Low voter turnout was expected in Bell County for Tuesday’s election with only a couple of minor local races on the ballot. But a hotly contested governor’s race helped to draw 5,588 voters to the polls.
“We had a really good day today, the weather was beautiful and the turnout was great,” Bell County Clerk Debbie Gambrel said. “We were probably expecting somewhere around 13 to 15 percent, but it ended up being almost 26.5 percent and that’s wonderful.”
The high turnout caused ballots to run short at several precincts, but the problem was quickly resolved.
“We were not prepared for the big turnout so we did have to get extra ballots for about 21 of the precincts but we made it and everybody got to vote,” Gambrel explained. “There wasn’t anyone who didn’t get to vote because of a ballot not being there. We had a really good day.”
Local elections saw Clarence “Bo” Green win the Middlesboro City Council seat he had been appointed to earlier this year. Green recived 1,062 votes to Patsy Sullivan’s 389 and Scotty Branham’s 226.
Also Chris Arnett was unopposed in running for the Pineville Board of Education seat he had been appointed to fill earlier this year. Arnett received 315 votes.
Republicans fared very well in Bell County in the state-wide races. Matt Bevin received 3,398 votes in the county compared to Andy Beshear’s 2,013. For Secretary of State, Bell voters favored Michael Adams by a 3,737 to 1,617 margin over Heather French Henry. Daniel Cameron received 3,664 votes in Bell Couny compared to Greg Stumbo’s 1,775 in the race for Attorney General. Allison Ball received 3,880 votes in the county in the State Treasurer’s race to Michael Bowman’s 1,434. Bell voters favored Mike Harmon in the race for State Auditor with 3,694 votes to Sheri Donahue’s 1,407. And Ryan Quarles received 3,730 votes in the Bell County to Robert Haley Conway’s 1,419 in the race for Commissioner of Agriculture.
In the non-partisan race for Kentucky Court of Appeals Judge, 3rd District, Machael Caperton received 1,860 votes in Bell County to Jacquelin Caldwell’s 1,781.
Among those voting a straight party ticket in Bell County were 2,157 Republicans, 713 Democrats and 21 Libertarians.