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Kentuckians take advantage of early voting as primary election nears

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 3:07 PM EDT|Updated: May. 13, 2022 at 3:55 PM EDT
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Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News First at Four

LAUREL & PULASKI COUNTIES, Ky. (WYMT) - Early voting for Kentucky’s primary election is underway and, so far, turnout has been light and steady.

In London and Somerset, people are taking advantage of the early voting option.

453 people voted in Laurel County on Thursday.

“Because it’s one of the few things besides death and taxes—you get to make a choice,” Frank Cornett, an early voter, said.

Cornett said he was proud to say he has only missed one election year since he was 18—because he was in Vietnam.

However, there are changes to how people vote. Instead of going to precincts, people are going to voting centers.

“I think it’s silly to have voting precincts. You should be able to vote the nearest place to your home that there is a facility and people working,” Cornett added.

There are 15 voting centers in Laurel County, including the Laurel County Courthouse annex.

“So, it doesn’t matter where you go in Laurel County to vote, you can vote because the days of going to your precinct are over. So, any place that’s open to vote, you can go vote there,” Tony Brown, the Laurel County Clerk, said.

Pulaski County has three centers available until Tuesday, then it will have seven.

“We are using about 100-125 people to vote this way, before we had to have 256, now we’ve got 40 pieces of equipment, before we had to have 150,” Pulaski County Election Coordinator Mark Vaught said.

People are able to vote on Saturday, but election officials said there will be no voting on Monday.

Officials are preparing for a rush of voters on Tuesday, but turnout is still expected to be light. In Laurel County, voter turnout is only anticipated to be around 25%.

“With the races unopposed, you might not have the turnout you have before,” Brown said.

However, in Pulaski County, higher turnout is expected as candidates vie for various county seats.

“I was expecting 18,000 voters, which is 36% of about 50,000. I have 20,000 that never votes, so it’s about 45%, which is what it is,” Vaught said.

Voting will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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