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Election officials calling Kentucky’s primary a success

Published: Jun. 24, 2020 at 11:16 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins Jr. is calling Tuesday’s primary election a success even though there were some hiccups.

As you know, there were some pretty long lines at Kroger Field, the only polling place that was open in Lexington.

Lines formed early for in-person voting at Kroger Field, the only polling location in Lexington.
Lines formed early for in-person voting at Kroger Field, the only polling location in Lexington.(WKYT)

Blevins says about 3,900 people voted Tuesday which he had anticipated, but he hadn’t planned for was the number of exceptions that came through. He says that’s what held up the line, making the average wait anywhere from one to two hours.

“We had a whole bunch of people show up out of the field that had already requested absentee ballots by mail, some of them had even already voted, and then came out to the stadium to vote again,” Blevins said. “I’m not sure how that happened at all. But each time that happened someone would hold up the line and need to be explained to and all that.”

He says things could have run much more smoothly if primary election day was held at the Lexington Center. But that option was not available due to construction.

Blevins says his office is now busy counting absentee ballots as they receive them through the mail.

Secretary of State Michael Adams is also calling this year’s primary election a success, saying that voter participation was at a record high. He also said officials are hesitant to call it the new election model. For one, Adams says it was costly.

“If the legislature wants to permanently enact they’re going to have to cite education or something else.”

He says the state was able to pull off yesterday due to federal relief funds. He says legislatures will have to decide what changes to make come November. It’s a decision that Blevins says can’t wait.

“We can’t wait until six weeks before an election to do this again,” Blevins said. “I think ever county clerk in the state would resign on the spot. Me included.”

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