Voter turnout better than usual in Boyle

Published 4:44 pm Tuesday, November 6, 2018

With only a few hours left to vote Tuesday, precincts around Boyle County were reporting above-average to strong voter turnout.

Election Sheriff John Drake opens the door to his polling place at the Boyle County Fire Department headquarters on Lebanon Road Tuesday afternoon. (Photo by Ben Kleppinger)

An afternoon survey of election officials at seven Boyle precincts — SS. Peter and Paul, Boyle County Courthouse, Lexington Avenue Baptist, Streamland, Shakertown, Millennium Park and Boyle County High School — found turnout was good across the board.

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“We’re running out of ballots,” said Sue Gentry, an election official for the Streamland precinct. “They’re having to bring us more from the courthouse.”

Debbie Lamblin, an election official for the Lexington Avenue Baptist precinct, said there had been a steady flow of voters all day long. Lamblin has been helping conduct elections in Boyle County for more than 10 years.

It’s “probably the best I’ve seen it in many years,” she said. “… We have had several voters that are under the age of 21 — probably more than we have had in the past, and that’s encouraging.”

In the large Boyle County High School precinct, Election Clerk Randal Carter said more than 460 people had voted by 4 p.m., a good turnout for the precinct.

“The primary was slow; this has been busy,” said Election Judge Lyda Smalley, who was running the precinct with Carter. Smalley, Carter and Smalley’s sister, Mary Sleet, have been working as a team on election days for more than 10 years.

“It’s the right thing to do to serve your community,” Sleet said.

“You get to see a lot of people, too,” Smalley added.

From left, Boyle County Courthouse precinct election officials Leo Hill, Ken Binder, Barbara Ferguson and Mary Conley wait to help people vote Tuesday afternoon. (Photo by Ben Kleppinger)

Another longtime team of election officials was working the Boyle County Courthouse precinct. Mary Conley, who also works as Boyle County’s treasurer and deputy judge-executive, said she, Barbara Ferguson, Ken Binder and Leo Hill have been at it for close to 10 years. The four make guesses each year on what turnout will be; Conley said she has yet to be the closest.

“We’re an ornery bunch. Honorable, but ornery,” Hill joked. “… We like to take pride in what we do.”

Hill said his team is always kind and courteous to voters “because we want them to come back and vote again.”