Crowds and confusion at Ky. caucus sites

Posted at 2:34 PM, Mar 05, 2016

Kentucky's registered Republican voters took part in a historic event Saturday: the state party's first ever presidential caucus.

But the new system for voting in the part primary came with its share of confusion, long lines and wait times.

More: Check GOP Presidential Caucus results here


This is stupid. Can we never do this caucus thing again? #election2016 #KYCaucus #LongLines #CivicDuty #IVoted #Eventually

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Caucus officials said they've received no direction from the state and organizers may have to make their own calls on when to stop accepting voters.

"We don't know what we're going to do at 4 p.m. when the sites are supposed to close," Phyllis Sparks, site director in Boone County, said.

However, Jeff Kidwell, a site director at Campbell County and GOP county chairman, said he was under the assumption that any voters in line at 4 p.m. will still be able to vote.

Shane Noem, site director of Kenton County, said he would likely operate in the same way as Kidwell in Campbell County.

Once 4 p.m. came, some officials cut their lines off and turned away anyone who came late. Others turned away those who were in line in the street, but anyone on line at the polling place property got in. Others locked the doors and only let those already in the building vote.

Roughly 1.3 million Republican voters are registered to vote in this year's caucus, said Mike Biagi. Republicans were only allowed to vote absentee in this election if they met certain requirements, such as being over the age of 70 or being in the military. 

All three site directors said their county locations will not run out of ballots.

Voters near Kentucky's highly populated regions took to social media to report long lines and general confusion at the polls.

Penny Newberry Bezold told WCPO via Facebook that she waited over an hour to finally cast her vote at Campbell County High School.

"The people set up inside the cafeteria were not ready for this in so many ways," Bezold wrote. "I could give you ten different areas this could (have) been so much better. People standing outside and in the halls with little kids, plus the elderly, I felt sorry for them."


Line in Boone County..... Get out and make your voice heard! #Kycaucus

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Northern Kentucky drivers reported heavy traffic on SB I-71/75 north of Florence and KY-17 in Independence.

Of Kentucky's 120 counties, 111 had polling locations on caucus day. Some voters were left to drive more than an hour to get to their assigned polling location.

INTERACTIVE: Here's how and where to vote in your state's primary

Traffic delays and long lines were also reported in Lexington and Louisville's surrounding counties.


#kycaucus #kentoncounty

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Kentucky moved away from a primary election at the urging of Sen. Rand Paul, who was vying for a presidential bid until August.

The caucus may not be permanent, however -- when Sen. Mitch McConnell agreed to Paul's terms for the caucus only as a one-time occurrence and funded by Paul's Senate campaign account.