Whitley County Clerk Kay Schwartz is predicting a 48 percent voter turnout during next Tuesday’s General Election.
“It is the topic of every conversation it seems like. It ends up being the topic with our customers. There are some interesting comments. It seems to be that is what is on everybody’s mind right now,” Schwartz said noting that almost all of the election conversation has centered on the presidential race.
As of late Friday afternoon, 465 people had already voted in person via absentee ballot at Schwartz’s offices in Corbin and Williamsburg.
Absentee voting will continue until 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7, which is the day before the election.
Schwartz is anticipating more than 800 votes cast via absentee ballot before Election Day, which will be slightly more than what was cast during the last presidential election. By comparison during the last presidential election in 2012, a total of 788 people voted via absentee ballot.
In 2012, 29.7 percent of registered voters in Whitley County went to the polls to cast their ballots in the presidential race.
Kentucky residents will have six choices for president on the ballot, including: Republican Donald J. Trump, Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, American Delta Party candidate Rocky De La Fuente, Green Party candidate Jill Stein and independent candidate Evan McMullin.
There is also a contested statewide race for U.S. Senator with incumbent Republican Rand Paul facing challenger Jim Gray.
Locally, 82nd Representative Regina Bunch is being challenged in her bid for re-election by Democrat Bill Conn.
In addition to these races, there are a handful of other contested non-partisan races on the ballot, including races for Corbin City Commission, Williamsburg City Council and Williamsburg school board.
The Corbin City Commission will be getting at least two new members, and possibly an entirely new commission with two incumbents and five challengers running for four-seats. The race includes incumbents Ed Tye and Bruce Hodge, in addition to challengers, David Grigsby Hart, Trent Knuckles, Alex Onkst, Andrew Pennington and Bruce Rains.
Incumbents Suzie Barton Razmus and Joe Shelton opted not to seek re-election.
Six incumbents and one challenger are running for six seats on the Williamsburg City Council. Incumbents Loren Connell, Patty Faulkner, Richard Foley, Erica Harris, Mary Ann Stanfill and Laurel West are facing challenger Adam Sulfridge. Incumbent Williamsburg board member Kim Broome White opted not to run for re-election and three people are vying for two seats on the board.
Incumbent Allan Steely is running for re-election in addition to Ed McGrath and Jason Caddell.
Unlike the May Primary election, where Republicans could only vote for Republican candidates and Democrats could only vote for Democratic candidates, voters are free to cross party lines in Tuesday’s General Election.
For instance, Democrats, who voted for Bernie Sanders for president in the Democratic Primary, are free to vote for Trump, the Republican, in the General Election Tuesday, or Republicans, who voted for Ted Cruz in the Republican Presidential caucus, could vote for Clinton, the Democrat. Precinct changes
Several Whitley County residents, who haven’t voted since the last presidential race in 2012, will find that some voting precinct locations have changed since that time. The Highland Park and Savoy voting precincts are now located at the rear of Cumberland Regional Mall in Williamsburg.
The Meadow Creek voting precinct has moved to the old Rockholds elementary school, which more recently served as an alternative school.
The Jellico Creek voting precinct has moved to the old Holt Grocery, which is located off Highway 92W.
The Nevisdale voting precinct has moved to Patterson Creek Volunteer Fire Department.
Polls will be open Tuesday from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.