Early voting turnout light; election drawing closer

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With the May Primary just over a week away, early voting shows a light turnout.

According the County Clerk Mike Corey, only 55 machine absentee votes had been cast as of noon Monday.

Corey noted that those who know they are going to be out of the county on May 20 may file and affidavit and cast their votes on the absentee machine in his Barbourville office.  

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Machine absentee voting will continue through 4 p.m. Monday, May 19. Until then, qualified absentee voters may vote between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Corey said that as of Monday, 147 ballots have been processed, meaning the ballots have been sent out, adding that he does not have a count on the number of paper ballots that have been mailed back in.

He noted that in order to be counted, all paper absentee ballots must be received via mail in his office by 6 p.m. election day.

Corey said this year’s Election School is set for 1:30 p..m. Saturday in the Circuit Court Room of the Knox Courthouse.

He noted that voters in KayJay and Trosper will return to the KayJay Park for voting this time, adding that since the KayJay flood of 2011, voters have been temporarily voting at Artemus.

Other than the move back to KayJay, Corey said there are no precinct changes in store for this year’s elections.

Corey said his office will have the standard number of four election officers at each precinct, with additional officers slated for some heavier voting precincts such as Boone Height, East Corbin and possibly others.

He commended his election officers for the job they do. “We have a great group of election officers. They are very accurate,” Corey said.

Corey said voters should take some form of identification to the polls when they go to vote. “Kentucky accepts driver’s licenses, Social Security cards, credit cards, or a photo ID,” he said, adding that if the voter is asked for ID but doesn’t have one, they will be allowed to get one and return to vote.

“If the election officer knows you personally they don’t have to ask for one,” he added.

Corey said members of the County Board of Elections will be on duty all day to handle any voting issues..

The board is made up of Corey, Republican member George Hammons, Democrat member Joe Hopper, and Knox County Chief Deputy Derek Eubanks.

“We will field voter questions all day,” Corey said, adding that because this is a Primary Election, voters can only vote for candidates in their party, adding that those registered as “Independent” will only be allowed to vote in non-partisan races such as the race for Family Court Judge.

He noted that those who registered to vote after April 21 will not be eligible to vote in the Primary.

Those who changed their party affiliation after Dec. 31 also will only be allowed to vote in non-partisan judicial races.