Knox County voting goes smoothly with despite just two polling locations

In a county that usually has 30 different polling locations, COVID cut that down to two.
Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 5:30
Published: Jun. 23, 2020 at 4:55 PM EDT
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KNOX COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - There was no line outside of the Knox Central High School gymnasium Tuesday, as people there showed up to vote in-person. The school, along with Lynn Camp High School’s gymnasium is one of the two polling locations in the county.

On Monday, WYMT told you about how the county had prepared for this election. It is something clerks have never had to deal with in Kentucky before. Many counties in Kentucky have one polling location as COVID-based fears prompted a change in how the election would run this year.

“We’re kind of a diverse county, we have a city on each end of our county,” said Knox County Clerk Mike Corey. “We realize some voters may have to travel as far as 15 miles, but we certainly though, our board of elections thought that having two polling places was absolutely a necessity to take care of our voters.”

Absentee ballots were abundant for the county, on average, 300 ballots go out in a normal election - this year they sent out more than 3,750. Kentuckians also had the ability to vote at their courthouse in the weeks prior to the primacy. In Knox County, they received about 800 of those types of votes. The results for both absentee and in-house voting will not be released until June 30 at noon.

As for the in-person voting, one of the reasons Corey says there were no lines was due to the roughly 20 tables people could vote at in either gym. He added that they also have 15 election officers working at each location.

“I just can’t say enough about our election officers, these people that give their day up, we have some well-trained officers and they do a great job,” he added.

Nonetheless, Corey, like many election officials, has kept a close eye on how the voting was going

“Voters have been able to vote in five minutes or less,” Corey said. Most voters we talked with said voting was easy and took very little time.

In addition to the extra polling location for in-person voting, officials had cleaning supplies readily available, and tables, chairs and pens were wiped down after each person voted.

"After each voter, due to COVID-19, we're cleaning the tables. We just wanna be sure everyone's health is protected as the vote on election day."

In a normal presidential primary, Corey said they usually see a 25 percent voter turnout. This year it looks to be roughly the same, said Corey when we last talked to him.

Knox County has a population of about 30,000 people. So far, there have been 16 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began in the county.

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