LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) —
Surging absentee ballots indicated a renewed interest in Kentucky's race for governor on Monday as candidates traveled the state in an effort to energize voters one day before a pivotal off-year election ahead of the 2016 presidential race.
Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes reported 27,969 people had voted absentee as of Monday, more than all the absentee ballots cast in the previous election for governor. The state's chief election official now said it appears turnout is likely to equal or surpass that in 2011, when 28 percent of registered voters cast ballots in an election that saw Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear re-elected to a second term.
Still, candidates battled a perceived lack of enthusiasm across the state. Kentucky is one of just three states that will elect a governor on Tuesday.
"I really don't think people are as excited," said Kathryn Stocks, who heard Republican Matt Bevin rally supporters in Lexington. "More people are focused on the fact that we've got a national election going on even though it is a year away."