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Safety of County Clerks, Poll Workers Means Fewer Voting Locations

More Americans will likely be voting by mail in the 2020 elections. (Adobe Stock)
More Americans will likely be voting by mail in the 2020 elections. (Adobe Stock)
June 8, 2020

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The state has expanded absentee ballot voting to all registered voters for the upcoming primary election, and the deadline to request a mail-in ballot is June 15.

During a recent AARP Kentucky Tele-Town Hall event, Secretary of State Michael Adams offered insight into why residents will see significantly fewer polling locations than in years past.

"It takes 15,000 poll workers to run an election," Adams said. "The deadline for poll workers to be finalized was March 20, we didn't have remotely enough poll workers. We extended the deadline to April 24, still couldn't get poll workers. We just don't have enough poll workers to have a traditional election."

Kentuckians also can vote by appointment in person by calling their county clerk's office. On election day, Adams noted, most counties will only have one polling location open.

Kentuckians with questions about the voting process should visit the State Board of Elections website, or call their county clerk's office.

Adams said the easiest way to vote is to go online and request an absentee ballot be mailed to your home.

"GoVoteKY.com is that website. The safest, most convenient way for you to vote is to vote absentee," he said. "We're strongly encouraging people to do that to reduce crowd size at the polls."

Adams said the absentee ballot includes return postage paid by the state. And he pointed out voting by mail protects the health of those volunteers willing to assist at polling locations.

"Most of our poll workers are of advanced age. And so, those are the last people that we want to ask to put themselves at risk being surrounded by the general public for 12 hours," he said.

He said residents also can chose to fill out a mail-in ballot at home and hand-deliver it to their county clerk's office.

Nadia Ramlagan, Public News Service - KY