The Bell County Board of Elections held a regular meeting on Tuesday to discuss event dates for the upcoming election in May. The first day for absentee voting will be on May 2 in the Bell County Courthouse.
Bell County Clerk Rob Lincks said there are plans to set up the voting machines on April 21 with machine inspections taking place on May 13. Candidates will be invited to the inspections to guarantee ultimate transparency, said Lincks.
Election school is slated for May 15 at 5:30 p.m. at the Bell Theater. During election school, precinct officers (two Democrat and two Republican) will go through the motions on what will happen on Election Day.
Officers will also receive election booklets telling them all about the machines and the process and rules of Election Day. The booklet will also have important phone numbers officers will call in case there are issues with the machines.
During the meeting, Mike Parker was sworn in as the republican election commissioner. The position was previously Lincks prior to his appointment as county clerk.
In other election related news, the deadline to register to vote is April 21. The clerks’ will accept voter registration cards until the close of business on that day. Mail-in voter registration applications must be postmarked by April 21.
You can check your current registration status on the Voter Information Center, https://cdcbp.ky.gov/VICWeb/index.jsp. To obtain a registration card or for more information about registering to vote, visit www.elect.ky.gov or contact your county clerk or the State Board of Elections at (502) 573-7100.
Below are several important voting laws:
• To be eligible to vote, you must be a U.S. citizen, be a Kentucky resident for at least 28 days before election day, be at least 18 years old by the date of the next general election, not be a convicted felon, or if convicted of a felony offense, must have obtained a restoration of civil rights, not have been adjudged “mentally incompetent,” and not claim the right to vote anywhere outside Kentucky.
• Minors who are 17 years old but will be 18 years old on or before the General Election on Nov. 4, 2014, are eligible to register and vote in the upcoming Primary; however, they are not eligible to vote in special elections until they are 18 years old.
• Voters who have recently moved need to update their voter registration information by no later than April 21, 2014. Pursuant to KRS 116.025(6), individuals who move from one county to another county while the voter registration books are open and fail to update their registration information before the voter registration books close are not permitted to vote in the Primary.
• Changes in party affiliation for the 2014 Primary Election were due by Dec. 31, 2013. Voters who changed their party affiliation after that date are not eligible to vote in partisan races in the Primary, although they may vote on nonpartisan races on the May Primary ballot. Voters who changed their party affiliation after Dec. 31, 2013, may still vote for their candidate(s) of choice in the November General Election.
• Under the Secretary of State’s recently established Address Confidentiality Program, victims of domestic violence and sexual assault can register and update their registration while keeping their names and addresses out of publicly available voter records.
Anthony Cloud can be contacted at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN.