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Long Waits, Strong Opinions Mark Kentucky's Midterm Vote

Mary Meehan

Long lines and sharply divided opinions were the theme of the day as central Kentucky voters went to the polls to cast midterm ballots Tuesday.

A steady stream of voters headed into Eastern Kentucky University’s Center for the Arts in the afternoon hoping to make a difference in the outcome of some key races. 
Kentucky’s  6th Congressional District was on the minds of a few Richmond residents on this very windy election day.
Richmond resident, John Berry said he likes the way the country is going but doesn’t like the divisiveness. He said people opposing Trump need to get over it.
“I just like the way the economy is going. I like the way Trump is running the country like a business. It seems like to me that things are going a lot better than they were previously," he said.
While Berry is vocal about his support for 6th District incumbent Andy Barr not everyone is as willing to share who they checked off in the ballot box.
Susan Higgins of Richmond said health care and immigration are two issues on her radar. 
 “The divisiveness in this country right now is horrible, it’s just horrible. I don’t like where the country’s going right now and I don’t like where the state’s going. I hope we see a blue wave," she said.
The polls still show the 6th District race betweenretired Marine pilot Amy McGrathand Barr a toss-up. Both candidates got big assists from national figures within their party. President Donald Trump held a rally for Barr. Former Vice PresidentJoe Biden stumped for McGrath in Bath County. 

Lexington Lines
On election day, down the highway in Lexington, Chris Herman was waiting in line to vote. He said he’s also been interested in the congressional race.

 “I'm interested to see what a positive campaign where you are not trashing the other candidate can do for somebody.  To see if you can win by being positive, ” he said.

And, as in Richmond, there was little consensus among voters casting their ballots inside the Tates Creek High School gym.
Madelyn McNees was there to cast her first vote. “I just really feel like you need to care about what’s going on, not only in your state but in your country as well, so you have to have a say, you have to have a vote and you have to get your word out there, ” she said.
McNees views herself as somewhat the exception among those her age. Some of her peers, she said, don’t research issues or candidates. “They go with like hearsay and tend to not care,” she said. 

Credit Stu Johnson
A volunteer handed out doughnuts to waiting voters contending with unexpectedly long lines in Lexington.

But along with new voters like McNees, there were also lots of veterans drawn to the polls this year. 

Love Wearren is 44 and said she’s voted consistently since she turned 18.
“I just feel like if everybody come out and cast a vote, maybe there would be a change that everybody is looking for, including myself," she said.  
Scott Williamson has spent 30 years in politics, including 12 years as Corbin mayor.
He said campaigns have always been divisive now it is just more in the forefront.
"And in this digital age, people are getting more information out perhaps that they're not getting on purpose.  It's just all over the websites," he said.

WEKU.fm will begin live coverage at 8 p.m. Listen to it on air or via live stream on the station's website.

WEKU's Mary Meehan contributed to this report. 

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