Tuesday’s election will be anything but normal

Posted June 16, 2020 at 12:43 pm

The anything-but-normal 2020 primary election has been underway for several weeks, not just by candidates seeking various political party nominations, but by voters taking part in the election itself.

The mail-in balloting process, as well as voting by appointment on the voting machine set up in the clerk’s office, has been ongoing for sometime.

Walk-in voting was generally reserved for voters who were not going to be in their county of residence on election day. However, this primary year, all registered voters can cast a ballot by making an appointment in advance.

The deadline to vote on the walk-in machine at the courthouse is 4 p.m. Monday, June 22.

But next Tuesday, June 23, almost a month after the original primary date was scheduled, some people who opted not to mail in ballots will have their opportunity to cast a ballot at one polling place.

A somewhat long line is expected throughout the day next Tuesday at the Clinton County Courthouse, the only location where voting machines will be utilized on election day.

All other precincts, those in the county and other locations at the Community Center in Albany, will not be open.

State and national officials have been urging voters, due to the concerns created by the COVID-19 pandemic, to vote by mail -in ballot to avoid close contact at polling places to try and prevent the spread of the virus.

A total count of all votes will continue through June 30, as the mail will be checked for mail-in ballots throughout that day. The only ballots that will be counted by election officers next Tuesday will be those cast at the courthouse, either by previous walk-in voting or during election day itself.

Although the mail-in vote response has gone better than expected in the county up to now, many voters will still be opting to not mail in votes, but brave possible long lines to vote “in person” on the voting machine.

Although there are only a handful of actual races on the primary ballot, there are still several names listed, especially on the Democratic Party side, as most candidates for President did not withdraw from the race in time to have their names removed from the Kentucky ballot.

There are only two Democratic races that appear on the Clinton County ballot, with a total of 22 names for President and U.S. Senate, with 12 and 10 names for each, respectively.

In the Democratic Presidential primary, former Vice President and presumptive nominee Joseph Biden is listed along with the following: Pete Buttigieg, John K. Delaney, Tom Steyer, Tulsi Gabbard, Michael Bennet, Michael R. Bloomberg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Deval Patrick, Andrew Yang and Elizabeth Warren.

There is also an “uncommitted” slot in which voters can cast a ballot if they are not committed to either candidate in the race.

Some 10 Democrats are running for their party’s nomination for U.S. Senate in Kentucky, with Amy McGrath apparently being the frontrunner in the race according to most polls and news sources. Other than McGrath, the following candidates names are listed on the ballot: Jimmy C. Ausbrooks, Charles Booker, Mike Broihier, Maggie Jo Hilliard, Andrew J. Maynard, Eric Rothmuller, John R. Sharpensteen, Bennie J. Smith, and Mary Ann Tobin.

In Clinton County, there are only three total races on the Republican primary ballot, but half the number of total candidates, with some 11 GOP hopefuls running for office.

In the Presidential primary race, incumbent Donald J. Trump is the only candidate on the ballot in Clinton County. However, there is a choice to cast an “uncommitted” vote in the race.

A total of eight candidates are seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Kentucky, as incumbent frontrunner and current U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is being challenged on the ballot by seven other candidates.

Those on the U.S. Senate ballot on the GOP side, other than McConnell, include: Nicholas Alsager, Wendell K. Crow, Paul John Frangedakis, Louis Grider, Naren James, Kenneth Lowndes, and C. Wesley Morgan.

The only other race on the primary ballot in Clinton County appears to be a “winner takes all” race for the 83rd State Representative District seat being vacated by long-time Republican Representative Jeff Hoover of Jamestown.

In that hotly contested race, Joshua Branscum of Russell County is running against Mark F. Polston of Pulaski County, with Clinton County possibly playing a key role in deciding the outcome of that race, which is expected to be close both in the county and district-wide.

There are no Democrats seeking the 83rd District State Representative seat.

U.S. Representative James Comer, Congressman of the First District, which includes Clinton County, has no opponent either in the primary or general election and will apparently return to Washington in 2021 to begin serving a second term.

A few local non-partisan races, including one (of three) school board races that is contested, the Albany City Council race, where six members serve and there are only seven candidates, and Soil Conservation District Board members will be on the ballot.

In the latter, only three SCD incumbents filed, meaning the fourth member will likely be seated via a write-in campaign.

Polls at the courthouse will open next Tuesday morning at 6 a.m. and close at 6 p.m., or when the last person in line at that time has had a chance to vote.

Anyone wishing to vote by mail-in ballot, or walk-in on the machine, may contact the Clinton County Clerk’s Office at 606-387-5943 to make an appointment to walk in to vote, or apply for a mail-in ballot, or for any other election related information.