4 Kentucky Primary By: Jordan Kelch, Public Relations The 2018 Kentucky Primary took place on Tuesday, May 22nd, with a statewide turnout of roughly 23.54%. With over 3.3 million registered voters, there were 792,688 ballots cast. Interestingly enough, Jefferson County – which typically leads the Commonwealth in turnout – came in at 17.3%. Still, with 232 polling locations and 623 precincts, Jefferson County’s operation is by far the largest in the state, relying on over 2,400 election officers as well as a large portion of the JCCO staff. The 22nd started out simply enough. As with all closed primaries, Democrats voted their own, individual ballot with Republicans doing the same; Independents, or members of another party (Green, Libertarian, etc.), were only able to vote the non-partisan ballot which mainly featured Judge’s races. The typical primary turned irregular when Danny Alvarez, a Louisville attorney and candidate for Judge 9th Circuit, and the highest vote-getter in his race, passed away unexpectedly one day later. Not only did this tragic circumstance cast a pall over the election results, it also raised the question: what happens now? While the top two vote-getters of a Judge’s race typically move forward to the November General Election, Mr. Alvarez’s passing precipitated a circumstance where the second-place candidate, Tanisha Hickerson, would advance alone. Karen Faulkner, the candidate who came in third-place for District Judge 9th Circuit, was only 17 votes shy of tying Ms. Hickerson. Therefore, a recanvassing was requested, one which solidified the fact that Ms. Hickerson received 22,470 votes and Ms. Faulkner received 22,453 votes. A day after the recanvassing, Ms. Faulker went to court, requesting a restraining order with hopes of holding off state certification of Mr. Alvarez’s votes. By doing so, the certification of Ms. Hickerson’s nomination as the sole candidate in November would also be put on hold. The request was granted, and while the Kentucky State Board of Elections certified all votes on Tuesday, June 5th, they did not move forward certifying the race for Judge 9th Circuit. The results of this legal matter are pending. The recanvassing, which took place May 31st, included another race with a razor- thin margin, and that was the battle for State Representative 43rd Legislative District. Everett Corley received 9 more votes than his opponent Denise Raine. As with District Judge 9th Circuit, the numbers processed by the Election Center were found to be an exact match to Election Day’s results. Along with tight races and unexpected developments, Jefferson County’s Primary was memorable for the debut of brand new voting equipment. After many months of planning and preparation, the DS200 and ExpressVote machines, along with new voting booths, were unveiled to the public. Purchased from the company Elections Systems & Software (or ES&S), the DS200 is the last word in modern voting machinery. With advanced security features, the DS200 is safe, reliable and accurate. While offering a scantron system like our past equipment, the DS200 also takes digital images of the front and back of every ballot. These images are then accessible via a memory card. With a LED screen atop the ballot box, voters can watch as the machine accepts and then confirms receipt of the transaction. Even the paper ballots, which slide into the DS200, are dropped into a secure crate that automatically locks when disengaged. Best of all, election results are never exposed to the internet and are, therefore, impervious to hacking. As always, the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office and Election Center continue to enhance and improve their services to the community. Along with new voting equipment came updated training practices for all election officers and poll workers. Manuals were rewritten, slideshow presentations were updated, new trainers were instituted, and the process was, as a whole, reconfigured and polished. With primary dust settling, our sights are now set on November. With local, state and federal races, this fall should promise its own blend of surprises, victories, and shake-ups.