State’s Top Election Official Urges Early Voting

Oct 16, 2020

Credit Stephanie Wolf

Kentucky’s secretary of state Michael Adams is urging voters to take advantage of early voting ahead of Nov. 3, in order to help the election run more smoothly.

Because of the pandemic, the state has expanded opportunities for people to cast their votes ahead of Election Day.  Adams said in order to prevent stress on local county clerks, he’s hoping voters will be fairly evenly split in how they cast their ballots, with a third using absentee, a third voting early, and another third voting on Election Day.

“This year is a three-legged stool,” Adams told the Louisville Rotary Club Thursday. “If you put too much stress on one leg, you’re going to snap it.”

Adams said the first days of early vote have gone “really well,” noting that about 60,000 people voted on Tuesday. He said 658,000 voters had requested absentee ballots as of the latest count, about 200,000 fewer than were requested in the June primary.

“That’s about the sweet spot of what our county clerks can manage administratively,” he said.

Adams said having fewer absentee ballots to count will allow the state to report election results sooner. Adams and Gov. Andy Beshear have directed county clerks to have all absentee ballots received by Election Day counted on Election night. Adams said he anticipates the state will be able to report 80% to 85% of the vote on Election night.

But he said other, larger states, with different timelines for counting absentee ballots, could take much longer to report election results in the presidential race. Adams said learning the final outcome could take several days.

“I don’t think we’re going to know for a couple of weeks who the president’s gonna be. That’s if the race is close,” he said.  “I think that might take two weeks to have that information. It’s gonna be pretty tough I think for our country.”

Early voting stations are open in Jefferson County Mondays through Saturdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until November 2nd. You can find you polling stations here.