Grayson County voters heading to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 6, will have a number of races to cast ballots in.
There’s the obvious “big names” on the marque: the contest for the presidency of the United States. And depending on where voters live, they may have their choice among the dozen candidates slugging it out for six seats on the Leitchfield City Council.
Some lower-key races, though, are seeing stiff competition as well.
County-wide, voters will pick someone to represent them in Congress for the next two years, the state House of Represen-tatives and the state Senate, a Common-wealth’s Attorney and a circuit court clerk, and weigh in on “wildlife control.”
In all, voters can choose among five pairs of candidates for president. Beyond the headline-grabbing Democrats (incumbents Barack Obama and Joe Biden) and Republicans (Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan), the ballot includes choices for the Green Party (Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala), the Independent Party (Randall Terry and Missy Smith) and the Libertarians (Gary Johnson and James Gray).
In the race for the 2nd Congressional District seat, incumbent Brett Guthrie, a Republican, faces challenges from Democrat David Lynn Williams, Independent Andrew Beacham and Libertarian Craig Astor. None are expected to be serious contenders to Guthrie, who is seeking his third two-year term in office.
In fact, most of the candidates in the Congressional race haven’t visited Grayson County; Astor was in Leitchfield Tuesday morning, and Guthrie is scheduled to be at the Farmer’s Feed Mill restaurant from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
Running unopposed are state 5th Senate District candidate Carroll Gibson of Leitchfield and 17th House District candidate C.B. Embry Jr. Both incumbents are Republicans.
Also on the ballot statewide is a proposal to amend Kentucky’s constitution to protect people’s rights to fish and hunt. The little-discussed amendment was placed on the ballot by Kentucky legislators, easily passing the House and Senate in 2011, despite some criticism that there was no threat to hunting or fishing.
It is expected to pass easily — in fact, no political action committees have filed to raise money for groups on either side, according to the state Registry of Election Finance.
Kentucky is one of three states considering such constitutional amendments this year. Idaho and Nebraska are the others, with Mississippi expected to have a similar vote in two years. In all, 14 states have recently amended their constitutions to protect hunting and fishing, according to the National Rifle Association.
County voters will also be able to cast ballots supporting Commonwealth’s Attorney candidate David M. Williams, a Republican, and circuit court clerk Stacie Blain, a Democrat. Both are running unopposed.
In Caneyville, the incumbent city commission members — Janice Minton, Deborah Embry, Scott Majors and Connie Gootee — are all unopposed in their bids for re-election. In Clarkson, city commissioners Scotty Gore, Keith Higdon, Kay Gibson and Bon Vincent are also unopposed in their campaigns for re-election.
Depending on where they live in the county, voters will have the choice to cast ballots for Kendall Childress, Jerry Shartzer, Michael Shull and Molly Terry for soil and water conservation district representatives. All are running unopposed.
Three districts of the Grayson County Board of Education have seats up for grabs Nov. 6. Vaeria Hayes-Hicks and Matthew Wiseman are facing off in the 1st District, which includes the Horntown, Clarkson, Big Clifty and Millerstown areas. In the 2nd District, which covers the Anneta, south Leitchfield and Arlington areas, Bill Allen and Charlotte Gower are vying for the seat. In the 4th District, which includes the west and north Leitchfield areas as well as Falls of Rough and Short Creek, Carolyn Thomason is running unopposed.
Leitchfield voters will choose among incumbents Margaret Alvey-Fey, Raymond “Tooty” Cottrell, Billy Dallas, Steven Elder, Leon Shaw and Kelly Stevenson and challengers Margie Decker, Clayton Miller, Harold Miller, Rick Minton, Nick Ramsey and Jerry Schlosser for six available seats.
The polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and anyone in line at 6 p.m. will still be able to cast a ballot.
According to the Grayson County Clerk’s office, polling places remain the same as in the May primary. If you are unsure of your polling place, you can go to the Kentucky State Board of Election’s Voter Information Center at https://cdcbp.ky.gov/VICWeb/index.jsp for its location and a sample ballot for your area.
A voting machine will be available at the county clerk’s office until Monday, Nov. 5, for those qualified to cast absentee ballots. The office is open 8 to 4 weekdays.
To qualify to vote absentee, you must:
* Be out of the county on Election Day.
* Be a member of the military or a military dependents.
* Be a student or someone else temporarily living outside the county.
* Have surgery scheduled that will require hospitalization on Election Day, or be the spouse of such a patient.
* Be a pregnant woman in her third trimester.