LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky's November election plan expands early voting and allows mail-in ballots for Kentuckians concerned about the coronavirus.
What You Need To Know
- Mail-in voting to take place in Kentucky in November
- USPS Kentucky says it can handle all the ballots
- They are flexing resources to handle the workload created by COVID and elections
- Ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by Nov. 6
With growing funding and staffing concerns at the United States Postal Service, some are concerned that those mail-in ballots may not get in on time for the vote to count.
Secretary of State Michael Adams, R-Kentucky, said mail-in voting is an available option, but not the only option.
“We are not going to encourage everyone to vote by absentee ballot like we did previously. That is based on a concern that is bipartisan that was raised by county clerks in both parties, by election staff in both parties that we may overload the postal service,” Adams said.
Spectrum News 1 reached out to the United States Postal Service (USPS) Kentucky about growing challenges since the pandemic.
“We are flexing our available resources to match the workload created by the impacts of the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and some other staffing issues. We appreciate the patience of our customers and the efforts of employees as conditions change on a day-to-day basis,” a USPS Kentucky spokesperson said.
USPS sent a letter to nearly every state saying it may not be able to deliver election results in time. Friday Adams said he had not yet received such a letter, but he is aware of it because of news reports. Despite that letter, a USPS spokesperson assures USPS is capable of handling the expected rise in mail-in ballots.
“Further, the Postal Service’s financial condition is not going to impact our ability to process and deliver election and political mail. The Postal Service has ample capacity to adjust our nationwide processing and delivery network to meet projected Election and Political Mail volume, including any additional volume that may result as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, “ a USPS Kentucky spokesperson said in a statement.
Even with that assurance, Adams said he didn't want to rely too heavily on mail-in voting for the November election. He said that is why there are other options for voters.
“What we did is we have a lesser reliance on that part of the system. Number two we will have more drop boxes available than we did in the primary. We are going to buy a whole other round of them to give out to the counties. The other thing we did is we are going to open the portal much, much earlier,” Adams said.
An online portal to request an absentee ballot will be open by Friday. Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by Nov. 6.