By Greg Bird
The Kentucky Board of Elections has decided to uphold their longstanding policy of not allowing poll workers to post the names of write-in candidates despite a legal opinion saying it would be possible for it to happen.
Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear issued a legal opinion on August 16th stating that posting such a list would not violate Kentucky’s electioneering laws. The opinion was issued after Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes posed a question concerning the law.
The following week the Board of Elections announced they would not allow the postings to be placed in local polling places, reaffirming a policy prohibiting such a move. The policy does not prohibit a poll worker from providing such a list if requested by a voter, but will prevent them from offering the information unless directly asked.
The Attorney General’s opinion does not have rule of law behind it and is considered advisory only.
McCreary County Clerk Eric Haynes said the local Board of Election will go along with the state’s ruling and ban public listings of write-ins.
The Attorney General’s opinion, if followed, would seem to benefit six former or current educators who are running for state legislature as write-ins. Beshear, a Democrat, has already announced his candidacy for Governor next year and has championed Kentucky teachers in their battle with Governor Matt Bevin over pensions.
Locally there are six write-in candidates currently registered for the local election: two each for constable and sheriff, and one for Magistrate District 2 and one for Magistrate District 3.
Potential write-in candidates have until October 26th to register either in County Clerk Eric Haynes’ office, or with the Secretary of State.