Lexington to have six in-person polling places, drop boxes for elections


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Fayette County will have six broadly distributed in-person voting locations for the fall election, Clerk Don Blevins announced Thursday.

Mayor Linda Gorton joined Blevins and Heather Dieffenbach, executive director of Lexington Public Library, to discuss voting plans. The Clerk’s office, the City and the Library are working as partners to make it easy and convenient to vote.

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“Like everything else, voting is a little different this year,” Gorton said. “Make your plans to vote, and vote early if you can.”

Citizens will be able to vote early in-person from Oct. 13-Nov. 2, and on Election Day, Nov. 3, at these locations:

  • Tates Creek Branch Library, 3628 Walden Dr.
  • Northside Branch Library, 1733 Russell Cave Road
  • Beaumont Branch Library, 3080 Fieldstone Way
  • Dunbar Center, 545 N. Upper St.
  • Lexington Senior Center, 195 Life Lane (behind Southland Christian Church on Richmond Road
  • And BCTC Leestown Campus, 164 Opportunity Way

The six sites are spread out around the county and designed to be convenient to almost ay neighborhood. The county caught some criticism during the June primary for having just one in-person voting location at Kroger Field on the UK campus, which caused some waits for voters on election day.

Blevins, like clerks across the state, have said they’ve learned from the June experience and corrected missteps while improving on the things that worked well.

Blevins thanked the Lexington Public Library Board of Trustees for its support: “They are really being team players, making room for voting for more than three weeks.”

Heather Dieffenbach, executive director of the Lexington Public Library, said the libraries are proud to be involved.

“Supporting our democracy is one of the core values of our public library system.  This is a very important time in our democracy with a presidential election, made more difficult by the global pandemic.  We are proud to offer our facilities for in-person voting to ensure that all citizens have free – and safe – access to the polls,” Dieffenbach said.

Blevins also recommended voting by absentee ballot.

“You can drop an absentee ballot in the mail, or in one of our six new drop boxes,” Blevins said.

The boxes are bright blue and are identified as a “Ballot Drop Box.”

All voters are eligible to vote by absentee ballot this year. They are easy to obtain, but voters must apply by Oct. 9 at govoteky.com.

Drop boxes will be located at the Tates Creek, Northside or Beaumont Branch libraries, at the Lexington Senior Center, and in front of the County Clerk Offices at 162 E. Main St. Blevins has not decided yet where the sixth box will be located.

The City has worked with Blevins to accommodate the many changes.

“Voting is important, and we want to do everything we can to make voting easy and accessible to all citizens,” Gorton said.

The City has helped Blevins by raising public awareness of voting changes through news conferences and creation of a local website lexingtonky.gov/vote; providing space for in-person voting at Senior Center and Dunbar Community Center; providing space for tabulation of absentee ballots; offering technical support in equipping Blevins’ staff to work remotely; helping man and provide security for in-person voting on Primary Election Day; assisting with the delivery and distribution of ballot drop off boxes; and broadcasting the counting of absentee ballots.

Early voting hours will be Monday-Friday from 8:30-4:00 and Saturday, 9-1.

To accommodate polling and maintain safety protocols for COVID-19, the Beaumont and Tates Creek Branches will be closed to the public during the extended election period, but the locations will continue to offer Curbside Service for customers.

The Northside Library will remain open to the public for in-person use while hosting poll stations.

The Eastside Library, which will not serve as a polling location, will continue to operate with limited capacity.

All locations will host secure absentee ballot return boxes while providing Curbside Service to library customers. Election polling locations will be managed and staffed by the Fayette County Clerk’s office.

The decision was made by the Lexington Public Library’s Board of Trustees at a special meeting Thursday morning.

“At a time when schools, religious institutions, and other community partners were unable to host the extended election cycle, the Library stepped in to uphold our democratic practice,” said Library Board chair Lawrence T. Smith.  “Libraries are always here to help.”