Election officials concerned about very low absentee voting so far

Only 21 absentee ballots had been cast for the June 8 New Albany general election as of Monday and officials are concerned about a low voter turnout.

The city has about 5,000 registered voters and only about 1,300 voted in the April 6 political primaries.

With several races settled and others, rightly or wrongly, considered one-sided, incentive to vote may be low. Voters will only have two or three races to decide on.

Another factor is that the election will be the first week in June and some people may be out of town on vacation.

If a person will be out of town June 8, he or she can go ahead and vote at City Hall during regular office hours. It’s very unlikely you will have to wait and the process will only take about five minutes.

State law allows absentee voting in several circumstances:

  • The voter’s being outside of his or her home county on Election Day.
  • Being a student, teacher or administrator at a school whose studies or employment there necessitates absence from the voter’s home county on Election Day.
  • Being the spouse or dependent of such voters above.
  • Being disabled.
  • Being the parent or spouse of a disabled person hospitalized outside the county and more than 50 miles away on Election Day.
  • Being 65 years old or older.
  • Being required to work Election Day throughout the polling hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Absentee ballots can be cast by mail as well.

To cast an absentee vote by mail, a voter needs to request a ballot from the municipal clerk, who will send an application and ballot with instructions on how to complete and return them.

In addition to Monday-Friday office hours, the municipal clerk’s office will be open from 8 a.m. until noon Saturday, May 29, for absentee voting.

The deadline for in-person absentee voting will be at noon Saturday, June 5, and Roberts’ office will be open from 8 a.m. until noon that day.

Absentee ballots returned by mail must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by the Municipal Clerk’s Office within five business days.

On the June 8 ballot, incumbent Republican mayor Tim Kent is being challenged by Democrat James Dean.

Incumbent alderman-at-large Keith Conlee is being challenged by Independent J. Lynn West.

Ward One will see Democrat Jessica Winston, Republican Ashley Kidd and Independent Parks Smith vying for the seat vacated by incumbent Amy Livingston’s decision not to seek re-election.

Ward Two will have Democrat Tim Johnson and Republican Drew Horn competing for the seat vacated by the retirement of long-time alderman Johnny Anderson.

Police Chief Chris Robertson had no challenger.

Democratic Ward Three Alderman Kevin Dale White and Republican Ward Four Alderman Will Tucker won their respective primaries and will be unchallenged in the June 8 general election.

The Village of Blue Springs will have an election June 8 also.

They ended up with six candidates for the five at-large aldermen’s spots and two candidates for mayor.

Incumbent mayor Rita Gentry is being challenged by Mike Walker.

Candidates for aldermen include Bradford Goodwin, Rhonda Pannell Horton, Jimmy Hutcheson, Kevin Rackley, Lorence Strange and Renna Tolbert.

All the candidates for aldermen are newcomers to Blue Springs politics. None of the five current aldermen-at-large chose to seek re-election.

The retiring aldermen are Shirley Allen, Rick Bradford, Lynda Bramlett, Andrew Grisham and Malcom Leath.

The Town of Myrtle will avoid an election June 8. That’s because the same number of candidates qualified as are needed to fill offices. The qualifiers are, in fact, the incumbents so no vote will be necessary.

Serving for the next four years will be Mayor Micheal Canerday and Aldermen Milton McDonald, Cynthia Parks, Dustin Rasberry, Teresa Smith and Sean Wiginton.

New Albany municipal primary elections were moved to the renovated community center on Wilson Street. Election officials said they were pleased with the move so the June 8 vote will be there as well, probably along with subsequent elections.

The change of venue afforded much more space and avoided traffic problems with residents who needed to use county courthouse services.

Anyone with questions about the New Albany election may call Municipal Clerk Frankie Roberts at 662-534-1010 or go to City Hall.


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