FRANKFORT, Ky. — The first draft of November’s election plan is in Governor Andy Beshear’s hands.
What You Need To Know
- Secretary of State gives Governor Beshear preliminary November election plan
- Expect absentee voting, early voting, and election day voting, but not no-excuse voting
- Secretary of State Adams says Kentucky's system can't handle massive absentee voting
- Final plans could be set by the week of Aug. 17
Secretary of State Michael Adams said he submitted a preliminary draft to Beshear at the end of the day on Monday.
“I told the Governor I would have him something by the end of the day, at least a preliminary draft for him to begin working on,” Adams said. "He's invited me to come in and sit with him this week and go through it in detail.”
The plan focuses on three things: expanded absentee voting, early voting, and election day voting but Adams says the plan does not include no-excuse absentee voting for all Kentuckians.
"We cannot have another election where three-quarters of the voters vote absentee, the system will crash. We don't have the infrastructure for that, states that have moved to a vote by mail system, it took five to seven years to do that, we can't do that overnight,” he said. "So, I do want to have absentee voting to protect those who are most vulnerable. But I don't think that we can have all the voters vote that.”
Adams plans to increase the number of people that can vote absentee by lifting some of the restrictions to allow current law to apply to more people specifically when it relates to people with underlying conditions or those who care for the vulnerable population however he says the system will not be able to handle more than 40 percent of voters voting by mail since he is expecting a 72 percent voter turnout for the November election.
"40 percent of 72 percent is a lot of votes. That's more than we had in the primary even with the primary where three-quarters of voters voted absentee,” he said. "I just don't want to blow our system.”
There will be more polling locations throughout Kentucky but still not every precinct.
"I don't think we're going to get to 15,000 poll workers, which is what we need for a statewide election with all precincts open,” he said. "But I'm hopeful that we'll get to maybe half of what we had in the typical election.”
Four counties in Kentucky are already fully staffed with poll workers for the general election the remaining counties are still working to get enough poll workers, Adams is still considering how he and Beshear will determine how many locations will be closed in each county whether it will be formula or if the county has to get permission from the governor and himself to close precincts.
The length of early voting is still up in the air as well but Adams maintains they will expand early voting options for all Kentuckians to help with election day crowds.
Kentucky’s new voter photo ID law will be in effect for this election as well but Adams plans to provide exemptions for people who are unable to get a photo ID because of the closure of county clerk offices.
“When the bill was written that really wasn't comprehended, but now it's a reality. And I think we need to be humane and address those situations but I do think everyone else should vote with a photo ID.
"I think we need to be humane and address those situations but I do think everyone else should vote with a photo ID,” he said.
Adams says he and Beshear will be meeting this week to iron out the final details of the plan and should have something concrete in place by next week.