Kentucky County Clerks weigh in on General Election
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – With just about two months to go until the General Election, county clerks are trying to figure out how to best handle it, which will likely include a historic number of mail-in votes.
“It’s gonna be probably the hardest thing any Kentucky county clerk has ever done,” says Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins.
They’re going to have to juggle three voting methods at the same time: mail-in, early and day-of voting.
Blevins says he’s already gotten 33,000 mail-in ballot requests, and his employees are overwhelmed.
“Back in the primary I used all 75 of them to help, particularly with the mail-in ballots, this time I can’t do that.”
Blevins says many of them are busy dealing with a historic number of car sales and new mortgages.
He predicts more than 70-percent of the vote will be in the mail, so he’s hoping for more drop boxes.
Over in Clark County, Clerk Michelle Turner says she’s only received about 1,800 mail-in ballot requests.
“We had 6,000 in the primary, so it’s still kinda early,” says Turner.
She says mail-in was the main voting method in June, but predicts that might change.
“I think initially they thought that it was what they had to do,” says Turner. “We did hear a few who said they would have not mailed them in if they’d known.”
Now, Turner says her office is making all three voting options clear. Blevins says he’s doing the same, especially after similar confusion in Fayette County on Election Day.
“Problems on that day had to do with voters who really didn’t understand that once you request a ballot by mail, you can’t vote in person,” says Blevins.
Over in Nicholas County, which has a much smaller population of about 7,000 people, Clerk Martha Moss says about 400 have requested mail-in ballots so far. That’s compared to a total of 1,500 before the primary.
“Anybody can come in to early voting, I think you will have more people that vote in-person this time,” says Moss.
She says she still predicts more will mail in their vote than any other method. Moss also admits that being a smaller county helps and all the kinks should be worked out.
All three counties say they hope to have multiple early voting locations, but the state still has to release its early voting plan.