LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The nine Jefferson County polling sites for Saturday's Kentucky Republican presidential caucus were packed at 10 a.m. when they opened.
Despite taking place on a weekend, with fewer locations and shorter hours than during a normal primary election, people turned out and lined up to have their say in a hotly contested White House battle.
Although nearly a dozen candidates appeared on the ballot, the field has narrowed to businessman Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
The fireworks from televised debates spilled over and drove turnout. Party leaders were satisfied with the support ahead of the official participation numbers.
"Participation in the Republican caucus has been remarkable. It is exciting to see Kentuckians so engaged, and it is great that so many voters used this opportunity to have a meaningful impact on the presidential race," Mac Brown, Republican Party of Kentucky Chairman, said. "Today's success was also possible because of the preparation and hard work of the Republican volunteers at the local level."
Kentucky's Republican Gov. Matt Bevin voted shortly after the caucus opened at Seneca High School and then traded in his ballot for an "I voted" sticker.
"There are lines of people waiting to vote," he said. "This is democracy in action. For everyone who thinks having a caucus in Kentucky was not a good thing, have you ever seen this kind of enthusiasm for a primary in the state of Kentucky?"
Bevin, however, declined to say which candidate he voted for.
There were sporadic reports of traffic congestion in places like Shepherdsville, where like in many counties, there was one polling site for all voters.
In Louisville, a couple of self-identified registered Republicans called WAVE 3 News to report their names were not on the the list at their polling sites. In at least one of the cases, we confirmed the issue being resolved by afternoon.