Candidates seeking state offices are expected to campaign this weekend in Floyd and Johnson counties as they make their final push for election on Tuesday.
Keith Bartley, chair of the Floyd County Democratic Party, reports that Andy Beshear, candidate for governor, Jacqueline Coleman, candidate for lieutenant governor, Greg Stumbo, candidate for attorney general, Heather French Henry, candidate for Secretary of State and “possibly other” democratic candidates are scheduled to participate in a campaign rally that begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2, at Beaver Valley Golf Course in Allen.
The Kentucky Republican Party also announced Wednesday that Gov. Matt Bevin will host a rally at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Hutch Ford dealership in Paintsville as part of his “Eastern Kentucky bus tour.”
These candidates are seeking state offices in six races that are up for grabs on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Voters will elect a governor and lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state auditor, state treasurer and commissioner of agriculture.
Although these races will determine Kentucky’s highest-ranking leaders, Floyd County Clerk Chris Waugh doesn’t have high expectations for voter turnout.
In 2015, the last time the governor’s race was on the ballot, only 26.7 percent of voters in Floyd County — and 30.6 percent of voters statewide — turned out to the polls. Turnout was 21.02 percent in Floyd County during the primary election in May, with 6,293 Floyd County residents casting ballots.
Waugh expects about 10 percent of Floyd County voters to turn out next week, saying that forecasted rain may dampen turnout.
He did report, however, that more people will cast absentee ballots this year. As of Wednesday, he said 150 people had voted on the absentee ballot machine at the county courthouse. In the 2015 election, only 136 people used the machine for absentee ballots. The increase, he said, was brought about because of changes in the absentee voter laws, which now permit people to vote early if they are elderly or have a disability that could keep them from making it to the polls on Tuesday.
Waugh encourages Floyd County voters to vote.
“If you make it a priority to get out and vote, you’ll get out and vote,” he said. “I just hope that they do. These are very important offices. These are the leaders of our state. We all should get out and vote and have a voice in who that should be.”
Waugh’s office reports that there is only one precinct change in the county this year, affecting Martin. Voters of that precinct will cast ballots at the Renaissance Learning Center, near the Martin Fire Department on Varia Mountain in Martin. The polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Election Day.
Waugh reported that some Floyd County voters will be asked to fill out new voter registration cards when they turn out to the polls on Tuesday.
In September, the Kentucky Democratic Party alleged that the state board of elections had been “deactivating” registered voters, and the Kentucky Democratic Party filed a lawsuit to stop the agency from removing 175,000 voters in Kentucky from the voter rolls.
On Oct. 14, Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate issued a temporary injunction in the case that required the Kentucky Board of Elections to return the names of about 175,000 Kentucky voters to the master list of voters.
Waugh said the state board of elections has not sent Floyd County a list of voters who were listed as inactive, but he explained that an asterisk will appear by the names of voters labeled as “inactive” on Tuesday.
These voters have not voted in some time, he said, and election officers have been instructed to have those voters fill out new voter registration cards when they come to Floyd County precincts to vote. He said voters labeled as inactive will still be able to cast ballots, however.
Waugh reported that 29,860 Floyd County voters are registered to vote in this election, a decrease of 642 voters since 2015, when 30,502 people were registered to vote in the county.
Voters may check their registration and determine their polling place by visiting, govoteky.com or calling, (606) 886-9193.