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Decision Time

Presidential Election Tuesday

Trump or Clinton? Or, perhaps, someone else?

Those are the main questions McCreary County voters will face Tuesday as the 2016 General Election will be finally upon us.

The two leading Presidential candidates have surely drawn a lot of attention from their campaigns, sharply dividing voters as their respective supporters battle among ideological lines in the hotly contested election.

Most polls show Trump is expected to carry Kentucky by a comfortable margin. An average of five major polls have Trump claiming 55 percent of the total vote in the state to Clinton’s 34. “Other” candidates, such as Libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein may account for about 10 percent of the total.

County Clerk Eric Haynes said he expects there to be a high voter turnout Tuesday, and noted his office has already received “several” absentee ballots already. Those ballots are securely held – and won’t be read until Election Day.

The deadline has passed for requesting an absentee ballot, but they can still be turned in up to 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

Turnout is surely to be higher than the 2015 General Election, which saw 30.6 percent of local registered voters cast their ballots in the Governor’s race (19.03 percent statewide.

The Republican Caucus, held this May, McCreary County saw 17.46 percent of McCreary County Republicans vote, with over 54 percent choosing Donald Trump on the ballot.

In the Primary Election, local voter turnout was limited to just 20.6 percent, with Bernie Sanders edging Hillary Clinton by less than a percentage point overall.

The 2012 General Election, which was also a Presidential Election, saw 53.07 percent of McCreary County voters head to the polls, and nearly 60 percent in Kentucky.

Haynes said the McCreary County Board of Elections will be vigilant Tuesday to ensure every voter has the opportunity to cast their ballot for the candidate they choose.

“Myself and my Election Officers will be visiting all precincts Tuesday to make sure everything is going smooth,” Haynes said.

“If anyone has difficulties, or questions, voters are encouraged to call my office (376-2411) or the State Board of Elections at (502) 573-7100 or the Attorney General’s Election Fraud Hotline at (800) 328-8683.”

Polls in McCreary County, and statewide, will be open from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. Voters already in line at the 6 p.m. closing time still have the right to vote, but no one will be allowed to get in to line past that time.

Beyond the Presidential Election, McCreary County voters will still have several additional choices on the ballot Tuesday as local School Board and Soil and Water Conservation District seats are on the ballot, as well as three state and federal seats.

United States Senator Rand Paul is seeking re-election, but is opposed by Democrat Jim Gray.

5th Congressional District Representative Harold “Hal” Rogers is running unopposed, but will appear on the ballot, as is Kentucky Representative for the 52nd District – Ken Upchurch.

Three local School Board seats are up for grabs:

Nelda Gilreath, seeking re-election, is unopposed in the 1st Educational Division.

Dustin Stephens is running for the 3rd Educational Division seat, previously held by Roxanne Shook – who opted not to run for another term. (Casey Daugherty, who will appear on the ballot, has told the Voice she has decided not to run in this election.)

In the 5th Division, incumbent Debbie Gibson is facing off against three challengers: James Kiser, Belinda Wilson and Kevin Taylor.

Three Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisors will be on the ballot, with voters able to choose up to four. Bradley Coffey, Jr., Anthony Trammell and Coby Stephens are all up for re-election.

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