2020 Kentucky Primary will go down as historic, expensive election

Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 11:11 AM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Election officials are monitoring the results of Kentucky’s primary.

CLICK HERE: Kentucky Primary Election Results

It was one of the most unique elections in Kentucky history.

The election, originally scheduled for May, was pushed back to June 23, but actually lasted several weeks in allowing both mail-in and in-person voting.

One of the most-watched races around the country was Kentucky’s Democratic Senate race between Amy McGrath and Charles Booker. Around 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, the Associated Press called the race in McGrath’s favor.

We have been told that more than 848,000 absentee ballots were returned and more than 274,000 people voted in person, meaning 1.13 million people voted in this election, for 29 percent of registered voters. That compares to just over 20 percent four years ago.

Secretary of State Michael Adams says out of those, only 800 absentee ballots had signature problems, and several hundred of those were able to correct those mistakes.

“The numbers that we are seeing for this election, are similar to what we saw in 2008, here’s why that is important,” said Secretary Adams. “In 2008, we still had an ongoing race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.”

Secretary Adams spoke to reporters Tuesday afternoon about the primary:

Secretary of State Michael Adams speaks about primary election results

Secretary of State Michael Adams speaks about primary election results>>https://bit.ly/2ZnA3P

Posted by WKYT on Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The challenge of voting differently during a pandemic when communication could have been a major barrier.

“Every single one of those people had to be informed not just that they could vote absentee, but how to do it correctly. It’s a little complicated to sign those two envelopes in two different places” Adams said.

With so many people voting in this election, especially with the majority mailing in their ballots, what are the chances we will see this happen five months from now in November?

Adams says things can change a lot in that time frame.

“So, over the summer, I’m to go assess what worked well, what didn’t work as well,” Adams said. “Look and see how much money we have left, what we had reserved. Make a recommendation to the Governor if that is necessary.”

Each election costs about $9 million and Adams predicts this one will cost about $12 million once all invoices come in.

“The mail-in option is very very expensive,” Adams said. “Not just man-hours for clerks and their teams, but it’s also the postage, the printing.”

Adams says another option besides mail-in is expanded early voting but he says they will do whatever is responsible and protects public health.

Adams says he will be making a recommendation to Governor Beshear for the fall election, but he says he would like to see early in-person voting continue statewide.

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