Absentee balloting begins Friday
Written by Andrew Powell
Friday, 30 April 2010
Early voting in the 2010 countywide election is scheduled to begin April 30.
Early voting in the 2010 countywide election is scheduled to begin tomorrow, April 30.
Voters unable to make it to the polls on May 18 are entitled to vote absentee, either through a mail-in ballot or by machine at the McCreary County Courthouse. State law calls for absentee voting to take place for 12 days prior to the Primary Election.
McCreary County Clerk Eric Haynes said Wednesday he has mailed nearly 170 applications for absentee ballots. Around 150 had been mailed out at this same point in the 2008 Presidential Election.
“I feel positive saying that all of McCreary County’s registered voters will have every opportunity to exercise their right to vote this election season,” Haynes said.
10,305 of the county’s citizens are registered to vote and eligible to cast a ballot this election season. Absentee balloting, depending on the voter’s circumstances, can be conducted through a mail-in paper ballot or voting on a machine at the courthouse.
Voting at the courthouse will begin Friday for those eligible to do so. This election, the machines are placed in a secure room near the front lobby of the courthouse. Voters will have to visit the clerk’s office to check their eligibility, sign the voter roster and then proceed to the machine to cast their ballot. Officials from both local political parties approved of the placement of the absentee voting machine.
Absentee voting will continue at the courthouse through May 17. However, mail-in absentee ballots must be postmarked by May 11 for consideration this election season. All absentee ballots are tallied by election board members beginning at 10 a.m. on May 18, Primary Election Day.
There are a variety of reasons why a voter might request to cast an absentee ballot including:
- Advanced age, disability or illness
- Military personnel, their dependents and overseas citizens
- Students who temporarily reside outside their home county
- Other voters, such as those on vacation, who temporarily reside outside the county
- Voters incarcerated, but not yet convicted
- Voters’ employment takes them out of the county during hours the polling place is open
- Voters who will be out of the county on Election Day
- Voters who have surgery scheduled that will require hospitalization on Election Day and their spouse
- Pregnant women in their third trimester
- Election Officials
Voters are restricted as to whether they can use in-house absentee voting or mail-in ballots according to their reason for casting an absentee ballot.
With the election less than three weeks away, other preparations are being made by election officials to ready the county for voting.
Election Board officials, including Tim Corder, Emma Marcum and at-large member Lowell Dolen joined Haynes in inspecting voting machines on Tuesday. Ballots had already been placed on the machines and the board was charged Tuesday with inspecting the machines for operability and security. That process was witnessed by the local media and Joe Harp, a representative of Harp Enterprises, the company that provides voting equipment and assistance to counties throughout the state.
An election training was held with poll workers Tuesday evening and another one is scheduled. Whitley County Clerk Kay Schwartz assisted with the election training, said Haynes, and his staff have undergone election training.
“Nearly everything is ready to go for Election Day,” Haynes said. “I know this is my first election, but I have taken every step possible to make sure everything runs smoothly with no questions asked when May 18 gets here.”
Polls at McCreary County’s 18 voting precincts will open at 6 a.m. on May 18. Vote tabulation will take place in the courtroom of the McCreary County Courthouse that evening, following the closing of the polls at 6 p.m.
For more information about voting absentee in McCreary County, your registration status or polling place for the election, please contact McCreary County Court Clerk Office by calling (606) 376-2411. You can also go online to gain other pertinent information about this election by visiting www.elect.ky.gov or www.mccrearycountyclerk.com.