HAZARD – The deadline to register to vote for next month’s election is quickly approaching, and officials say there is a large interest in this fall’s contest.
The Perry County Clerk’s Office has received numerous requests for absentee ballots so far, noted Perry County Clerk Haven King.
Voting in Perry County is already open in the form of absentee ballots if voters will not be able to vote on Nov. 6. Mail-in ballots can currently be requested from the clerk’s office by phone, mail or in person. Absentee ballots are available to voters who will be out of the county on election day, members of the military confined to a base or overseas, a student or resident temporarily living outside of the county, a voter or spouse of voter who has surgery scheduled that will require hospitalization on election day, and a pregnant woman in her third trimester.
King said he hasn’t seen an election, based upon the volume of request for absentee ballots so far, that has received this much interest this early. With only a handful of local races on the ballot, he noted that the presidential race is likely spurring interest from local voters.
“The interest is due to the presidential election,” King said. “I don’t know that we’ve ever had this much interest.”
President Barack Obama is currently locked in a tight race with Republican challenger Mitt Romney, with polls showing Obama with a slight leading heading into Wednesday’s first debate.
Locally, there will be a few races on the ballot. Democratic incumbent Teresa Reed will be seeking re-election as commonwealth’s attorney against Republican John Hansen, while Democrat Charlie Patterson is facing off against Republican Tom Eckert for circuit clerk. There are also races for Hazard city commission, Buckhorn city commission and Vicco mayor.
King said he’s hopeful for a large turnout this election, and feels it is important for people to cast their ballots and have their voices heard.
“It’s just really important the way everything is, the economy,” he said. “It’s just really important for the people to vote.”
The deadline to register for the Nov. 6 election is Oct. 9 at 4 p.m. at the county clerk’s office. Anyone not registered to vote after the time will not be eiligible to vote in the upcoming election.