Since it will be May 2022 before the next scheduled local elections there's really not much going on politically in Pulaski County except a buzz around barbershops about who may run for city and county offices.

The filing window is open for local candidates but there is no hurry because of election-free 2021.

Of course, Steve Kelley has made it clear he intends to run for another term as judge-executive.

He will have opposition. Marshall Todd, a Nancy building contractor, has said he will be a candidate for county judge. Tommy Turner, retired state representative, is considering a run for county's top elective office, rumors are circulating Dwight Sears, Somerset-based member of the State Board of Elections, might get in the race, and Mark Ranshaw, 4th District magistrate, has been suggested as a candidate for county judge.

Also, Todd Dalton, retired Post 11 Commander, Kentucky State Police, has said he will run for sheriff if Sheriff Greg Speck doesn't, and Speck has told the Commonwealth Journal he is serving his last term in the sheriff's office.

Elections in Pulaski County and the state may never be the same. Pandemic mandates changed 2020 elections in a way many people liked. Three weeks of early voting, centralized voting locations and no-excuse absentee voting attracted nearly 32,000 voters, an all-time record, during the recent General Election.

Of course, the Kentucky General Assembly, now in session, will have to change voting patterns if lawmaker choose to do so.

Mark Vaught, election coordinator for Pulaski County, said this week he favors early voting and centralized voting places. Same sentiment has been expressed around the courthouse after Pulaski County Board of Elections drew statewide attention for the efficient way it handled COVID-19 mandated changes.

During the 2020 election cycle, Pulaski County had six voting locations during the primaries and 10 locations during the General Election. With electronic polling books any voter can go to any consolidated precinct and vote. Swipe of a person's driver's license through an e-poll book flashes all necessary voting information on a computer screen.

Centralized voting places cut tabulation time by hours (10 precincts to electronic tabulate instead of 56) and Pulaski County Board of Elections established an absentee ballot counting team that assured most mail-in ballots were counted by the end of voting on Election Day. Absentee ballots, like ones voted at the precincts, are tabulated by optical scanners.

What happens to Pulaski County's traditional 56 precincts prior to pandemic changes? Will the former voting places be used again?

Nobody knows at this point. Depends on what legislators do.

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