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Early Voting begins

Photo by Greg Bird
Jailer Jessie Hatfield was one of the first to take advantage of early-voting at the Courthouse this week.


School Board races set

By Greg Bird

Early voting for the June 23 Primary Election is underway at the McCreary County Courthouse with many voters taking advantage of the opportunity to avoid potential long lines at polling places on the day of the election.
As of Wednesday morning more than 100 people have cast their ballots at the courthouse, with many more expected to do so. Poll workers are stationed at the entrance are on hand to register voters and deliver the ballots.
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.
In addition to early voting, citizens can also request a mail-in ballot to cast their votes during the primary. County Clerk Eric Haynes stated that over 800 requests for a mail-in absentee ballot have been received by his office.
Citizens interested in obtaining an absentee ballot can do so from the Clerk’s office or the Kentucky Secretary of State portal at until June 16.
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.
With last Tuesday’s deadline for interested candidates to declare their intention to run for the three seats on the McCreary County Board of Election this fall the ballots are finally set with five names stepping forward.
In District 1 Nelda Gilreath is running for re-election for a fourth term on the Board, but she will face opposition from Patricia Ball, wife of former School Superintendent Ray Ball.
District 3 representative Dustin Stephens has not submitted paperwork to run for re-election as of the deadline, potentially leaving the seat open for a newcomer. Noah Duncan filed his paperwork Tuesday for the seat, and will appear unopposed on the ballot in November.
District 5 Board member Deborah Gibson has officially filed to run for her second term on the Board, and will be opposed by former Board member Johnny Barnett for the seat.
One person has signed up for the Soil Conservation Board: Paul Sumner Jr.
While the ballots are set for November in those races, potential write-in candidates still have until October 23 to register for the election. Any write-in candidate will be an official candidate for a seat, but will not have their name appear on the ballot.

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