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Voters Turn Out On The Final Day Of Early Voting

Ryan Van Velzer

   Residents casting their ballot in the 2020 election met with short lines Monday morning on the last day of early voting in Jefferson County.

Ahead of polls opening Monday, a total of 310,651 Jefferson County residents had voted in the 2020 election — about half of the county’s registered voters.

A steady stream of voters made their way from the parking lot to the polls outside the north wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center. All wore masks and most, warm coats and sweatshirts to meet the cool fall weather. Some made their way in with the assistance of canes, others talked on their cell phones, some wore baseball hats and others wore headscarves.

More than 4,800 voters had so-far turned up in-person to vote at the expo center as of Monday morning — second to Louisville’s Marriott East polling location, which had recorded more than 5,100 votes.

Lisa Fizer, 22,  and her mother Sharon chose Lisa’s day off work to vote together. It was Lisa’s first time voting for a president.

“I thought it was going to be crazy lines, but it really wasn’t. It was very quick,” Fizer said.

Kourtney Rayner said she too was nervous there would be a long line, but found the process was “super easy.”

Similar scenes played out at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage and the KFC Yum Center, which had processed a combined 1,755 votes as of Monday morning.  Voters in both locations found the process efficient.

University of Louisville law student John Shewmaker said he wanted to vote ahead of Election Day and Monday fit with his class schedule.

For Pamela Bolden, Monday was a “proud moment.” It was the first time she’s cast a ballot in several decades. Bolden said she was formerly incarcerated and recently had her voting rights restored due to an executive order from Gov. Andy Beshear.

Bolden had just got her car back from the shop and was able to drop off her ballot at the Center for African American Heritage.

“I took it for granted for years, so today I’m just being a responsible adult,” Bolden said. “It’s just amazing how they worked this out. I think they should keep it like this for all elections.”


Ryan Van Velzer has told stories of people surviving floods in Thailand, record-breaking heat in Arizona and Hurricane Irma in South Florida. He has worked for The Arizona Republic, The Associated Press and The South Florida Sun Sentinel in addition to working as a travel reporter in Central America and Southeast Asia. Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Ryan is happy to finally live in a city that has four seasons.
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