Community members visit polls to vote in 2023 primary election

It’s Election Day, which means several people are out visiting the polls and casting their ballots.
Published: May. 16, 2023 at 4:22 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) – It’s Election Day, which means several people are out visiting the polls and casting their ballots.

Warren County

In Warren County, several voters started out their morning visiting the ballot box and casting votes at Living Hope Baptist Church.

While the lines to vote were not overly long, there was a steady amount of people going in and out of the voting area.

“It was very quick,” said Martha Kenney, “They led us through and we knew what we were doing... they knew what they were doing”.

She added that the voting process is something that everyone should be part of. ”I think all of us have a duty to support our country,” Kenney said.

We also spoke with 98-year-old Betty Switzer, who said she has never missed voting in an election.

“I think it’s something that Americans should do,” she said, “They have special forms for people my age...It was just a great day. It was so nice.”

Logan/ Simpson counties

In Logan County, voter turnout started slow but started to pick up closer to midday.

“It certainly hasn’t been as much as we would hope that it would be,” said Bobbie Jean Burnett a Machine Judge for Logan County, “we hope that it will pick up even more.”

Simpson County was looking at a 4% voter turnout that included 306 early voters and 374 that voted in person.

“How our county government operates is directly a result of how these elections turn out,” said Austin Johnson, Simpson County Clerk.

Barren County

A variety of voters turned out to polls across Barren County Tuesday.

Clerk Helena Birdwell said over 1,200 voters turned out for the three days of early voting last week. Recent data from Secretary of State Michael Adam’s office preliminarily reported 1,349 ballots were cast last week between early and absentee voting.

“Early voting here in the office for excused early voting – which is restricted – we only had 31 voters,” Birdwell said. “But when we went out to the extension office and had the early no-excuse voting, we had over 1,200. That was still a decent turnout, but it was not anything like what we had seen in the last couple of years.”

Kentucky’s voting procedures shifted during the pandemic. One of the most significant changes made was the implementation of “voting center” instead of traditional precincts.

Barren County had nine voting centers in place Tuesday, ranging from the south end of the county at Austin Tracy Volunteer Fire Department to the far north end at the Cave City Convention Center.

Abby Dickinson, 18, voted for the first time Tuesday alongside her parents at Glasgow Middle School.

“It’s very important to me because I think it’s like one of the first steps you take as an adult,” she said.

Birdwell said county-wide turnout was not expected to be as high as presidential election years or when local offices are on the ballot.

Election officials are expecting a 10 to 15% turn out by the times polls close this evening. Candidates nominated during Tuesday’s election will be on the November ballot, which will ultimately decide the offices they’re running for.

For a full list of places to vote, click here.

Polls will close at 6 p.m. Tuesday night. Voters in line, when polls close, will still be allowed to cast their ballots.