Secretary of State addresses primary election concerns

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) — A day after results from the state’s pandemic primary some people are starting to raise complaints about the way the election ran.

That includes State Representative Charles Booker who said in his concession speech Tuesday too many Kentuckians had trouble making their voices heard.

His statement suggested some issues with the election like voters not able to check the status of their mail-in ballots and voters not knowing if their ballot wasn’t counted due to missing signatures, missing flaps, or improper sealing.

The Secretary of State Michael Adams says Booker hasn’t expressed these concerns with him.

“Certainly we haven’t had ballots lost. The portal hasn’t malfunctioned on a systemic scale. We’ve just had some individuals that had some individual trouble operating it and we’ve been helpful to them in getting that taken care of,” says Secretary Adams.

He says with some of those issues people didn’t put information in correctly, or some browsers didn’t work well with the portal, or people had trouble checking it with their phones.

Esteemed political journalist Al Cross says Booker’s talking about transparency and accountability.

“I think he wanted to reflect the concerns that some of his supporters had but in the end he saw there was nothing to complain about, nothing to contest the election over,” says political commentator Al Cross.

State law states ballots missing signatures can be disregarded.

“It’s too bad that 6,000 ballots had to be thrown out in Fayette County because people didn’t follow the signature rules but those signature rules are there for a reason. They’re there for ballot security,” says Cross.

But Adams says emergency powers allowed him to require clerks to reach out to voters with mix matched signatures – rather than the standard of tossing those out – to allow them to correct it.

Still, there are things Adams would change about this election. He says vote by mail was clearly popular with almost 850,000 Kentuckians choosing it, but it was expensive too so it’s not a good option long term. He says elections are already under-funded in Kentucky.

“Just mailing out a ballot and getting it back is about two bucks a piece so you’re looking at about $1.7 million just for the postage, let alone the printing, let alone the machines, let alone the man hours. It’s gonna be the most expensive election Kentucky has ever had, that I’m confident of,” says Adams.

He’s hoping for a regular election in the fall.

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