LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The pandemic pushed back Kentucky's primary to June 23. Now, more changes are revealed; the Secretary of State's office and Governor Andy Beshear says the goal is to lessen the number of people gathering close together to cast a ballot. Absentee ballots will be made available to all registered voters.
There is a process voters must go through, to vote absentee. The League of Women Voters is quickly working on an education campaign, their Dee Pregliasco tells Spectrum News 1.
"Personally, I think it will affect the turnout," Pregliasco worries. That's because there are more steps to obtaining the absentee ballot than a voter would go through by simply showing up to a precinct in person.
"This is all new for everybody including us, and of course it's very new for voters," she says.
The state claims it's for safety, especially since precinct volunteers are typically within the age group that's more at risk of catching the virus. National Guardsmen will help staff the limited number of polls that will remain open to in-person voting.
"A lot of the folks who work in our polls, these are very much folks who are in our at-risk categories...[COVID-19] already has impacted our election cycle not only for the primary but we'll see what occurs into the general election next fall as well," Adjutant General Brig. Gen. Hal Lamberton said in Beshear's Wednesday coronavirus briefing.
Pregliasco usually volunteers to work her precinct. However, she will break from that tradition this time and possibly in elections beyond.
"So, there is a push now that, for all elections why can't it not be mail voting?" she's mindful of the discussion happening across the nation.
Voters will be getting a postcard reminder of the changes in the mail, so members of the League of Women Voters are recommending people reach out to their county clerks to be sure the correct mailing address is on file. To vote in the June primary, the deadline to register is May 26. To vote absentee, a voter should request that ballot by 11:59 p.m. EST on June 15, according to Beshear's emergency order. Mail-ins will have postage provided by the state; they will count if received by 6 p.m. June 27, postmarked June 23. For more information and links to every thing you need, please go to 2020 Elections.