Upcoming election a non event for voters

2011-11-03T23:00:00Z Upcoming election a non event for votersMARLA TONCRAY marla.toncray@lee.net Ledger Independent
November 03, 2011 11:00 pm  • 

It's an election that just isn't getting a lot of talk.

And with little talk, turnout at the polls for Tuesday's gubernatorial election is expected to be low, according to county clerks in the Buffalo Trace Region.

Secretary of State Elaine Walker is projecting a voter turnout of 25 to 28 percent, which compares to a 37.8 percent turnout in the 2007 election.

In Lewis County, Clerk Glenda Himes said she "would be tickled to death to get 25 percent" turnout, but with so little exposure to the race, there are citizens who are unaware there is even an election coming up.

Jarrod Fritz, Fleming County clerk said his county usually runs higher in turnout than the state, so he could see 30 percent turnout.

Bracken County Clerk Rae Jean Poe said she expects a 20 to 25 percent turnout, based on the 10 percent turnout seen during the primary in May.

"There's just not a lot of talk about it," said Poe. Bracken County went with the Democratic candidate in the 2007 governor's race, but went Republican in the 2008 presidential race, Poe said.

Mason County Clerk Stephanie Gallenstein also expects a 20 to 25 percent turnout, based on absentee voting counts, which are down.

Both Himes and Fritz also said absentee voting is low, with only 52 votes cast in Lewis and 110 in Fleming County.

According to Walker's office, absentee votes cast in county clerk offices totals 8,339, down about 70 percent from 2007. The absentee voting deadline was Nov. 1.

Voter registration in Kentucky is 2,944,603, a .9 percent increase from May 2011, according to Walker's office.

Registration numbers are also up for Republican and Independent parties in the state: Republican up 1.4 percent, or 15,948, for a total of 1,100,930 voters; Independent up 2.5 percent, or 5,101, for a total of 204,668.

Walker's office also reports Democratic registration maintains the majority and it up slightly as of October with 1,639,005 voters, up .3 percent or 5,717, compared to decrease in May 2011 of 1.7 percent.

The changes in voter registration are also noted in Fleming and Mason counties, where Republicans are increasing their numbers against smaller gains for Democrats.

With 10,247 registered voters in Fleming County, Fritz noted the Democratic party has dropped from 7,028 in November 2010 to 7,008 in November 2011, while during the same time registered Republicans rose from 2,676 in 2010 to 2,803 in 2011. The number of "other" registered voters, such as Independents has moved from 392 in 2010 to 436 this year.

Fritz also provided statistics that show in February 2008, Fleming County has 7,091 Democrats; 2,568 Republicans; and 362 Other registered voters.

"National politics takes a play in this," said Fritz.

In Mason County, Democrats gained 28 registered voters for a total of 7,941 compared to 7,913 in January 2011. Registered Republican voters have increased by 117, moving from 3,178 in January to 3,295 today; with "other" voters moving from 777 in January to 814 now. Mason County has a total of 12,050 registered voters, Gallenstein said.

Precincts remain mostly the same in all counties since the May primary election. One slight difference, the Black Oak precinct has moved from the former volunteer fire department building to the new fire department building on the some road.

In Mason County, voters in Maysville 1 precinct (downtown) are reminded they now vote at the Mason County girls gymnasium downtown instead of the Mason County Justice Center, which changed with the May primary.

"Anyone that is uncertain where to vote or if they have moved, should call their clerk's office before Tuesday so we can help them," said Gallenstein, a statement echoed by Fritz, Himes and Poe.

Voting takes place from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 8. Kentucky law prohibits electioneering within 300 feet of polling locations.

Copyright 2015 Ledger Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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