FRANKFORT — Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said Tuesday that she expects a record number of voters to cast ballots Nov. 6 and that total voter turnout could be between 62 percent and 64 percent.
Grimes announced the prediction at a press conference in Frankfort. The voter-turnout prediction is based on the number of absentee ballots cast so far in the general election. Turnout in the 2008 presidential election was 64 percent.
Kentucky now has 130,000 more registered voters than in 2008, for a total of more than 3 million.
The secretary of state's office is seeing an increase in absentee ballots cast in some key areas, including the newly configured 6th Congressional district, where incumbent U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, a Democrat from Versailles, is in a raucous re-election battle with Republican Andy Barr, who lost a very close race to Chandler in 2010.
Grimes said that 73,000 people in Kentucky have participated in absentee voting.
Grimes said that the effects of Hurricane Sandy, whose winds and snow are sweeping through Eastern Kentucky, could alter her voter-turnout prediction.
"I am working closely with our county clerks to monitor the effects of Sandy in our election and to ensure that all Kentuckians' right to vote on Nov. 6 is preserved," Grimes said.
Sandy also could affect the return of some absentee ballots cast by Kentuckians overseas, particularly military voters. With many eastern airports closed because of the storm, Grimes' staff is monitoring to ensure that absentee ballots make it to Kentucky on time.
Many military ballots are transported on planes that are routed through Washington D.C., where airports were closed. Those mail flights have been rerouted to Chicago and should make it to Kentucky by election day, the deadline for the return of absentee ballots, Grimes said.
The office is encouraging all voters to go to Elect.ky.gov to find polling locations, directions and view sample ballots.
Kentucky is one of 30 states that require identification to vote. Acceptable forms of identification include a driver's license, a credit card or a Social Security card.
Beth Musgrave: (859) 231-3205. Twitter: @BGPolitics. Blog: Bluegrasspolitics.bloginky.com.