MURRAY — Every primary election there invariably are members of political parties other than the Democrats and Republicans who voice their displeasure about not having the chance to participate. 

For this year’s June 23 primary, those complaints are unfounded. Third parties can participate. 

This time, the upcoming primary election includes a few non-partisan races, meaning the chains are off for such parties as Green, Libertarian, Constitution, Independents and every other party imaginable. 

“Yes, this time when you vote, you will have ‘D,’ ‘R’ and ‘Nonpartisan’ ballots, so everybody gets a chance,” said Calloway County Clerk Antonia Faulkner. “When you go to vote, be it absentee or in-person on the day of the election, you’ll sign in and then you’ll be handed the appropriate ballot.”

That will be for voters opting to cast ballots on June 23 at the CFSB Center on the Murray State University campus or from June 8-22 when absentee voting is available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at the Miller Courthouse Annex in downtown Murray.

For third-party voters choosing to use mail-in ballots, Faulkner said the system is automated. Anyone calling the clerk’s office to request a ballot is already in the system based on party registration, making it easy, Faulkner said, for office personnel to know which ballot to send. The same is true with the statewide portal available at GoVoteKY.com, which automatically will alert clerk’s offices statewide as to which ballot a voter is planning to mail in. 

Third-party voters still cannot cast ballots in races involving Democrats and Republicans. In Kentucky, they also will not be able to vote for candidates for President in their respective parties. Faulkner said her understanding is that candidates of these parties chose not to handle necessary paperwork required for candidates in Kentucky races.

However, locally, third-party voters will have some decisions to make in a pair of judicial contests. 

The Kentucky 42nd Judicial Circuit Family Court judgeship is being contested, and it is non-partisan. That races features current Judge Stephanie Perlow of Murray against a pair of Marshall County candidates, Ryan Yates and Catherine Fuller. Perlow was appointed to serve the remaining term of Rob Mattingly of Benton, who retired from the position late last year. 

Also, the Kentucky Court of Appeals 1st District seat is up for grabs with Paducah’s Chris McNeill, who was appointed to that seat to fill the unexpired term of fellow Paducahan Shea Nickell, opposing fellow Paducah attorneys Jason Coltharp and Jenny Hines, as well as the 5th Judicial Circuit Judge Rene Williams of Dixon.  

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