Board of Elections expecting large voter turnout

Linda Burnett

The Pulaski County Board of Elections is preparing for a 50 percent turnout November 5 during the upcoming gubernatorial election.

"We're getting ready to order ballots," said County Clerk Linda Burnett. Explaining ballot ordering, Burnett said " ... if there are 1,000 registered voters at a precinct, we're ordering 500 ballots for that precinct."

Turnout in Pulaski County during the May primaries was better than expected, and Pulaski countians traditionally go to the polls during a gubernatorial election, particularly during the General Election in November.

A total of 10,082 votes were cast during the May primaries. This was 22.8 percent of the 44,179 Republicans and Democrats eligible to vote.

"We expect more voters (in November) than during the May primaries," Burnett said. In addition to Republicans and Democrats, more than 3,000 registered as Independents and under other labels are eligible to vote in the General Election.

In addition to electing a governor, lieutenant governor and statewide constitutional officers, Michael O. Caperton, London, and Jacqueline M. Caldwell, Cox's Creek, are vying for the position of Judge of the Court of Appeals, 3rd District, 1st Division, to succeed Debra Hembree Lambert, a Burnside resident elected in November to the Kentucky Supreme Court. Pulaski County is part of the 3rd District and local voters will participate in this nonpartisan judicial contest.

In another twist, electronic polling books (e-poll books) will be used at all precincts during the upcoming General Election. Use of e-poll books in Pulaski County has been delayed because the local Board of Elections, for fear of malfunction, wanted two of the devices at each polling places.

Currently, the county has 82 e-poll books and 112 are needed to put two at each of the county's 56 precincts. The State Board of Elections has appointed a task force to recommend whether the state buys more e-poll books. However, indications are no decision will be made until after the November election.

E-poll books replace traditional roster books that voters sign when they enters a polling place to vote. E-poll books have been used at the last two elections at Price and Somerset 3B precincts and reports indicate the devices were well received by voters.

Burnettt said letters will soon will be sent to precinct officers informing them of upcoming training sessions on how to use e-poll books. These electronic polling books contain individual voting information on the more than 47,000 registered voters in Pulaski County.

When a voter enters a precinct to vote, a precinct clerk will scan the back of his or her driver's license. The e-poll book will scan the county's voter registration list and bring up information on the voter preparing to vote. In case a voter does not have a driver's license, the precinct clerk will type the voter's name into the e-poll book, obtaining information on that voter.

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