KENTUCKY — One of Kentucky's top election officials has provided an encouraging outlook on the timeline for election results across the state.
What You Need To Know
- Head of Ky. Board of Elections says nearly all absentee ballots could be counted by election night
- Ballots have been allowed to be tabulated since Oct. 1
- Results won't be official until verified by state election officials, approved by secretary of state
Jared Dearing, executive director of the Kentucky Board of Elections, told Spectrum News 1 that nearly all absentee ballots could realistically be counted by election night.
"On election night, we think that we should have a good portion of those results because counties have been able to start tabulating and processing absentee ballots," Dearing said of new state rules that allow bipartisan election workers to begin scanning envelopes, verifying signatures, and submitting votes into ballot machines since Oct. 1. "And then, of course, all of our in-person votes will be tabulated and released on election night as well. We think there’s a chance of upwards of maybe 90% of our ballots being counted, unofficially, on election night, and then officially about a week later."
Worry over delayed results has reached the highest levels of government, as President Donald Trump has attempted to cast doubt over the efficiency of absentee voting and the likelihood of producing results Nov. 3.
Dearing said if his prediction is correct, news outlets and respective parties could call all races on election night. He added that all voting data submitted by county officials remains unofficial until verified by state election officials and submitted to the Office of the Secretary of State for approval one week after the election.
According to Dearing and Nore Ghibaudy with the Jefferson County Board of Elections, absentee ballots are tabulated similarly to standard ballots cast by hand by voters. Once envelopes are scanned and signatures verified within secured government, ballots are scanned into voting machines. Those voting machines, both officials said, store the results, which are then inaccessible until the machines are physically deactivated at 6 p.m. on election night.
Ghibaudy said voters in the Commonwealth's largest county can watch the entire process.
"At the processing center, when they open that ballot up, it’s all under camera 24 hours a day," he said. "So, if we’re working in the middle of the night doing that, people can actually get on their computer or their phone, and they’ll see whoever’s processing that."
Ghibaudy said the election center camera is expected to begin streaming live on Tuesday.
Kentucky voters wishing to check on the status of their absentee ballot can do so online.
Spectrum News 1's coverage of the 2020 elections can be found here.