Kentuckians can now vote by mail in upcoming primary election

Secretary of State Michael Adams Photo Credit: Phil Pendleton
Secretary of State Michael Adams Photo Credit: Phil Pendleton(WYMT)
Published: Apr. 23, 2020 at 3:53 PM EDT
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Update: 11:45 a.m., 4/24/2020

Kentuckians will now be able to vote-by-mail through an absentee ballot in the upcoming 2020 primary election.

Governor Andy Beshear and Secretary of State Michael Adams made the announcement Friday.

Beshear made an executive order outlying the election procedures.

“Today’s Executive Order and regulations that will be created by the Kentucky State Board of Elections will allow all Kentuckians who are registered to vote for the upcoming primary to vote by mail through an absentee ballot,” said Beshear, adding, “While there will be significant education and work required, we are committed to making sure this election will be held in a safe manner while we are in this worldwide health pandemic.”

Adams said he is grateful Beshear worked in good faith with him to ensure a safe and successful election.

“Voters across the political spectrum will be pleased with this plan to protect both democracy and public health," Adams said.

In addition, the Kentucky Board of Elections is working on a plan to safely conduct limited in-person voting and possible drive-through voting option in case voters who cannot vote by mail can exercise their right to vote.

Kentucky's Primary Election Day is June 23rd.

Original Story

Changes are coming to this year’s primary election.

Election Day for the primary was moved to June 23, but the coronavirus will mean other big changes.

Secretary of State Michael Adams says he and Governor Beshear are working on a plan.

“We will have a significant expansion of absentee voting, probably some early in-person voting and some voting by mail,” Sec. Adams said.

Some states have had all in-person voting for their primaries with people waiting for hours in long lines. Adams says both he and Governor Beshear want to avoid these problems.

“We have to have in-person voting," Sec. Adams said. "It is in our state constitution. We will have Election Day. It might look a little different, drive through voting, curbside voting. To limit personal contact."

He says Wisconsin had problems with their vote by mail.

“First time, there were a lot of mistakes, a lot of their ballots were not counted," Sec. Adams said. "A lot applied too late to get a mail-in ballot.”

A typical election costs a lot of money, about $9 million, And all of these changes will mean this election will cost a lot more possibly $3 million more.

Adams was able to shed some light on this by mentioning the federal government will likely help out.

He stated the federal funds could go towards ballots, “One small bit of good news from all of this crisis is that we will be able to use federal dollars that we otherwise would not have access to, to buy paper ballots and scanners for paper ballots.”

He also said there might not be as many poll workers to pay, and believes they might actually break even. He says it’s something the state’s taxpayers will NOT have to bear.

Adams says it’s too early to say how this will impact the November election but says, unlike this primary, they cannot change its date.