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Early voting heavy in Clark County

Monday was a busy election day in Clark County.

So has been every day since early voting at the courthouse began on Oct. 13.

In fact, it may be that more people have already voted than those will actually go to the polls on Election Day Nov. 2.

About 12:45 p.m. Monday, 5,670 had voted by absentee ballot at the Clark County Courthouse, and the County Clerk’s Office had gotten back 4,515 of the 5,878 ballots that were sent out.

That’s 10,185, which is a third of the total number of registered voters, 30,401.

“It’s going on now through 5 p.m. Monday,” County Clerk Michelle Turner said of the early voting.

She thinks most voters will vote by absentee ballot this year. 

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Secretary of State Michael Adams, a Republican, and Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, agreed to allow every registered voter a medical excuse to vote by absentee ballot this year, rather than going to the polls, where they would be at higher risk of getting the deadly virus because of the crowds.

Election officials in Kentucky and across the country have said fears of voter fraud by mail-in ballot are unfounded. Voter fraud is extremely rare, and in Kentucky, there are safeguards in place to prevent it, such as requiring registered voters to apply for an absentee ballot and matching their signatures to that on their driver’s license. If someone were to apply for a mail-in ballot and then try to vote at the polls on Election Day, the e-ballot machines would flag them.

Oct. 9 was the last day to apply for a mail-in  ballot, but those who are registered may still vote by absentee at the courthouse until the end of office hours the day before Election Day.

Turner has been impressed by the number of people who have voted so far.

“By Saturday, it was rocking,” she said. “It’s been busy every day.”

This year’s general election has drawn a great deal of interest because voters will determine who will be president, U.S. senator, U.S. representative and state representative, as well as who will represent them on the county school board and Winchester’s city commission.

Voters will also decide on two state constitutional amendments, including one intended to strengthen victims’ rights and another that would lengthen the terms of district judges and commonwealth’s attorneys to eight years and require the judicial candidates to have six more years of legal experience.

About Randy Patrick

Randy Patrick is a reporter for Bluegrass Newsmedia, which includes The Jessamine Journal. He may be reached at 859-759-0015 or by email at randy.patrick@bluegrassnewsmedia.com.

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