Politics

WFPL will have a stream of updates from tonight’s election. We’re following a host of races, from the big U.S. Senate throwdown to the Jefferson County Board of Education.

Stick with us here and follow along on Twitter at @WFPLNews.

Update 9:30 p.m.: New Story

Here’s a dispatch from WFPL’s Jacob Ryan from the McConnell event, which has turned into a celebration.

Update 8:40 p.m.: McConnell Speaks

Speaking following his victory in the U.S. Senate Race, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said his Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes has earned his respect. And he also pledged to bring new leadership to Washington but to work with Democrats on issues in which they can agree.

“I’ve heard your concerns, I’ve made them my own,” McConnell said. “You will be heard in Washington.”

He added later: “Friends, this experiment in big government has gone on long enough. It’s time to go in a new direction.”

We’ll have more coverage coming up.

Update 8:25 p.m.: Grimes Concedes

Update 7:50 p.m.: McConnell’s Supporters Celebrating

A quick dispatch from WFPL’s Jacob Ryan from the McConnell event:

“They’re airing Fox News right now on the big screen and when it came across that it was called in McConnell’s favor, there was cheering throughout the lobby, throughout the convention room that I’m in, a lot of backslapping, a lot of beer bottles clinking together in celebration. Everyone seems pretty confident.I spoke to a couple of the spokesmen for McConnell and they say it’s not official yet. So they’re continuing to remind media and other people alike that nothing is official yet.”

Rae Hodge, who is covering the Grimes event in Lexington, said the mood is still celebratory.

Update 7:40 p.m.: Yarmuth Won Too

The AP is now also calling Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth the winner over Michael Macfarlane. So, barring any huge surprises, Kentucky’s entire federal delegation has been re-elected.

We’re still keeping an eye on the state House, where Republicans are trying to wrest control from Democrats, and local elections. Stay tuned.

—JL

Update 7:30 p. m.: House Races Called

The AP is also making projections in most of Kentucky’s U.S. House races. Republican incumbents Ed Whitfield, Brett Guthrie, Thomas Massie, Hal Rogers and Andy Barr are projected winners.

No call has been made in the Third District, which covers most of Louisville. Democratic incumbent John Yarmuth has a 55 percent to 44 percent lead over Republican challenger Michael Macfarlane in the most recent tally from the Secretary of State’s Office.

—JL

Update 7:04 p.m.: AP Calls Race for McConnell

The Associated Press is projecting a victory for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell over Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Polls just closed in Western Kentucky.

We’ll have more later, including on whether McConnell will get to add “Senate majority leader” to his title.

—JL

Update 7 p.m.: Very, Very Early Results

In your too-early-t0-be-very-meaningful results, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes leads Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell 56 percent to 42 percent. (Libertarian David Patterson has 2 percent.) That’s with no complete county results tabulated, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

So it’s still early.

In Louisville, challenger Lisa Willner is leading District 6 school board member Carol Haddad and Patrick John Hughes. Just under 4 percent of precincts are reporting, according to the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office. And Angie Moorin is leading four others in the District 3 school board race.

—JL

Update 6:40 p.m.: Attorney General Discusses Voter Fraud Hotline

Most of the complaints made to the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office’s voter fraud hotline were related to concerns about electioneering, Attorney General Jack Conway said.

Conway, speaking in Lexington at Grimes’ election party, said his office also had several calls with allegations of vote buying. The largest number he said came from Magoffin County, with one each in Owsley and Clay. Most calls are from Jefferson County, however, with procedural questions.

“It’s no surprise that the biggest number of calls have come from Jefferson County,” Conway said. “That’s where most of the voters are. We’re hearing 65 percent turnout in Jefferson County which is a big number, and good for the Grimes campaign I would think. But we’re about our business and the fraud hotline will be open until 7 p.m. Eastern.”

Conway is currently a candidate in the Kentucky 2015 gubernatorial race, with running mate state Rep. Sannie Overly, D-Paris.

—Rae Hodge

Update 6 p.m.: Polls Closing in Louisville

Polls are open for another hour in Western Kentucky, but people are gathering in Louisville and Lexington to wait for returns with Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes.

WFPL’s Rae Hodge is in Lexington with the Grimes camp. She says right now, members of the media are waiting for Grimes and her supporters to show up.

“Right now we’ve still got a very limited number of people on the ground,” she said. “What we’re seeing is a huge influx of reporters because of the enormous media pressure right now to see the unfolding of tonight. But as of yet, we don’t have any supporters on the ground. They’re slowly expected to start trickling in.”

WFPL’s Jake Ryan is in Louisville with McConnell supporters. He says people are just beginning to arrive, but so far, the mood is upbeat.

“I think people here are preparing for a celebration. It seems really upbeat,” he said. “The room is beginning to fill up. There’s probably more media right now than there are actual people from the GOP party. But from what I’ve heard, everyone is confident. I spoke to John McCarthy, he’s a former GOP chairman. He said he would be surprised if Sen. McConnell didn’t come away with a victory tonight. And he said if he didn’t, it would only be because people were ready to see a change in leadership.”

We’ll be checking in with both campaigns later in the evening.

—Erica Peterson

Update 5 p.m.: Turnout Seems Strong In Louisville

Polling stations from Louisville’s East End to Fern Creek have had brisk foot traffic throughout Election Day, said Jordan Kelch of the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office.

No major or atypical problems—lines to vote, jammed voting machines and such—have been reported in Louisville, Kelch said.

Polls close at 6 p.m. Kelch said people who’ll be voting late should know their precinct, just to help make sure they don’t stand in a long line only to be told that they’re at the wrong table. Also, it’s important for those late voters to be sure to have an ID.

If you still haven’t voted but plan to, here’s a quick guide from earlier today. You can find that precinct number through the links in the story.

Turnout in Jefferson County is expected to be at about 65 percent of registered voters, but closer to 50 percent for the rest of the state, the clerk’s office said.

The election fraud hotline run by the Attorney General’s Office had about 120 calls by 3:30 p.m.  Jefferson County accounted for 32 of those calls.

Here’s a rundown of what was reported through the hotline for Jefferson County:

  • 11 Procedural Question
  • 7 Electioneering within 300′ of Polls
  • 7 Voting Machine
  • 3 Election Official
  • 2 General Election Fraud/Other
  • 1 Vote Buying/Selling (Bribery)
  • 1 Voter Identification

Kelch said results should start streaming in at about 6:30 p.m., but things will really getting rolling a few hours later.

Until then, we’ve looked into some of the aspects of the 2014 election—liquor stores sales on Election Day, felon voting rights (or lack thereof) and obscure elected offices. (And from the archive: No, you won’t get a sticker when you vote in Louisville.)

—Joseph Lord