Nov 6, 2012 10:06 AM
LOUISVILLE (AP) - A cool, sunny Election Day greeted a stream of voters across Kentucky on Tuesday as they cast ballots for president, Congress and a host of other offices down the ballot.
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes has predicted a record number of voters will cast their ballots.
At St. Matthews Baptist Church in Louisville, lines were steady Tuesday, as more than 100 voters cast ballots by 7:45 a.m. and two-deep lines were common at the voting booth. Polls are open in the state Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time.
"Oh, yes, we've been steady," said poll worker Nancy Zorn.
President Barack Obama yielded the state to GOP nominee Mitt Romney after a poor showing in the Democratic primary. Some 42 percent of Kentucky Democrats marked their ballots "uncommitted" even though Obama was the only name on the ballot.
Ed Talley, 61, a Latonia truck driver and a lifelong Democrat, switched parties this election and voted for Romney. The deciding factor: his disappointment in Obama.
"I thought the guy would shine. He's the first black president, and everything else, but he got his chance to shine and just bombed," said Talley.
Though he didn't vote for Obama in 2008, he still wanted the president to succeed.
"Once they're elected, they're the president and you support them," he said. "But he's been a failure. The way the Democrats have campaigned the last few times, made promises and not delivered, I made up my mind to switch."
Ricky McKenna, a 22-year-old Republican who works at IGA in Morehead, voted for Romney, saying he's better for the economy. McKenna also voted in favor of a proposed constitutional amendment that would make hunting and fishing a protected right in Kentucky.
"I voted to keep the constitutional right for hunting the same, because we should have the right to hunt when we want to," McKenna said.
In Kentucky's most competitive congressional race, Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler faces Republican challenger Andy Barr. Theirs is a rematch for the 6th District seat. Chandler won the last go-around by fewer than 700 votes.
Combined, Chandler and Barr have spent some $4 million, with most of that going to mean-spirited TV ads that have been running around-the-clock since late summer. Outside groups have spent a similar amount on the race.
Estelle Sizemore, a 52-year-old jeweler from Richmond and a Democrat, chose Chandler, citing his family's history of holding elected offices and work in Kentucky.
"Andy Barr shines the shoes of Ben Chandler. His family has been in public service for decades and that's we need here," Sizemore said.
In other Kentucky congressional races, U.S. Reps. Hal Rogers, Ed Whitfield, Brett Guthrie and John Yarmuth face no major threats. And in Kentucky's 4th District, where U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis resigned, tea party Republican Thomas Massie is expected to win his race against Democrat Bill Adkins, a northern Kentucky attorney.
In state legislative races, Democrats hope to cut into the Republican majority in the state Senate. And Republicans expect to pick up several House seats, though it's unlikely they will win enough to take majority control from Democrats.
Kentucky has 47 contested House races and 10 contested Senate races on the ballot.
In eastern Kentucky, Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott and a challenger, Court of Appeals Judge Janet Stumbo, are in a heated race.
And voters will also ratify or reject a proposed constitutional amendment that would make hunting and fishing a constitutional right.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)