester, are challenged by three other GOP teams: Robert Goforth and Michael T. Hogan, Ike Lawrence and James Anthony Rose, and William E. Woods and Justin B. Miller.

On the Democratic side, there are four teams for governor and lieutenant governor: Attorney General Andy Beshear and Jacqueline Coleman; former Auditor Adam Edelen and Gill Holland, Geoffrey Young and Joshua French, and House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins and Stephanie Horne.

Former Attorney General and House Speaker Greg Stumbo is the only Democrat running for attorney general this year, so his name won’t be on the ballot, but on the Republican side, Wil Schroder, a state senator, and Daniel Cameron, a former aide to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, are vying for the nomination.

Likewise, nobody within the Republican Party is opposing two incumbents, Auditor Mike Harmon and Treasurer Allison Ball.

In the Democratic primary, there are four candidates for auditor, Drew Curtis, Sheri Donahue, Chris Tobe and Kelsey Hayes Coots, and two for treasurer, Josh Mers and Michael Bowman.

For secretary of agriculture, there are two for each party. Incumbent Republican Ryan Quarles is opposed by Bill Polyniak, and the Democratic candidates are Joe Trigg and Robert Haley Conway.

The most wide-open race is for secretary of state. There are four running in each primary. On the Democratic side, they are Heather French Henry, Jason Griffith, Geoff Sebesta and Jason S. Belcher. In the Republican primary are Andrew English, Stephen Knipper, Carl Nett and Michael G. Adams.

The polls are open Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Voters can prepare to vote in Kentucky’s Primary Election on Tuesday, May 21, by checking their polling places and viewing sample ballots through GoVoteKY.com.