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Kentucky Secretary of State hopes coronavirus will not impact elections

PHOTO: 'I voted' sticker, Photo Date: February 6, 2008 (Source: Denise Cross Photography / CC...
PHOTO: 'I voted' sticker, Photo Date: February 6, 2008 (Source: Denise Cross Photography / CC BY 2.0)(KMVT)
Published: Mar. 10, 2020 at 5:58 PM EDT
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Kentucky Secretary of State is concerned about how the spreading coronavirus may affect elections.

talked to Michael Adams about what precautions he plans to take.

"We're talking on a daily basis with county clerks, with members of the state board of elections," said Secretary Adams. "We're going to see if the impact of this has decreased our recruiting of poll workers. My hope is that it hasn't."

Getting enough poll workers is already a struggle for Kentucky. Many of them are usually over 65 years old, which is the age health officials are urging to stay away from large groups of people. But for now, Adams does not expect elections to be delayed.

"State law provides for me and the governor to jointly declare a delay of an election in case of an emergency," Adams said. "I'm not prepared to do that. I don't think the governor is either. But if we do so, we have to do so together."

His office is reviewing similar situations in other states.

"The biggest thing that we're getting from our counterparts in other states is just wipe down the election equipment. Constantly take your wipes and wipe down the machines and pens people are using to vote," the secretary said.

Adams hopes the virus will slow down by the May primary election. He plans to monitor the virus and get input from state and federal officials.