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Early primary voting starts Thursday, Election Day May 17

Kentucky’s primary election will be Tuesday, May 17, with polls open from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m., but this year voters will have an option to vote early.

County Clerk Trina Ogle said there will no voting on Monday, May 16, and that her office is still seeking precinct workers for Election Day. Changes at the state level now allow independent and third-party registered voters to work as election officials.

“Anyone who is interested in working, I will train them personally,” Ogle said. “It’s always tough to find enough workers, but this primary election has seemed a bit tougher. Maybe it’s a lingering concern about COVID or something else; we don’t really know.”

Those interested in working the polls should call 270-927-6117 for additional information, The pay for training is $25, and election day is $125.

“It’s a long day,” Ogle said. “The day starts at 5 a.m., and they will be on duty until the last person in line votes, polls close at 6 p.m, and everything is cleaned up, closed down, and materials are returned to the office.”

No-excuse early in-person voting will be May 12 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.; May 13 form 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.; and May 14 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. If you changed your party affiliation after Dec. 31, 2021, you are ineligible to vote in the primary.

In-person Election Day voting will be from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. Voting precincts will be active that day, but there will also countywide voting centers at North Hancock and South Hancock elementary schools, as well as Hancock County High School. Any eligible, registered voter may cast a ballot at those sites, regardless of where they live in the county.

Ogle said absentee balloting thus far has been slow, though about average for an election of this type. She said turnout for primaries in Hancock County is typically around 15 percent, while General Elections draw around 30 percent.

“I would love to see us double those rates in the primary and general, but with just a few contested races locally, you can kind of see the trend,” she said.

There will be a contested primary in the Republican primary for 4th District Magistrate. With incumbent Loren “L.T.” Newton facing challenger Gary Baker.

On the Democratic ticket, Darrell D. Wall and John Garner will vie for the general election nomination for 1st District Magistrate. Bobby Rice and Josh Estes are facing each other for the 2nd District Constable nomination.

In the race for U.S. Senator, Republican incumbent Rand Paul finds himself in a field against five other Republicans. On the Democratic ticket, frontrunner Charles Booker will face three other Democrats for the spot to challenge in November.

Republican Congressman Brett Guthrie seeks the GOP nomination for 2nd District Representative against challengers Lee Watts and Brent Feher. Hank Linderman and William Dakota Compton will face off on the Democratic ticket.

By C. Josh Givens

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