Extra machines in place to deal with record turnout at polls

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By The Staff

SHEPHERDSVILLE - With a record turnout expected, election officials are preparing for the largest day at the polls in Bullitt County history.

Extra voting machines will be placed in 20 of the 44 precincts, according to Bullitt County clerk Kevin Mooney. He is placing enough machines in the precincts to handle the possible 70 percent turnout.

There will also be extra units available in case of a breakdown.

While the presidential election always drives heavier turnouts, a number of local races have also peaked an interest.

In the state House of Representatives, Republican Trina Summers and Democrat Linda Belcher will battle for the 49th district seat.

The winner will serve a two-year term in Frankfort.

In the race for district judge, Jennifer Porter, Nick Raley and John Wooldridge are running for the final two years of Bailey Taylor’s term. Taylor retired this summer and the winner of the non-partisan race will complete the term.

Three non-partisan school board races will also be on the ballot.

In the First District, Charlene McLaughlin and Donna Miller will battle to fill the seat currently held by Mike Robison, who is not running for re-election.

In the Second District, incumbent Gary Wooldridge is being challenged by Marion Arlis Hill.

The Third District will see David Cross, Carl “Bud” Johnson Jr. and Tim Wiseheart run to fill out the last two years of the term formerly held by Debra Johnson.

In the Fourth District, Dolores Ashby is unopposed in her bid to fill the final two years of the term she is currently holding.

And, board chairman Sam Allen is unopposed for a full four-year term in the Fifth District.

In city races, several contested seats will be held.

In Shepherdsville, six Democrats and two Republicans will do battle for the six available seats.

Incumbent Democrats Tony Miller, Stacey Dawson Cline, Bonnie Enlow and Margaret Moore will face challenges from Democrats Don Cundiff and Larry Hatfield, as well as Republicans Alan Wetzel and Scott Ellis.

The top six votegetters will begin a two-year term in January.

The six Mount Washington City Council seats will be filled by the top votegetters among incumbents Brent Wheeler, Gary Lawson, Greg Gentry, Lloyd “Shot” Dooley, Emily Rucker and Barry Armstrong and challengers Dale Walter, Larry Porter, Clifton Hudson, Dennis Griffin and Kent Roby.

The six top votegetters in Lebanon Junction will serve the next two-year terms. Incumbents Tim Sanders, Ozzie Maraman, Charles Waters, Wendy Parrish and Annette House will be challenged by Randall Logsdon, Earl Collins, Mary Allie Phillips, Larry Dangerfield and Jeanie Noltemeyer.

Seven candidates will battle for the six spots on the Fox Chase City Council.

Current officeholders James Hall, Ted Judd, Owen Taylor, William Winbun and Phillip Woodruff will face challenges from Wayne Muscar and Lottie Judd.

In Pioneer Village, six candidates are on the ballot to fill the six council seats. Phillip Radford, Denver Matthews, Darlene Herps, Dorleen Garrett, Peggy Druin and Robert Hester are on the ballot.

In Hillview, declared write-in candidate Wade Prewitt will attempt to break into the top six. Jim Burton, Kim Whitlock, Randall Hill, Tim Boggs, Harry Cooper and JoAnn Wick will be on the ballot having won the May primary.

Only four candidates have filed for the four available seats on the Hebron Estates City Commission.

James Tucker, David Allen, James Duddy and Russell Forshee will be on the ballot.

In the city of Hunters Hollow, long-time commissioner Ronald Parker is the lone person on the ballot. Three other seats will have to be filled later by the commission.

State representatives Jeff Greer, David Floyd and Dwight Butler face no opposition.

For the four seats on the soil conservation board, three names will be on the ballot. Hyte Rouse Jr., Lewis Skidmore and Don Samuels will be on the ballot.

In the race for county surveyor, no name will be on the ballot to fill out the remaining two years on the term.

However, two declared write-in candidates will have the opportunity to earn votes.

John St. Clair, who is currently the appointed surveyor, has served that position for a number of terms.

The other declared write-in candidate will be L. Alan Hartley.

At the top of the ticket, the presidential race will be the Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, as well Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin and Libertarian candidate Bob Barr.

Incumbent Mitch McConnell is facing a challenge from Bruce Lunsford for the U.S. Senate seat.

And Republican Brett Guthrie and Democrat David Boswell will battle for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Ron Lewis.

Mooney said the one thing that can’t be predicted is the length of the lines, especially as 6 p.m. approaches on Tuesday.

The county has 49,357 total registered voters, a record. The state also has a new record number of registered voters.

With a mixture of the old push button machines and the new e-slate machines, Mooney believes there will be enough to handle the load; however, he said there are tips that will make the process go more quickly.

Having your mind made up on how to vote for before entering the polls is a key, said Mooney. Sample ballots will be available for those to look at while waiting in line and The Pioneer News has a total sample ballot in today’s edition.

There is a statutory limit of two minutes for each voter but Mooney said that is rarely enforced unless there is some indication a person is stalling on purpose.

Election workers have been instructed on how much assistance they can offer, especially on the new e-slate machines.

Going to the polls in the middle of the day would also be advisable.

Anyone standing in line at 6 p.m. will have an opportunity to vote.

He expects a good turnout as absentee voting has been brisk. The latest a person who will not be in the county to vote on Tuesday can request an absentee ballot is 4 p.m. on Monday in the clerk’s office.

At this stage, Mooney said the machines have been inspected and are ready to go.

Anyone with questions should contact the elections office on Monday or look on www.pioneernews.net for Mooney’s column on election information. Also, see today’s Pioneer News for a column from the secretary of state on election myths.

The county clerk’s office will be closed all day on Tuesday to the public. However, the election office will be open.