Stark new to election board

Calloway County Clerk Antonia Faulkner, left, hands paperwork to new Calloway County Board of Elections member Melisa Stark Friday morning at the beginning of the board's monthly meeting. Stark will represent the county's Democratic Party on the board.

The Calloway County Board of Elections welcomed a new member Friday morning as longtime Calloway County Democratic Party member Melisa Stark attended her first meeting.

Stark was selected by the Kentucky State Board of Elections after Calloway County Democratic Party Chairman David Ramey submitted five names as nominees to fill the vacancy left by the death of longtime Calloway election board member Dottie Lyons. Ramey said earlier that the person selected by the state Board of Elections would serve until the spring, when another five names are submitted to the state organization.

“This isn’t happening the way I wanted it to for sure, but I am honored to have the opportunity,” Stark said as she addressed her fellow members as the meeting opened. “I’ve known Dottie for many, many years and one thing I did know about her was she did everything at 150 percent. She was just a sweet, sweet lady.

“In fact, when I was in high school at South Marshall, I had her for science, and I remember that she taught it in a way you could really learn. And if you didn’t get it the first time, she did it again until you did get it.”

For her first item of business with the Calloway Board, Stark said she will be obtaining Lyons’ list of Democrats who have worked precincts during elections to begin compiling the list of workers available for the upcoming May primary. That election is set for May 17, and Calloway County Clerk Antonia Faulkner, who also serves as chair of the Board of Elections, said that list for both the Democrats and the Republican Party, represented on the board by Bill Cowan, are due March 21.

“We have to do that well ahead of time in order to people notified about the (election school),” Faulkner added of a mandatory activity for precinct workers that discusses ins and outs of overseeing an election in Kentucky. The school usually happens about a month or so before election day. Election workers must be 18 years and be registered to vote.

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Faulkner also reported to the board members that the mandatory appearance of the board in front of a Calloway County grand jury in December resulted in no unusual issues being uncovered.

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Filing deadline for candidates for the Murray City Council is 4 p.m. Jan. 26. So far, very few candidates have filed, Faulkner said. If 25 candidates file, an election will be necessary in May.

If not, the deadline will move to Aug. 9 with candidates for Hazel City Council and Murray and Calloway school boards also having that deadline.

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