Election 2018

Polls close in Kentucky at 6 p.m. local time, and you can find our comprehensive voter guide here. We’ll be updating throughout the day as Jefferson County residents head to the polls, and throughout the evening as election results come in. You can also listen live on 89.3 WFPL (or stream here) starting at 8 p.m.; we’ll bring you updates from around the country from NPR, as well as keep you up to date on what’s happening in Louisville and across Kentucky.

10:18 p.m.: Here are the winners of Jefferson County’s judicial races

There were a bunch of non-partisan judicial races on Jefferson County ballots this year; more than two-thirds of them were uncontested. To see results of all the races, click here.

10:02 p.m.: Teachers make small gains in Kentucky

At least nine current or former teachers have won seats in the Kentucky legislature eight months after educators closed nearly two dozen school districts to protest changes to their pension system.

At least 36 current or former teachers were on the ballot. But the “blue wave” Democrats had hoped for failed to materialize. At least 20 of the teacher candidates, most of the Democrats, lost.

Unofficial returns show two teachers defeated Republican incumbents in the House of Representatives. Tina Bojanowski defeated GOP Rep. Phil Moffett in District 32. Meanwhile Democrat Jim Glenn was ahead by just one vote against Republican D.J. Johnson in District 13. Johnson told The Associated Press he plans to ask for a recanvass in the district.

—Associated Press

9:50 p.m.: Results from Louisville’s Metro Council elections

Two contested seats flipped from Republican to Democrat on Tuesday as Louisville voters living in odd-numbered districts selected their Metro Council representatives.

A number of Metro Council retirements and primary defeats left seven districts wide open for new leadership. Overall, nine of the thirteen races this year were competitive.

One of the party flips was in District 7, which is currently represented by Angela Leet; Leet lost her bid for mayor to incumbent Greg FischerTuesday evening. In District 17, which includes Anchorage, Democrat Markus Winkler edged out incumbent Republican Glen Stuckel.

Starting next year, the Minority Caucus will have at least seven members, down from nine. The Council, which has representatives from 26 districts, will shift more heavily in favor of the Democrats.

At press time, the District 13 race was too close to call.

—Amina Elahi

9:33 p.m.: GOP businessman tops Indiana Democratic senator

Republican businessman Mike Braun has ousted Sen. Joe Donnelly, Indiana’s lone statewide elected Democrat, in a race in which both candidates portrayed themselves as fans of President Donald Trump.

It’s a victory the GOP has dreamed of ever since Donnelly unexpectedly won in 2012 after Republican nominee Richard Mourdock made incendiary comments about abortion and rape.

However, few would have predicted Braun’s win when he entered the race last year. The multimillionaire auto parts magnate was a little-known state representative when he launched his bid.

But Braun used his own wealth to out-fundraise two better known congressmen during a bitter GOP primary that was fueled on personal attacks.

Indiana has elected conservative Democrats but increasingly trended Republican in recent years.

—Associated Press

9:04 p.m.: Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer Wins Third Term

Ryan Van Velzer | wfpl.org

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer on election night 2018.

Louisville voters re-elected Democrat Greg Fischer on Nov. 6, handing a defeat to Republican challenger Angela Leet and a number of independent and American party candidates.

His third, and final, consecutive term will start in 2019. He was first elected in 2010.

Fischer cruised to victory on a message of progress in Louisville, touting economic growth and downplaying the concerns about crime and public safety raised by his main opponent.

In 2014, Fischer won with about 68.5 percent of the vote. On Tuesday, he received more than 60 percent.

The mayor celebrated his win Tuesday night with his supporters as well as those of 3rd District Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, who was also re-elected.

—Amina Elahi

8:59 p.m.: Republican Rep. Trey Hollingsworth wins re-election in southern Indiana congressional district

Rep. Trey Hollingsworth wins re-election in southern Indiana congressional district, keeping seat in Republican hands.

—Associated Press

8:50 p.m.: Yarmuth wins re-election in Kentucky’s 3rd Congressional District

Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth has won re-election in Kentucky’s 3rd Congressional District.

The former newspaper publisher defeated two challengers in Tuesday’s election — Republican Vickie Yates Glisson and Libertarian Gregory Boles. Yarmuth was first elected to Congress in 2006 in the Louisville-area district.

Yarmuth has cruised to re-election victories but faced his most serious challenge from Glisson, who formerly served as Kentucky’s top-ranking health official in Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration. During her tenure, Glisson led the state’s effort to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients.

Yarmuth has said he is in line to become House Budget Committee chairman if Democrats take control of a majority of seats in the House.

—Associated Press

8:50 p.m.: Barr fends off challenge from ex-fighter pilot McGrath

Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr has won a fourth term in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District.

Barr defeated Democrat and former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath on Tuesday. She was considered Barr’s toughest challenger since he arrived in Congress in 2012. President Donald Trump won the central Kentucky district by double digits in 2016.

The district includes Lexington and capital Frankfort, and the seat there has switched parties five times since 1978. Both parties saw this race as close. Barr hosted a rally with President Donald Trump, and McGrath campaigned at a high school gym with former Vice President Joe Biden.

Barr throughout the campaign labeled McGrath as “too liberal” for Kentucky.

—Associated Press

8:38 p.m.: Kentucky county clerk who nixed same-sex marriage licenses loses

Ryland Barton

The Kentucky clerk who went to jail in 2015 for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples has lost her bid for a second term.

Republican incumbent Kim Davis was defeated by Democrat Elwood Caudill Jr. in Tuesday’s election for clerk of Rowan County in northeastern Kentucky.

Caudill is well known in the county, having worked for the county Property Valuation Administrator’s Office for 21 years. He lost to Davis by just 23 votes in the 2014 Democratic primary. Davis later switched to the GOP.

Davis went from obscure local official to a national figure when she stopped issuing marriage licenses days after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry. The ruling overturned same-sex marriage bans nationwide. Davis cited her religious beliefs for her action, saying she was acting under “God’s authority.”

She was released from jail when her staff issued licenses in her absence.

—Associated Press

8:03 p.m.: GOP’s Massie re-elected in Kentucky 4th District

Republican U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie has won another term in Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District.

The former Lewis County Judge-executive defeated Democrat Seth Hall on Tuesday in the solidly Republican District in northern Kentucky.

Massie, a deficit hawk who often calls for government spending cuts, was first elected to Congress in 2012. Massie has been critical of Democrats and Republicans for what he considers excessive spending.

The conservative lawmaker has also been at the forefront of efforts to revive industrial hemp production in Kentucky.

—Associated Press

7:26 p.m.: GOP’s Guthrie wins in Kentucky 2nd District

Republican U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie has won a seventh term in Kentucky’s 2nd Congressional District.

The former state senator from Bowling Green defeated Democrat Hank Linderman on Tuesday.

Guthrie was first elected in 2008, when Republican U.S. Rep. Ron Lewis chose to retire minutes before the deadline to file for re-election. Guthrie has easily won re-election since then in the southwest Kentucky district.

—Associated Press

7:25 p.m.: Here’s a list of state House and Senate candidates who had no challengers on the ballot

As legislative election totals continue to trickle in across the state, a handful of state House and Senate candidates automatically won their races because no one filed to challenge them.

Seven incumbent Democrats automatically won re-election: Whitesburg Rep. Angie Hatton, Lexington Rep. Kelly Flood, Flemingsburg Rep. John Sims, Nicholasville Rep. Russ Meyer, Louisville Rep. Charles Miller, Louisville Rep. Attica Scott and Sandy Hook Rep. Rocky Adkins.

One incumbent Republican wasn’t challenged — Rep. Jeff Hoover, the former speaker of the House who resigned his leadership position amid a sexual harassment scandal earlier this year.

—Ryland Barton

7:17 p.m.: Comer beats out Paul Walker in Kentucky’s 1st District

Republican James Comer has been re-elected to Congress.

The former state agriculture commissioner on Tuesday defeated Democrat and college professor Paul Walker to win his second full term in Kentucky’s 1st Congressional District.

Comer, who comes from a farming family, introduced legislation last year supporting the growing of industrial hemp.

In 2015, Comer was a front-runner for the Republican nomination for governor, but he lost to Matt Bevin by 83 votes. Bevin would go on to win the general election. Comer served a partial term in 2016 after Republican Ed Whitfield left his seat early.

—Associated Press

7 p.m.: Bullitt County voters cast ballot at wrong location 

An administrative mishap caused some Bullitt County voters to cast ballots at the wrong polling location on Election Day.

It’s unclear just how many ballots were submitted, said Kevin Mooney, Bullitt County Clerk. He said 76 registered voters live on four streets in eastern Mt. Washington, where the error occurred.

He said a coding error caused the issue.

“Some precinct boundary line changes occurred, and these four streets were not caught to carry them on to the new precinct,” Mooney said.

The ballots cast earlier today will be counted, he said. The two precincts in question have nearly identical ballots, except for two races — constable and magistrate.

A similar issue complicated a special election in Bullitt County earlier this year. During that election in February, voters on five different streets were told to vote, but they were sent to the wrong precinct.

Mooney, on Tuesday, said these issues are difficult to prepare for, until it’s too late. One way to prevent the issue, he said, would be to update the county’s election technology. Mooney said he intends to request the needed funding for such updates from the county’s Fiscal Court.

“This is not my idea of a good time,” he said. “It’s not my idea of how business should be run.”

—Jake Ryan

6:47 p.m.: Small crowd for now at the Republican watch party

Crowds here are slow; there are about 45 people, most are congregating around the snack table. Young volunteers are handing out Angela Leet stickers. One woman said: “I’m feeling pretty lucky, pretty lucky — but then again, I felt that way about Powerball, too.”

—Ashlie Stevens

6:44 p.m.: Supporters gather at Democratic watch party 

Ryan Van Velzer | wfpl.org

Democratic campaign headquarters in downtown Louisville.

With polls closed and tallies coming, more than 100 people have already settled in at the  Democratic watch party near downtown Louisville. A steady stream is making its way up to the bar. Others gather in semicircles of blazers, scarves, campaign shirts and Yarmuth stickers. A line of video cameras stand poised for Democratic candidates to speak. Overhead, a disco ball sits still, waiting and glittering in the blue backlighting.

—Ryan Van Velzer

6:40 p.m.: Hal Rogers wins a 21st term in Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District

Republican U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers has won a 21st term in Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District.

Rogers easily defeated Democratic challenger Kenneth Stepp on Tuesday. Stepp is an attorney who has run against Rogers before.

Rogers lives in Somerset. He was first elected in 1981 and is the longest-serving Republican ever elected to federal office in Kentucky. He is the former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

—Associated Press

6:34 p.m.: Election results expected well after 7 p.m., officials say

The polls have closed in Jefferson County, but results aren’t expected until at least 7:45 p.m. That’s because the ballot results aren’t being transmitted electronically, as they have been in past years. Instead, each precinct’s ballot results will be driven to the Election Center. That’s for the safety and security of election results, said Nore Ghibaudy, spokesman for the Jefferson County Clerk’s office.

—Lisa Gillespie

6:00 p.m.: Polls are closed in Jefferson County

Now, the fun begins! Follow along here for updates from our reporters in the office — City Reporter Amina Elahi and Capitol Reporter Ryland Barton — and reporters Lisa Gillespie, Ryan Van Velzer and Ashlie Stevens in the field at the Election Center and at parties hosted by the county’s Republicans and Democrats.

Lisa Gillespie

The Jefferson County Election Center is still quiet, just before 6pm on Election Day.

4:35 p.m.: Voters in St. Matthews weigh in

At the Harvey Browne Memorial Presbyterian Church in St. Matthews, voter Cheryl Granger said she believes everyone should vote.

Kyeland Jackson | wfpl.org

Cheryl Granger

“You know, it doesn’t do any good to state out on Facebook that you believe in this or you don’t believe in this,” she said. “And the only way you’re going to make any kind of change is to actually go out and vote and pick the people that you feel would best represent your beliefs and your thoughts.”

Jerry Dillon says he’s been a poll worker for about 12 years. He already voted and said there’s been a good turnout of voters this year. But he said not many young people are voting.

“All the regulars, the over 35 and 40 group all, you know, come. But there are very few 25-and-under people that you see,” he said. “And it seems, you know, when they talk, they seem like they’re involved. But I don’t see them actually getting out and doing the voting.”

Kyeland Jackson | wfpl.org

Harvey Browne Memorial Presbyterian Church

Lee Hendren said she voted because she believes in it, and hopes people will start to be less divisive.

“That’s what I don’t like, is people not being able to sit down and listen to each side,” she said. “Nobody listens to the other side.”

4:25 p.m.: About 90 minutes until polls close in Jefferson County

High voter turnout in Louisville is causing some ballot scanning machines to jam, according to county clerk officials. Jefferson County Clerk spokesman Nore Ghiboudy said there’s been good voter turnout throughout the day.

“When you have a lot of ballots being fed through, machines to have a tendency to jam,” Ghiboudy said. “When that does happen, ballots are sometimes fed into the machine, but to the side. And once the machine is scanning and running properly, those are unlocked with a key by a Republican and a Democrats and they’re all fed into the machine.”

He said Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw had predicted voter turnout would be around 44 percent of the roughly 600,000 voters in Jefferson County; they don’t know if they’ve surpassed that yet, but Ghiboudy wouldn’t be surprised if there was greater turnout.

— Lisa Gillespie

2:44 p.m.: Shively residents head to the polls

Cedric Johnson said he’s seeing more young people come out, and plans to vote because he wants to make sure his voice is heard, too.

Kyeland Jackson | wfpl.org

Cedric Johnson

“Last time the elections came up for the president and stuff, I didn’t even vote. And you see the result we got,” Johnson said. “So this time I figure if I don’t say something, step up and let my voice be heard, we’ll probably end up in the same predicament. And America doesn’t need that.”

Helen Forbes said she came out to cast her ballot today because people lost their lives to give others the right to vote.

Kyeland Jackson | wfpl.org

Helen Forbes

“We have to be accounted. We have to stand up and exercise our rights,” Forbes said. “This is for our children, our children’s children. They’re our future.”

Kyeland Jackson | wfpl.org

Ashley Burnley

Ashley Burnley said she’s voting because she wants to see changes to how the city deals with violence and incarceration.

“I feel like it’s my duty to come out and vote every election,” said Burnley. “I mean, we need changes in this community and my vote counts.”

12:50 p.m.: Snapshots of voters in Russell

At Byck Elementary School in Louisville’s Russell neighborhood, poll worker Jimmie Robertson says turnout has been slow but steady. This is Robertson’s eighth stint as a poll worker; he says he voted this year partly because of the minimum wage.

Kyeland Jackson | wfpl.org

Jimmie Robertson

“I don’t know how anybody can make it off $7.25 an hour. You know what I’m saying?” he said. “I know I can’t. You know what I’m saying? Every time I turn around and get a check, I’m paying it out on a bill. And then once I think I got a check, I’ve got to pay another bill. So I’m never gaining anything.”

It’s Whitney Caldwell’s second time voting.

“We all complain about what’s going on in the world due to health care and changes in Medicaid and food stamps. And everybody’s got a problem with that,” she said. “So I think it’s important for you to get out and vote if you do not vote due to the fact that you can make a change.”

Kyeland Jackson | wfpl.org

Brittany Patillo

Brittany Patillo said she’s seeing a lot more young people come out to vote. She’s a student at the University of Louisville, and she said people on the fence about voting should think about what people did to earn the right to vote.

“There are people who literally died so that you can have the right. So the least you can do whether you believe if it counts or not, the least you can do is come out and just honor their legacy, honor their fight that they fought. To, you know, just come out and vote regardless.”

— Kyeland Jackson

12:20 p.m. Paper jams in Pike County; A ballot shortage in Louisville

Pike County Clerk Rhonda Taylor said that “around four” of the county’s 114 voting machines have been temporarily rendered inoperative because voters have inserted their paper ballots incorrectly. Taylor said service people have been dispatched to remove the paper jams and get the machines running again. She said none of the county’s 57 precincts have been without a voting machine, and that she is not aware of any unduly long lines due to the jammed machines.

In Louisville, a voter reported a lack of ballots at a polling place in East Louisville.

This story includes/started as a tip from ProPublica’s Electionland project, which monitors voting problems around the country. If you had trouble voting, or if you saw something you want to tell us about, here’s how.

— R.G. Dunlop

11:52 a.m.: Long lines in Lexington

High turnout and a packed ballot are causing delays at Lexington polling places.

Voters were reporting on social media waits longer than an hour to vote in some precincts. Photos of busy gymnasiums and crowded hallways with voting lines bursting into parking lots across Fayette County have populated social media this Election Day morning.

Meredith Watson, the county’s deputy clerk, said the delays are the result of “an extraordinarily long ballot” and “a lot of voter turnout.”

Watson said the Fayette County Clerk’s office is aware of the delays, which were expected due to the number of positions up for election this year.

“It’s just the way the election cycle worked out,” she said.

In response, she said more voting machines are being sent out to busy precincts to help alleviate delays.

Michael Peterson told KyCIR he spent more than an hour waiting to vote early Tuesday morning at Woodland Christian Church, which is near the University of Kentucky campus.

Peterson said student voter turnout seemed high. He said he saw some prospective voters leave the precinct before casting their ballot, presumably due to the long wait.

“The machines were fine,” he said. “There just weren’t enough of them.”

This story includes/started as a tip from ProPublica’s Electionland project, which monitors voting problems around the country. If you had trouble voting, or if you saw something you want to tell us about, here’s how.

— Jacob Ryan

10:00 a.m.:  Heavy turnout in Jefferson County 

Jefferson County Clerk spokesman Nore Ghibaudy said turnout has been good so far. There are about 598,000 registered voters in the county, and Ghibaudy said his office was expecting about a 44 percent turnout. But some of the county’s 620 precincts were reporting heavy traffic early this morning, and he said it’s possible there will be a higher percentage of voters weighing in.

The one issue reported so far in the county has been a delay with the polls opening at St. Leonard Catholic Church on Zorn Avenue. Ghibaudy said the church had stored the voting equipment, but at 6:00 a.m. poll workers weren’t able to access it. He said there was about a 30 minute delay, but most people waited for the equipment to be set up so they can vote.    — Erica Peterson

8:40 a.m.: ‘Yellow Dog Democrat’ seen in Highlands

Seen at polling place in Louisville’s Highlands neighborhood: Man waiting with dog to vote. Observer to dog owner: “What’s your dog’s party affiliation?” Owner to observer: “Why, yellow dog Democrat, of course.” Dog wags tail in apparent agreement. Unclear whether dog was given a ballot. — R.G. Dunlop