Kentucky county clerks preparing for large General Election turn out

Published: Aug. 28, 2020 at 8:47 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Absentee ballots, more polling places, and early voting are the changes Kentuckians will see during the upcoming General Election. Each of those has its own benefits, but also challenges, for the county clerks tasked with pulling it all off.

Leaders from the Kentucky County Clerk’s Association told lawmakers about their largest concerns Thursday, during a meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on State Government held at the Kentucky Expo Center.

“I’ve heard, well, at least you’ve done this before,” Lynn Hesselbrock, Spencer County Clerk, said. “So, you know what to expect. I don’t think anybody can be prepared to process the number of ballots that we have processed by mail.”

Earlier this month, Gov. Andy Beshear and Secretary of State Michael Adams released what they called a bipartisan election plan. KCCA leaders said that the recruitment of more election workers due to increased polling locations, and changing emergency regulations has made their job tougher. In November, they say challenges may be amplified by the volume of people looking to vote.

“I think also, we’re all basing our numbers on the fact that we’re looking potentially 80 percent turn out regardless of what county you’re looking at,” Hesselbrock said.

The county clerks said changes have been put in place to help make the process smoother, but wanted to be frank about what some voters will see on election day.

“Even if COVID didn’t exist, presidential elections always have long lines,” Gabrielle Summe, KCCA President, said. “There’s going to be super long lines, not just because of CDC regulations, but there’s a lot on our ballots.”

The portal to request an absentee ballot is now open. To request one, click here.

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