Secretary of State says Fayette County needs to get out and vote early

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — We are just a few days away from the 2020 General Election and Kentucky’s top election official was in Lexington Friday.

State and local officials have been sounding the alarm for two weeks because not enough people are voting early in Lexington.

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We caught up with Secretary of State Michael Adams to talk about his concerns about the city’s voter turnout so far.

The plea from the state’s top election official is simple vote early.

“We are trying to avoid a public health crisis,” says the secretary. “We are certainly trying to avoid voter inconvenience. We know they’re gonna vote but do it today, or tomorrow, or Monday if you possibly can.”

Adams says really why he’s concerned not enough Fayette County voters are voting early is because of the limited number of polling locations on Election Day.

Secretary Adams has been critical of Fayette County for only having eight voting locations.

“In Jefferson they’re going from four early sites to 20 sites on November 3rd. We don’t have that type of expansion here in Fayette. The sites that we have now are what you got,” says Adams.

And the sites haven’t been busy. Simply put, not enough people are voting early.

“We expect roughly 40,000 more voters to vote in person between now and Tuesday at 6 pm. 40,000 people in four days, that would be ten thousand a day if we spread that out. We’ve only been averaging 2,500 per day,” says Adams of Fayette County.

Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins who has also begged the public to vote early couldn’t give me an exact number of how many more early voters are needed. He just says “as many as possible”.

At Garrett Morgan Elementary, Adams says there’s roughly 27 voters per hour.

“That’s one every two minutes. That’s not good enough. We need to have a better turnout early to avoid total catastrophe on Election Day,” says Adams.

There is some good news. Clerk Blevins says Friday was the second highest number of in-person voters.

He says 3,428 people came out and voted. That makes a total of 43,841 who have voted early so far.

Blevins says if they can have strong days on Saturday and Monday, Election Day should be manageable.

And, he says his office is caught up with absentee ballots. In total, they’ve received 83,459 of the absentee ballots, which is 88% of all absentee ballots that were sent out.

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Christy Bollinger joined the ABC 36 news team as a reporter in March 2018. Christy comes from a little western Kentucky town called Cadiz. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May 2017 with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Criminology. Christy is thrilled to be working at her dream job in her home state. She is passionate about storytelling and you can see her weekdays on ABC 36 News at 5 and 6 p.m. She's covered everything from visits from the sitting president and vice president, to high-profile murder cases. When not chasing stories, Christy loves nothing more than being at the beach and says life is just better with sand between your toes and waves crashing at your feet. She is also a big animal lover. She's a fur momma and her mini-Australian Shepherd, Milly, standard Australian Shepherd, Bennie, and her Maine Coon, Cheeto, are the loves of her life. Christy encourages you to send her any story ideas you may have. Find her on Facebook at Christy Bollinger ABC 36, tweet her @ChristyB_news, or email her at CBollinger@wtvq.com.