Board of Elections Passes Voting Regs for June Primary, much like absentee voting in current form
The Kentucky Board of Elections earlier this morning passed regulations governing the June 23 primary election.
Voters are being asked to request absentee ballots via an online portal that should be ready in a couple weeks, said Jared Dearing, executive director of the elections board. The portal will allow registered voters to identify themselves and to use the coronavirus as a medical excuse in requesting the absentee ballot.
Responding to criticism from some members of his own party, Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams said this procedure is not mail-in voting, as is available in some west-coast states, but is an enhancement of the already-in-place Kentucky regulations for absentee voting.
Adams said these new regulations and the procedures they create are “centrist.”
In addition to the enhanced absentee balloting, voters can schedule appointments with their county clerks to vote in person. The numbers of polling places will be greatly reduced in most cases, and the appointments will allow for social distancing protocols to remain in place for in-person voting.
The board also approved $1.1 million for counties to use to hire up to four temporary staff members to help with elections-related activities, including curb-side pickup of ballots, tabulating absentee ballots and scheduling in-person voting appointments.
All registered voters will receive a non-forwardable postcard with voting instructions, and Adams encouraged voters to click on govoteky.com to update their voter registration so they receive the postcard. Read the new regs and the new timeline at kygazette.com.
Laura Cullen Glasscock
STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS ADOPTS TEMPORARY EMERGENCY
ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION LANGUAGE FOR JUNE 23 ELECTIONS
FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 1, 2020) –Today, the State Board of Elections approved temporary emergency administrative regulations outlining how the June 23, 2020 primary elections will be conducted.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a state of emergency in the Commonwealth and poses a risk to the health and wellbeing of voters. The goal of the measures adopted by the State Board of Elections today is to reduce health risks to voters, poll workers, and administrators and guarantee access to the ballot for every eligible voter. The regulations adopted will ensure that all eligible registered voters of the Commonwealth have access to a process in which they may safely and
securely cast their vote.
Chairman of the Board, Ben Chandler stated, “These regulations represent a bipartisan effort to guarantee that citizens of the Commonwealth are able to participate in a fair election while maintaining the social-distancing standards we need in order to slow the spread of the virus and protect the most vulnerable in our state, including poll workers and other voters.”
Every eligible registered voter will receive a postcard with instructions on how to apply for an absentee ballot, which will be delivered to them by mail. The State Board of Elections has established a secure online portal for absentee ballot applications that will provide voters with a quick, easy, and secure way to request their ballot.
State Board of Elections Executive Director, Jared Dearing added “The Board is grateful for the leadership and hard work of Governor Beshear and Secretary Adams. In several weeks, the State Board will release a secure online portal for voters to easily apply for their absentee ballot. The Board is strongly encouraging all registered voters to take advantage of voting by mail-in absentee ballot.”
All eligible voters who apply for an absentee ballot will qualify to receive one. Once they receive and complete their absentee ballot, they will have the option to return their completed ballot free of charge through the mail, or they may drop their ballot off at a secure county-government location. County clerks’ offices will provide more information in June.
The State Board of Elections is asking voters to make this election safe by voting absentee by mail. Further, the Board asks that voters be patient and allow County Clerks and their staff time to build these systems and processes up in the coming weeks.
Voters are also advised that in-person voting by appointment will be available from June 8, 2020 through 6:00PM on Election Day, June 23, 2020, however, voters are strongly urged to apply for and vote by absentee mail ballot.