In May 1-7 issue
By Nathalie Rosado
Times Journal InternABOVE: Russell Co. Democratic Chairman LouAnn Flanagan shows off a couple of pillows with images of candidates Obama and Clinton.
JAMESTOWN - With only four months left until the Democratic National Convention, campaigning has turned to Kentucky, where the Democratic primaries will be held on May 20.
This event has caused excitement within our community, since the last time Kentucky mattered in the Democratic Presidential primaries was during the Bill Clinton era.
"I'm excited that Kentucky might actually get to vote, but I believe that we won't know who the candidate will be until the Democratic National Convention," says LouAnn Flanagan, the Russell County Democrat Chair.
"I think it's going to be very interesting," said Tony Kerr, the Russell County Circuit Clerk.
A registered Republican, he said he feels that Clinton will carry the Democrats in Kentucky.
These primaries have been especially tough for some of the Democrats in the county who said they have to choose between two candidates with very similar values.
Ervin Mason, an English teacher at Russell County High School, said he was torn between Obama and Clinton.
"I believe they can both do the job, and if the candidate I vote for in the primaries doesn't win, I'll definitely vote for the other one in November," he stated.
Mason said his biggest fear is that there will be a split within the party, and that the supporters of the candidate who fails to win the nomination will stay home during the November general election.
Flanagan said she doesn't think that will happen.
"I believe that we will bond together during this election, and I am confident that there will be a Democrat in the White House," she said.
So what are the issues that matter most to all voters, whether Democrats or Republicans?
For Ervin Mason, who will be eligible for Social Security this summer, health care is his biggest concern.
Among voters interviewed here in Russell County, the rising price of gas was a prominent issue.
Joseph Yeadon, a WWII veteran and Russell County native says that although he's a registered Republican, he will be voting for a Democrat in November.
"I'm tired of the Bush administration and its effect on the economy," he said. Although he said he supports the soldiers, he believes the Iraq war is unnecessary.
Phyllis and R.C. Beane, also local residents, said they feel the election doesn't matter anymore.
"It's a circus," said Phyllis. She believes that the elections have become a matter of popularity and celebrities rather than a serious decision.
"I'm a registered Republican," she said, "but I'm only voting for McCain because I think he's the lesser of the three evils."
With the big turnout in the general elections last year, Flanagan said she is excited about the possible turnout at this month's primary.
"Rather than a privilege, voting should be a duty, and I urge everyone to go out and vote, regardless of what they stand for or who they're voting for," she continued.
Lisha Popplewell, the county clerk, said that some of the precincts have changed.
She said the Jamestown and Lake precincts will be located at Jamestown Elementary.
The Eller, Parkway, Esto, and Middletown precinct will be at the Russell County High School cafeteria.
The Rowena and Bryan precinct will be at Union Chapel Elementary, and Salem, Irvines, and Font Hill precinct will be at Salem Elementary.
The Eli precinct will be located at the Eli Firehouse, and the Jabez precinct will be located at the Christian Fellowship Center in Jabez.
The Webbs, Royville, and City Hall precinct have been permanently moved to Russell Springs Elementary due to construction.
Popplewell also said that absentee machines will be available for voters who will be away during the election from May 1 to May 19 at 8:00 a.m.
Absentee ballots can be requested by going to or calling clerk's office in the courthouse.
Voters will be asked to provide their name, address, and Social Security number so that the ballots can be provided for them.
The ballots have to be requested seven days before the election (by 4:00 p.m.) and received by the clerk's office at 6:00 p.m. on Election Day.
For more information on precincts or absentee ballots, Popplewell said she'd be glad to take any calls at 270-343-2125.
For information about ways to help during the primaries, contact LouAnn Flanagan at 270-585-1049.
To actively support and volunteer for either of the candidates log on to www.barackobama.com or www.hillaryclinton.com for more information.