Election differences, similarities; tips, checklist for voting

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NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – The primary election is coming up Tuesday, June 23rd and like just about everything else, elections and voting will be different, and different in almost every county in the state.

Check out some handy tips at the end of this story for some checklists for getting through it all.

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“Never before have we had this type of election,” said Jessamine County Clerk Johnny Collier.

Collier says most people like to vote in person. That’s one of the things that makes this year so different. His staff has sent out 12,000 mail-in ballots by this week’s deadline. And already another 250 people have voted in person. In addition to congressional primaries, the Nicholasville city commission election is attracting voters. But people can still vote in person.

Jessamine County has four locations, some counties have just one. Some have more. Collier suggests people make an appointment to avoid delays and social-distancing requirements.

“Obviously with the current health condition we are concerned. The day before yesterday we received a shipment of masks, and gloves, and hand sanitizers for our people to have at the polls,” Collier says.

Most other counties also suggest reservations. Collier says his staff is doing all it can to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. And while there are differences, they also are doing some things like past years.

“We have extra poll workers going to each locations to help direct traffic and to help keep people going in the right direction, make sure they come in one door and go out a separate door so we’re not really concerned about Election Day because it’s going to be normal,” Collier says.

Jessamine County residents can return their mail-in ballots to the metal drop box in front of the voter registration office as the courthouse.

Collier says election results will be posted at each polling location by June 30th. That’s what most counties are doing.

Secretary of State Michael Adams issued a statement Friday addressing the issue.

“Under normal circumstances, the State Board of Elections receives and reports all preliminary election results on election night. However, because we, like other states voting during the pandemic, have accommodated voters by letting them mail ballots on election day, not every vote will be in hand by election night. Moreover, many counties, including our two biggest, have chosen to withhold even partial results until June 30, the extended deadline for all counties to report returns to the Secretary of State,” Adams said.

“Consequently, while our Office will provide, in informal but transparent fashion, any county results we receive on election night, neither our Office nor the State Board of Elections will be able to offer the usual online election night reporting at elect.ky.gov. Complete but unofficial results must be reported to the Secretary of State by 6:00 p.m. local time on June 30, and will be made available to the public at that time,” he added.

To learn more about voting locations, drop off boxes and other questions, visit the Secretary of State website.

The League of Women voters offers the following checklist:

  • Before Election Day:
    • Research Candidates: Check out the LWV non-partisan voting guide at 411.org
    • If you have a Mail-in Ballot, complete it ASAP.
      • Mail-In Ballots must be postmarked by June 23 and received by the 27th. Mail your ballot ASAP to avoid last-minute delays!
      • Or drop off your ballot before or on Election Day at a drop box provided by your County Clerk. The box may not be located at your County Clerk’s office. Find Your County Clerk here.
    • Find your polling location here. Many counties have only one polling location. DO NOT GO TO YOUR NORMAL POLLING LOCATION without checking first!
    • Early in-person voting is available by appointment if you need accommodations to cast your ballot.  Check here for more information.
  • On Election Day, June 23:
    • If you already mailed or dropped off your ballot, relax, you are done!
    • If you haven’t submitted your Mail-In Ballot:
      • Mail your ballot so it is postmarked TODAY (Drop it off at a post office before pickup time—don’t put it in your mailbox to go out)
      • Or submit your ballot at your County Clerk’s designated drop box.
    • In-person Voting on Election Day if you did not request a Mail-in Ballot:
      • Go to the designated polling location for your county (not your regular precinct) between 6 AM and 6 PM.
      • Please wear a mask and respect social distancing to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus.