Jackson Countians joined fellow Kentuckians in casting their ballots for statewide offices on Tuesday. It was expected that voter turnout would be low and that only a small fraction of Kentuckians would make decisions at the polls that would affect all of the state’s residents. A low turnout also made the potential outcome difficult to measure. “Turnout likely will be so low that I do not trust the limited polling data available,” said Stephen Voss, a political science professor at the University of Kentucky.
Less than one-third of registered voters in Kentucky are expected to turn out on Election Day on Nov. 5, according to Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. Grimes tracks absentee ballots as an indicator of final turnout on Election Day, according to a press release. Of the commonwealth’s more than 3.4 million registered voters, about 1 million — or 31% — will cast a ballot, Grimes predicts.
In the 2015 general election, 30.7% of Kentuckians voted. Though this year’s estimate represents a slight improvement, Grimes said it is “simply not ok that only a small portion of Kentuckians will possibly elect our next constitutional officers.” According to the Jackson County Clerk’s Office there are 10,116 registered voters (4,986 males & 5,130 females) in the county. This includes 8,400 registered as Republican, 1,268 registered as Democrat and 844 registered as Independent, 75 are registered with the Liberty Party, 10 registered with the Green Party, 3 registered with the Reform Party, and 1 registered as Social WK. County Clerk Donald “Duck” Moore expected that voter turnout would be comparable to the general election turnout across the state. On Tuesday morning when interviewed, Clerk Moore indicated that his office had received 208 early votes which was indicative of a decent turnout. “The polls are reporting slow but steady voter turnout which is a good sign”, Moore said. After the polls closed and the votes were tallied a total of a over 3,500 votes had been cast in Jackson County which represents approximately 35% of the registered voters.
One of the most watched contest here in Jackson County was the Governor’s race with incumbent Republican Governor Matt Bevin facing the Democratic challenger Andy Beshear. The governor has quarreled with members of his own party since taking office and alienated a bunch of voters with contentious issues such the state employees’ pension plan, which has given the Kentucky GOP a bumpy road since its majority took control of the legislature in 2016. However, President Trump and Vice President Pence have both made visits to the region in support of the incumbent republican governor.
Incumbent Republican Gov. Matt Bevin cast himself as a close ally and defender of President Donald Trump, in a state the President won in 2016 by nearly 30 points. Republicans here hope that Trump’s popularity in the state can carry Bevin, who is widely seen as unpopular, to victory over his Democratic challenger Andy Beshear.
Democrats, on the other hand, were hoping that Bevin’s unpopularity and a focus on local -- not national -- issues could lead them to victory on Tuesday.
Unofficial Vote for Jackson County (state results unavailable at press time)
1) Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky
a. Matt Bevin & Ralph Alvarado (Republican) -- 3,214
b. Andy Beshear & Jacqueline Coleman (Democrat) -- 749
c. John Hicks & Ann Cormican (Libertarian) -- 86
2) Secretary of State
a. Michael G. Adams (Republican) -- 3,426
b. Heather French Henry (Democrat) -- 566
3) Attorney General
a. Daniel Cameron (Republican) -- 3,480
b. Gregory D. Stumbo (Democrat) -- 541
4) Auditor of Public Accounts
a. Mike Harmon (Republican) -- 3,448
b. Sheri Donahue (Democrat) -- 421
c. Kyle Hugenberg (Libertarian) -- 71
5) State Treasurer
a. Allison Ball (Republican) -- 3,561
b. Michael Bowman (Democrat) -- 422
6) Commissioner of Agriculture
a. Ryan F. Quarles (Republican) -- 3,517
b. Robert Haley Conway (Democrat) -- 407
c. Josh Gilpin (Libertarian) -- 67
7) Judge of the Court of Appeals 3rd Appellate District 1st Division
a. Jacqueline M. Caldwell -- 1,274
b. Michael O. Caperton -- 1,206
Check with our online edition and facebook page for a complete report of the statewide results as soon as they are available!