Enquirer news services
LOUISVILLE - Long lines and few problems were reported as voters around Kentucky went to the polls Tuesday to weigh in on everything from the presidential contest to a constitutional amendment on gay marriage.
The ballot also included a close, bitter U.S. Senate contest between Republican incumbent Jim Bunning and Democratic challenger Daniel Mongiardo.
Despite heavy rain in the western part of the state, precinct workers reported long lines. In Warren County, voters were lined up before the polls opened at 7 a.m. Some workers said they had never seen lines so long. As many as 50 voters waited for the precinct doors to open in some locations.
Lines also formed early in the south-central city of Somerset, according to poll workers there.
In Jefferson County, Board of Elections spokeswoman Paula McCraney said she expected voter turnout to reach 70 to 72 percent - even with dark, rainy skies that lasted through most of the morning.
Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw concurred.
"Despite the rain, voter turnout in Louisville was steady throughout the morning," Holsclaw said. "That's good, we want them to get out and vote."
Les Fugate, spokesman for the state board of election, said that office in predicting that 70 percent of registered voters will make it to the polls.
"Hopefully, the rain won't dampen that," Fugate said.
In 2000, during the last presidential race, Kentucky had a 61.3 percent voter turnout. The record turnout was in 1992 when around 73 percent cast ballots, he said.
By election eve, there were 56,630 absentee ballots cast with a possible 41,044 additional votes if all people return the ballots sent out by mail.
In the state, there are 2,794,286 registered voters, an increase of 237,471 voters, or 9.2 percent over the number registered in the 2000 presidential election year.
Fayette County also reported a heavy turnout early in the day. People were seen holding signs all over Lexington, some in support of candidates and other in opposition. One voter said he had to wait 40 minutes to cast his ballot.
There were some minor problems at different polling places, officials said, but they were taken care of promptly.
In Jefferson County, Holsclaw said her office received complaints of electioneering because people with signs apparently were too close to the polls and some reportedly approached voters.
"As soon as we get those type of calls, we send someone out there right away," Holsclaw said.
Tuesday's election marked Kentucky's first since 1998 without a statewide electioneering law. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in January that the state law banning candidates and campaign volunteers from within 500 feet of the polls violated free speech rights.
OHIO ELECTION RESULTS:
Ohio provisional ballots may decide presidential election
Voters repeal amendment on gay rights
Ohio Supreme Court: GOP's justices appear to be buttressing majority
Voinovich has no trouble winning 2nd Senate term
Sycamore levy passes; four others fail
Kerry effort falls short in Ohio
Ohio Republicans aim to maintain grip in House, Senate
Ohio election briefs
Ohio Issue 1 passes
Turnout heavy in suburbs
MU students hit the polls
HAMILTON CO. RACES
Cincinnati school levy passes
Hospital tax leading despite opposition
CLERMONT CO. RACES
Clermont County: Republicans remain choice in early count
Clermont County tax issues: Long lines delay counting
BUTLER CO. RACES
Fairfield levy passes
Butler commission: All incumbents being returned
Butler levies: Support strong for health, social care funding
Butler County Sheriff: Jones likely successor to Gabbard
WARREN CO. RACES
Heavy turnout, long lines delay vote count
Kings levy passes by slim margin
Indiana governor: Daniels prevails after tough, costly slugfest
Ballot misprint may affect Ind. school board race
KENTUCKY ELECTION RESULTS:
Alexandria: Voters stick with City Council's six incumbents
Bellevue City Council: Two incumbents losing seats with 4 of 5 precincts counted
Covington: Sanders and Stricker joining City Commission
Campbell County: Ward holds on to retain seat on Circuit Court
Florence City Council: One newcomer, five incumbents win seats
Independence: Four who opposed insurance tax win
Newport: Mayor, all four on council will be keeping their seats
Suburban schools: Campbell, other area boards get fresh faces
Villa Hills, Taylor Mill: Taxes to fix, replace city streets rejected
Urban schools: Newcomer ousts incumbent, snags Newport board seat
N. Ky. election briefs
Popular president dominates Kentucky
Ky. Senate: Bunning wins - but race was close
Ky. House: This time around, Davis prevails
Issue One: Kentucky overwhelmingly says yes to no-gay-marriage
State's determined voters brave long lines, waits, rain
23rd Senate District: Westwood survives challenge by Groob
Ex-Gov. Carroll wins Frankfort seat
State Senate: Republican Thayer wins a full term in new seat
67th House District: Keene's win preserves spot for Democrats
IN THE TRISTATE
Shelter director traveled from needing to helping
Help Habitat by hiring yard rakers
Father inspired mission journey
Cone throw may bring legal action
Police dogs could get TV time at competition
Harrison man charged in auto fatals
Exhibit to spotlight 350 years of Judaism in America
Medal of Honor graves get special markers
Local news briefs
Neighbors news briefs
Good Things Happening
Gay Weber designed jet engines for GE
Time of change in Crestview Hills
Waltz or swing, timid students learn to let go
Florence Freedom has a deal
$545,000 grant to bolster Ky. health-care work force
N. Ky. news briefs
Jewelry gone after autopsy of corpse
N.Ky. schools' education guide available online
Murder counts filed in wreck that killed 2