The following article by Charles Hartley was published on 6 Nov 2016.
Like many of you, on election day I go to my polling place to cast my vote for the candidates of my choice. I walk in, am greeted by friendly people, sign my name on the roster, take my ballot, fill it out and deposit it in the machine, get my little "I voted" sticker, and leave, satisfied that I've done my patriotic duty. I give little thought to the time and effort, and the people who made it possible for me to vote.
However, this time with all the hullabaloo over getting the vote count right, I thought it would be interesting to examine just how it's done.
The process hasn't changed a great deal in the last hundred years, except to maybe get more carefully managed for accuracy.
As you can see on the chart shown at the bottom of this window, in 1906 and 1917 there were 11 voting precincts in Bullitt County with four officials assigned to each one. By 1925 and then in 1940 there were 16 precincts as population grew. If your family has been in the county for that long, perhaps you will recognize a name or two of your own ancestors on this list.
Today there are still four main officers at each precinct: two judges, a clerk, and a sheriff. Each is a private citizen who has been trained to do his or her job. However, as the county's population had grown, so has the number of precincts, now a total of 48.
To be a precinct officer, you must be a registered voter. You cannot serve if you are a candidate for office, or a family member of a candidate for office in that precinct. You also cannot have changed your party affiliation within a year prior to your appointment as an officer.
Among other things, the clerk is responsible for determining that the voter is who he says he is, that he lives in that precinct, and that his name is on the signature roster. Like many folks, I use my driver's license to verify my identity, but identity can also be verified other ways. For example you might be known by a precinct officer, or you might produce another form of identification that contains both a picture and signature in order to cast a ballot.
The two judges, one a Democrat and the other a Republican, are responsible for setting up and operating the voting machine for voters. They also return the election supplies to the County Clerk's office after the polls close. They ensure that the voter gets the proper ballot, and are responsible for informing the precinct sheriff of any real or potential election law violations or irregularities.
The precinct sheriff is responsible for maintaining order at the polling place. He or she must ensure that unauthorized individuals are not creating check-off lists or recording the identity of any voter, and that only persons allowed by law are granted access to the voting room. He is also responsible for placing himself at the end of the voting line at 6:00 p.m. to see that all voters in line at that time are allowed to vote.
The precinct sheriff reports any potential election law offenses to the county clerk, county sheriff, or the State Police.
To maintain impartiality, the clerk and sheriff are from opposite political parties.
These officials arrive by 5:30 in the morning, and don't finish until after the voting is finished, the equipment and supplies are all ready, and the voting tally is complete.
But the whole process of ensuring an accurate election doesn't begin or end with these officials.
As noted on the County Clerk's web site, preparations for election day begin months in advance. All of the election officers needed to operate the 48 precincts on election day must be recruited and trained by the Board of Elections which includes the county clerk, the county sheriff or his representative, and two appointees, one from each major political party. These last two are nominated by their parties.
It is their job to administer election laws and supervise the registration of voters.
The Board of Elections also accepts the filing papers of candidates and their campaign finance reports, places legal advertisements in the newspaper, delivers voting equipment, prepares the ballot, selects polling sites and maps all precincts and legislative subdivisions.
The voting machines are inspected and then sealed before being delivered to the precincts prior to the election. These seals are removed by the precinct workers the morning of the election when they set them up for voting.
After the voting is complete, the precinct workers have a number of specific tasks to complete. They close the voting machines and tabulate the votes. Another task is to ensure that the number of votes processed equals the number of votes recorded on the voting machines which in turn equals the number of signatures in the roster.
After completing a number of summary forms, they seal the machines and return the results to the county clerk's office.
The machines remain locked for 30 days after the election and can only be opened by court order.
The laws and regulations that govern the voting process are much more extensive that I've had space to describe here. They are designed to help ensure an honest, fair election. Will anyone attempt to vote illegally? Almost certainly. Will anyone succeed? Maybe. But if the good folks who man our precincts have anything to say about it, we can all rest assured that the ballot boxes will be filled with honest votes.
So, when you go to cast your vote, be sure to thank these good people for their dedication and service.
|Shepherdsville #1||James Miller||John R. Buckman||O. P. Means||Harrison Foster|
|Cupio #2||James Cundiff||Charles Applegate||J. T. Ferguson||J. A. Smith|
|Zoneton #3||Wilson Summes||William Jenkins||Charles Hackney||James Pope|
|Mt. Washington #4||E. F. Brookshire||J. D. Stansbury||Sim Owens||William Anderson|
|Leaches #5||Malcomb Harmon||Ed Ash||Charles Troll||Ben H. Crist|
|Clermont #6||Alonzo Hatfield||William Schaefer||John Conniff||Ed Perkins|
|Belmont #7||John R. Hill||James Stansbury||Henry Shelton||Sam McCubbins|
|Lebanon Junction #8||A. L. Roby||I. L. Dawson||John L. Hoagland||Joe Dobson|
|Pitts Point #9||John Chambers||W. J. Lee||William Foster||W. E. Ashby|
|Griffin #10||T. J. Barrall||R. B. Ridgway||W. F. Joyce||Frank Goldsmith|
|Shepherdsville #11||Leroy Daniel||S. A. Hornbeck||William Combs||Hardin Wise|
|Shepherdsville #1||Herbert Lee||C. C. Daugherty||J. H. Miller||O. P. Means|
|Cupie #2||Ernest Funk||Owen Demarsh||John Marcum||Charles Applegate|
|Zoneton #3||Charles McKinzie||J. W. Pope||Gabe Bealmear||Josh Gore|
|Mt. Washington #4||R. E. McAfee||W. H. McFarland||John Clark||W. D. Ellaby|
|Leaches #5||Jonce Clark||Will Shaw||A. J. Roby||Charles Troll|
|Clermont #6||George Perkins||Dick Clark||Ed Vittitoe||J. M. Dawson|
|Lebanon Jct #7||Bev Brashear||Andy Mann||John Samuels||John Collings|
|Belmont #8||D. Bumgardner||T. L. Coakley||Harve McCubbins||Chester Hill|
|Pitts Point #9||Leslie Ice||S. P. Smith||Bob Armstrong||W. H. Cundiff|
|Griffin #10||Buck Close||Roy Masden||Charles Rodgers||Lee Beard|
|Shepherdsville #11||J. W. Thompson||S. C. Bridwell||Henry Hamilton||W. T. Morrow|
|Shepherdsville #1||D. M. Kelley||Jack Newman||N. B. Trunnell||W. F. Joyce|
|Shepherdsville #2||W. S. Hall||Mc Jones||P. W. Cash||Willie Mae Ridgway|
|Brooks #3||Charles Sanders||Fred Hatzell||Frank Robards||Henry Breitenstein|
|Griffin #4||R. C. Hardesty||Willie Foster||Charles Rogers||T. J. Barrall|
|Cupio #5||W. B. Merker||Ada Samuels||R. A. Miller||Joe Able|
|Salt River #6||H. C. Hamilton||T. D. McAllister||W. M. Combs||Mary Green Hardaway|
|Mt. Washington #7||German Branham||Tom Lloyd||H. D. Bruch||John Walls|
|Mt. Washington #8||W. T. Close||Pete Bleemel||Thomas Owen||Mrs. Ruth Parrish|
|Zoneton #9||James Pope||Ed C. Tyler||Josh Gore||C. C. Hackney|
|Cedar Grove #10||Frank Ratcliff||S. A. Shelton||Walter Mann||Mrs. Henry Crenshaw|
|Leaches #11||James McClure||Hite Rouse||James Lavely||R. J. Clark|
|Clermont #12||Virgil Duvall||Ed Vittitoe||George Taylor||Ed Hess|
|Lebanon Junction #13||John Hoagland||J. L. Kelley||T. H. Richardson||Clarence Duvall|
|Lebanon Junction #14||L. L. Masden||A. L. Bowman||John Figg||Mrs. Lee Masden|
|Belmont #15||Pete Snellen||Levi Roby||Clarence Hill||Will Bradbury|
|Beech Grove #16||Alvin Viers||Pres Shelton||Beatrice Armstrong||Jess Dawson|
|Shepherdsville #1||J. M. Larimore||Fronia Samuels||J. D. Buckman||Wanda Adams|
|Shepherdsville #2||E. G. Quick||Katherine Bealmear||George W. Taylor||Blanch Howlett|
|Brooks #3||Jasper Foster||B. F. Robards||James Beghtol||Mrs. Lee Hatzell|
|Knobs #4||W. P. Foster||T. J. Barrall||Robert Hardesty||Mrs. Essie Holsclaw|
|Cupio #5||John Marcum||Joe F. Samuels||Robert Nichols||Mrs. George Atkisson|
|Salt River #6||George I. Rennison||C. A. Masden||Mrs. Ben Cundiff||Mrs. Jesse Hardaway|
|Mt. Washington #7||German Branham||Mrs. Margaret Grigsby||Henry Lutes||Mrs. Tom Parrish|
|Mt. Washington #8||S. B. Owens||S. O. Armstrong||J. R. Proctor||Mrs. Mary Fisher|
|Zoneton #9||Sam Morehead||Russell Jenkins||J. H. Gilmore||Mrs. Ella Pope|
|Cedar Grove #10||Tom Close||K. F. Bolton||Elmer Cundiff||Mrs. Wathen Viers|
|Leaches #11||R. J. Clark||Ed R. Ashe||Edgar Crenshaw||Mrs. Hyte Rouse|
|Clermont #12||Henry Fearnback||John Morris||Charles Stephan||Mrs. Chester Hill|
|Lebanon Junction #13||Roy Wise||Mrs. Elmer Bryant||Mrs. H. W. Fisel||Mrs. Christine Boone|
|Lebanon Junction #14||Andy Mann||Mrs. Vina Roby||A. D. Miller||Mrs Ethie Yeager|
|Belmont #15||George Bradbury||Rice Dawson||Fred Goodrich||Mrs. Alma Mudd|
|Beech Grove #16||Otho Cundiff||Frank Cundiff||Stanley Dawson||Mrs. Arthur Cundiff|
The two videos available below demonstrate how to use the two voting machines used in Bullitt County.
Copyright 2016 by Charles Hartley, Shepherdsville KY. All rights are reserved. No part of the content of this page may be included in any format in any place without the written permission of the copyright holder.