Poll location shortages worry candidates, clerks, ahead of KY election

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BOYD COUNTY, KY (WOWK) — The primaries are taking place Tuesday in the Bluegrass state. With this in mind, candidates are taking to the streets one last time.

Over in Ashland, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Amy McGrath made the rounds at the Steelworkers Union.

It has certainly been an unusual election year for voters. Boyd County Clerk Susan Campbell says the pandemic has changed the usual operations.

“Actually it will be easier because we’ve given the option to do the mail-in ballots, we have also made it available for them to come and vote in the office by appointment, and then tomorrow the polling locations will be open,” Campbell said.

As Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and retired Lieutenant Colonel Amy McGrath points out, it’s still crucial to be a part of the election process. 

“We’re in the middle of  a pandemic. The state has closed a lot of polling locations down, but you know what, you still have the right to vote,” McGrath said.

In Kentucky alone, there are usually 3,700 polling locations across the state. This year, however, there will only be 200.

This has driven up the number of absentee ballots flooding in.

Campbell noted by Thursday last week, her office alone had requests for 7,239 ballots. When asked if this was unusual, Campbell replied it was.

“That’s a very high number,” Campbell said.

Despite the challenges COVID-19 is presenting to voters in Kentucky, there are still options out there.

“It’s my job, in running for office, to make sure that people know how to vote. Know that every county has at least one polling location.  We do have an online source, KentuckyVotes.com that we created that has a drop-down menu for every county, tells you where that polling location is, what the hours are.”

Retired Lieutenant Col. and Democratic U.S. Senate Candidate Amy McGrath

However, county clerks like Susan Campbell are worried about the number of people that may try to go to the polling stations, since their numbers have dropped so dramatically.

“We went from 48…to three,” Campbell said.

McGrath says representing this region is important.

“I want people to know, this region matters to me. It matters because we need it. We need investment, we need a senator that’s gonna care about this region, we need a senator that’s gonna care about the jobs of the future, and who is gonna invest in education and in infrastructure and things that we need.” 

Retired Lieutenant Col. and Democratic U.S. Senate Candidate Amy McGrath

If you are in Kentucky and still need information on how to vote in Tuesday’s primaries, you can call 1-833-K-Y-V-O-T-E-S or visit this website to find a polling location near you.

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