Almost 60 percent of Trimble electorate votes as Kentucky sets record in historic election

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By Lorrie Kinkade


The 2008 general election made history not only because of the nation’s choice for president, but also because of record-setting voter turnout in Kentucky.

Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Greyson said last week that unofficial results from Tuesday’s election indicated more than 1.8 million registered voters visited the state’s polls to cast votes in presidential and congressional races, as well as local races in many areas.

But although the 1,825,000 ballots cast by 63 percent of the 2.9 million registered voters in the state set a new record, the old record of 1,809,102, set four years ago, reflected nearly 65 percent of the 2004 electorate.

In Trimble County, more than 3,800 registered voters, 59.3 percent of those 6,429 eligible, cast ballots in last Tuesday’s presidential race. Lower Trimble County numbers were recorded in other races, from 48.1 percent casting ballots for Rick Rand in the unopposed contest for 47th District State Representative to 57.4 percent in the 4th District U.S. Representative race and 58.9 percent in the U.S. Senate contest.

This was down somewhat from the 62.7 percent who turned out for the Bush/Kerry race in 2004, but more than the 2000 Bush/Gore contest that brought 55.3 percent of registered Trimble voters out.

And it is significantly higher than the 33 percent who cast ballots in the May Primary this year.

“I think we had a good turnout here,” Trimble County Clerk Jerry Powell said following the vote count Tuesday night.

Powell said later that the county experienced few technical issues at the polls and all were minor, including a defective cable that prevented a printer from working after the polls had closed. Additionally, his office also received fewer Election Day calls than expected, something he attributes to “people taking care of business early.”

“I think most people made plans early to vote, so they didn’t need help Tuesday. Most of the calls we received were people asking if they were eligible to vote or wanting to know where they voted at,” Powell said.

Precinct workers reported voter turnout was heaviest in the morning hours, but steady throughout the afternoon.

A summary of Trimble votes

Although the Obama/Biden ticket was the choice of the majority of the nation’s voters, John McCain and Sarah Palin won the favor of most registered Trimble countians with 2,239 votes in comparison to 1,484 for the new president/vice president-elect.

In a close race for the U.S. Senate, Democratic challenger Bruce Lunsford pulled out a close win, besting Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell by just 66 votes. The slim margin, however, was not enough when the remainder of the state’s votes were factored in and Kentucky chose not to “Ditch Mitch,” sending the Senate leader back to Washington, D.C. for another term.

Geoff Davis received 414 more votes than his competitor, Democrat Michael Kelley, helping the Republican retain his position as U.S. Representative for the 4th District.

Rick Rand will continue to work for the citizens of the 47th District, as he was unopposed in his race for state Representative.

Incumbents in all three school board races will continue in their positions next January. J.W. Sachleben was unopposed in District 4, Kimberly Temple received over 400 votes more than her closest competitor in District 1 and Scott Burrows received 439 votes compared to his competitor’s 160 in District 5.

In the city of Milton, the commission seats will remain unchanged in 2009, though write-in incumbent Gerald Owen squeaked by with just 7 more votes than Cecil Robak, also a write-in candidate.

The Bedford Commission will, however, see changes in the coming year as Todd Pollock received more votes than any other candidate. He will replace incumbent James Helm on the board.