Election is next Tuesday, but many have voted early

Posted October 27, 2020 at 3:15 pm

The November General Election will officially be conducted next Tuesday, November 3, at a trio of local voting locations that voters can choose from in Albany and Clinton County.

However, by election day itself, there is the possibility that the majority of votes cast in this year’s important federal/local election will have already been cast.

As of Tuesday morning, Clinton County had already experienced a 44 percent turnout in the election by combining votes that had been cast by paper absentee ballots and in-person early voting.

According to Clinton County Clerk Nathan Collins, by Monday morning he had received 888 paper absentee ballots and 2,481 voters had cast ballots in-person with early voting.

Clinton County has 7,793 registered voters who are eligible to cast votes in this fall’s general election.

The turnout for this year’s November election in Clinton County and nationwide is expected to be heavier than usual, with some hotly contested races on ballots everywhere.

Due primarily to the COVID-19 pandemic and push for either mail-in or early machine voting to avoid long lines at polling places on election day, many registered voters cast their votes early.

In fact, many voters seem to be in favor of early voting in all races.

The numbers are certain to rise as voters who take advantage of early voting can do so up through next Monday, November 2, in addition to the paper absentee ballots that voters continued to mail in or deliver to the Clerk’s office in person prior to election day.

Hours for early voting are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturday.

Three locations will have walk-in voting on actual election day next Tuesday, and voters in any precinct in the county can vote at the location they choose, those being the Community Center, the Welcome Center or South Kentucky RECC building north of Albany.

Many voters have also used the option of “straight party ticket” voting, which is an option for voters who wish to vote for all candidates in the same party.

The exceptions are local races such as school board, city council and Soil Conservation District board members where individual votes need to be cast.

By far, the most talked about race this year, as in any four-year federal cycle, is that of President of the United States, where incumbent Republican Donald Trump (and running mate Mike Pence) are being challenged by U.S. Senator and former Vice-President Joe Biden (and running mate Kamala Harris), the Democrat nominee.

Three other names will appear on the presidential race ballot, those being Libertarian Jo Jorgensen, Independent Kanye West and Independent Brock Pierce.

Another race being followed closely both in Kentucky and nationally is that of U.S. Senate, where incumbent Republican and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is facing a heavy challenge from Democrat nominee Amy McGrath, who has thus far raised more campaign finances than McConnell.

Also in that race is a third party candidate, Libertarian Brad Barron, who has also done extensive campaigning for the seat.

Another federal race on the ballot is that of U.S. House of Representatives (Congress) in the First District, where incumbent Republican James Comer is being opposed by Democrat James Rhodes.

The one state race on the ballot will see only one name on the ballot, as Republican first-time candidate Josh Branscum has no Democratic opposition. It should be noted, however, that all races have a space for a “write-in” vote to be cast.

There are also a couple of local races on the general election ballot this year, including all six seats that make up the Albany City Council, with only seven candidates in the running.

Those candidates include incumbents Gene Ferrill, Tonya Thrasher, Steve Lawson and Reed Sloan and three newcomers, Scott York, Sarah Wilson-Browning and Joe Stockton.

Incumbent members Tony Delk and Rene York did not seek re-election.

There are three school board seats on the ballot, but only one with opposition, that being in board District 2, where incumbent Sue Irwin is being challenged by newcomer Ronald Albertson.

Gary Norris in District 4 and Leslie Stockton in District 3 are both unopposed in those races.

Four seats will be filled on the Soil Conservation District Board. Only three people filed prior to the filing deadline, including Kathy C. Conner, James Gregory Abston and Roger Beard. However, the fourth and final member will be selected by a write-in campaign with some candidates having announced as running as such. Michial Conner and Steve Peddicord are the write-in candidates.

City council, school board and Soil Conservation board members all serve as non-partisan.

As well as selecting candidates, there are also two lengthy Constitutional Amendment questions on this year’s ballot.

The first question is: “Are you in favor of creating a new section of the Constitution of Kentucky relating to crime victims?”

The second question is: “Are you in favor of changing the term of Commonwealth’s Attorney from six-year terms to eight-year terms beginning in 2030, changes the terms of judges of the district court from four-year terms to six-year terms beginning in 2022, and requiring district judges to have been licensed attorneys for at least eight years beginning in 2022, by amending the Constitution of Kentucky?

A full script of what each amendment would do follows each question on the ballot, with voters simply choosing a “yes” or “no” answer.

Registered voters who have not yet exercised your right and privilege to cast a ballot for the candidates of your choice, there is still time and people are encouraged to do so.

For any questions or more information about the November General Election, contact County Clerk Nathan Collins’ office at 387-5943 and the Clinton County News will have updated information on the election in next week’s November 5 edition.