Sunday, May 15, 2016

Primary Election 411

If it seems like you’ve already voted more this year than in most others, for many, you are right.

Next week’s primary election in Kentucky marks the third vote in 2016 for many in Crittenden County. For Republicans, the March 5 presidential caucus led off the balloting, and residents inside the City of Marion voted down legalizing alcohol March 22.

Tuesday will mark the first voting opportunity for county Democrats living outside Marion’s city limits.  However, with Hillary Clinton having all but wrapped up the party’s nomination for President, the election is not likely to draw many of the county’s 2,927 registered Democrats. There is still a vote to pick the party’s nominee for U.S. Senate, but of the seven hopefuls, only two carry any significant name recognition – Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, who is Kentucky’s first openly gay candidate for the post, and Tom Recktenwald, who two years ago ran an unsuccessful primary bid for the state’s other seat in the Senate.

A contested Democratic race for District 1 congressman is on the ballot, but only in appearance. Paducah’s Tom Osborne dropped out of the race after ballots in the Bluegrass State were printed, and all votes for him will be discarded, anointing Hopkinsville’s Samuel Gaskins the party’s choice to face one of four Republicans looking to fill retiring Congressman Ed Whitfield’s seat on Capitol Hill.

Those four candidates – Mike Pape, Jason Batts, James Comer and Miles Caughey Jr. – will be featured in one of two races for 3,230 GOP voters in the county. An outsider at best, Caughey offers only token resistance in what could be a tight three-way race.

Seeking the party’s choice to vie in November for the upper chamber in Congress will be incumbent U.S. Sen. Rand Paul. He is facing two political longshots. Paul ran for President, but ended his bid just after the Iowa caucuses in February.

For whom can I vote?
Kentucky’s primary is closed, meaning voters can only select from candidates of their own political persuasion. If you are uncertain if you are a Democrat or Republican, you may contact County Clerk Carolyn Byford’s office prior to Election Day at (270) 965-3403 or visit the secretary of state’s Voter Information Center.

It is too late to register to vote or change parties.

When can I vote?
Across Kentucky, polls are open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday. In Crittenden County, absentee balloting in Byford’s office ends at 4 p.m. Monday.

Where do I vote?
There are a dozen precincts in Crittenden County, giving every voter a polling location within only a few miles of their home. Precinct numbers, their polling location and IDs are:
  1. Crittenden County Courthouse (C101).
  2. Emmanuel Baptist Church (A101).
  3. Marion Baptist Church (F101).
  4. Marion Ed-Tech Center (D101).
  5. Crittenden County Gun Club (C102).
  6. St. William Catholic Church (E102).
  7. Mexico Baptist Church (D102).
  8. Grace Baptist Church (D102).
  9. Deer Creek Baptist Church (B101).
  10. Tolu Community Center (B102).
  11. Mattoon Fire Department (A102).
  12. Shady Grove Fire Department (F102).
To find out where you vote, visit the aforementioned Voter Information Center online or contact Byford’s office.

Where can I get results?
Local election results will be posted here at The Press Online around 7 p.m. Tuesday and will be available at the courthouse as returns filter in.