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Early absentee voting begins Monday

Barnett enters School Board race

By Greg Bird

In-person and absentee voting for the June 23 Kentucky Primary Election will begin Monday at the McCreary County Courthouse.
Under new guidelines issued by Governor Andy Beshear and Secretary of State Michael Adams, the primary has been set back to the later date to allow for more time during the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak. The two state officers have also released a set of guidelines for local election boards to follow for the upcoming vote.
In order to maintain social distancing as much as possible, the guidelines call for expanded absentee voting, and local Boards of Election to accommodate citizens to vote without having to wait in lines at polling places.
The McCreary Board opted to allow in-person absentee voting to take place at the McCreary County Courthouse from June 1 through June 22, during regular business hours.
Due to the state of emergency declared anyone can request an absentee ballot through the McCreary County Clerks Office -606-376-2411. The office can either mail an absentee ballot, or schedule a time to come in and vote at the courthouse during the early voting period. Voters who show up without an appointment will also be allowed to vote early.
On Election Day, only one polling place will be open for the county – located at the Whitley City Fire Department. All registered voters, who have not voted via absentee ballot, can cast their vote at the polling place, regardless of their normal voting location.
The primary races that will appear on the ballot this spring are President, U.S. Senator and State Representative.
In related news a familiar face has emerged to challenge for a seat on the McCreary County Board of Education in the General Election this fall. Johnny Barnett officially filed his intent to run for the District 5 seat this week.
Gibson was first elected to the Board of Education in 2006, winning a special election and served 2 years before losing a close race to Barnett in 2008.
Barnett served on the Board from 2008 to 2012. In the 2012 election Gibson and Barnett faced off again, with the race ending in a tie. Gibson won the tie-breaker and has served on the seat since then, defeating James Kiser in 2016 to hold on to her position.
The deadline for candidates for the BOE to register to appear on the ballot on the November 3 General Election is next Tuesday. Three seats are up for election this year – District 1, currently held by Nelda Gilreath. District 3, held by Dustin Stephens and District 5, held by Gibson.
Gilreath has registered for re-election and will be challenged by Patricia Ball. Neither Stephens nor Gibson have not filed for re-election as of press time Wednesday.

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