A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

More than 7500 candidates are on the ballots in Kentucky on Election Day; don’t mind the weather

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Polls are open today for elections and voters in some parts of Kentucky could face some inclement weather.

Severe weather is expected especially for central and eastern Kentucky and it could bring power outages with it. The voting machines have backup battery power and state and local officials are monitoring the weather.
The polls will be open until 6 p.m. for the large mid-term election. More than 7,500 candidates are on the ballot in the commonwealth for the general election.

Click to find your polling place.

A big ballot is usually part of the mid-terms and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said this year is no exception.  In addition to Kentucky’s six Congressional seats, all 100 state House seats and the even-numbered Kentucky Senate seats are at stake.

“But our county races will dominate and hopefully drive up turnout,” Grimes said.  

Many local school districts also have board of education seats up for grabs.

A race that has garnered national attention is the Sixth District Congressional seat, currently held by Republican Andy Barr.  He faces a challenge from Democrat Amy McGrath, a retired Marine Corps pilot.  Most are saying the race is too close to call.

Two races in Louisville are also ones to watch.

Third District Democrat John Yarmuth, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump who is seeking his seventh term in Congress, is being challenged by Republican Vickie Yates Brown Glisson, Gov. Matt Bevin’s former Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary.

Democratic Mayor Greg Fischer is seeking a third term and is being taken on by GOP Metro Council member Angela Leet.

Another unknown factor in Kentucky House and Senate races, where Republicans have supermajorities in both chambers, is the effect of protests by teachers and other public employees during the debate over pension reforms during the 2018 General Assembly.

One already affected in the May Primary was the loss by House Majority Leader Johnathan Shell, R-Lancaster, to Travis Brenda, a Rockcastle County teacher.  There are more than 50 active and retired teachers and other educators on the ballot for the General Assembly.

There is also a proposed constitutional amendment known as “Marsy’s Law” on the ballot. Language of the ballot question, which deals with crime victim notification, was thrown out last month by Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate, who found it vague and uninformative.  He ordered the State Board of Elections not to certify the results pending the outcome of an appeal by supporters, but it remains on the ballot to be voted on.

“Until we have the Supreme Court, which will likely weigh in on the issue, folks should cast their votes, the votes are going to be recorded,” Grimes said. “It’s ultimately whether the vote will actually be certified by the State Board of Elections, whether a court of law is going to allow that.”

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