LEXINGTON, Ky. – More than 1.5 million Kentuckians had voted early – either in-person or by absentee ballot – as of Sunday, Nov. 1, and another 55,000 had voted early by midday on Monday, Nov. 2, accounting for a total of more than 42% of Kentucky’s registered voters.
What You Need To Know
- More than 1.5 million Kentuckians have voted early
- Turnout of 70% expected statewide
- Secretary of State has urged early in-person voting
- Fayette County reports low early voting numbers
Nearly 575,000 people voted absentee and more than 933,000 voted early in person.
“It's warmed up today and the lines will be longer tomorrow,” Michael Adams, Kentucky Secretary of State said Monday.
Adams traveled this past week to Lexington and Pike County, which were reporting low early voting numbers, to encourage voters to cast their ballot before Tuesday, Nov. 3.
“Rather than on Election Day, we’ve given voters 19 election days,” Adams said. This increases voter convenience and enhances public safety by facilitating social distancing. However, it will not work unless voters take advantage of it. Otherwise, we’ll have long lines on Nov. 3 along with all the problems that may entail.”
Adams said this past week only half of the voters in Fayette County that planned to vote early in-person had done so, which left around 40,000 voters to vote early in-person on Monday and Election Day.
The crowd was steady flowing in and out Monday at the Lexington Senior Center on the final day of early voting. William DeMarcus and his wife, Taylor, took advantage of the convenience of early voting. With their infant in tow, William said he was voting during his lunch break from work and that he usually casts an early ballot. It was Taylor’s first time ever voting in any election.
Allyson Watson, of Lexington, said she typically does not vote early but did this year to err on the side of caution.
“Well, it’s 2020 and you just never know what’s going to happen next,” she said. “I was worried about something happening on Election Day that would prevent me from voting. Some of my concerns were long lines, illness, issues with voting machines, and most of all, voter intimidation and or violence at polling places.”
Jeremy Smith, of Belfry in Pike County, voted Monday because he said he would be out of town on Election Day. Otherwise, he would have voted on Election Day, he said.
“Voting early is the same as voting on Election Day, except the lines will be shorter,” Adams said. If you won’t vote early for your own convenience, please do it for our poll workers, who are in for a long day as it is.”
Adams has criticized Fayette County in the past for having only eight voting locations. Fayette County has averaged around 2,500 early voters per day and he expects a statewide turnout of around 70 percent. Fayette County had its second-highest day of early in-person voting Friday, Oct. 30, when 3,428 people cast a ballot.
Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins said his office has received nearly 84,000 absentee ballots, accounting for 88% of all absentee ballots that were sent out.
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