Election plans revealed; Gov. Beshear confirms 679 new cases, 8 new deaths
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Governor Beshear started Friday’s briefing announcing he and Secretary of State Michael Adams have reached an agreement on how to run the General Election.
The governor says he has signed an executive order on plans for the election, saying it will provide multiple options for voting, including absentee voting by mail, early voting, election day voting, and voter identification.
For those wishing to cast an absentee vote by mail, an online portal to request ballots will be open within seven days said the governor. Ballots need to be postmarked by Election Day and must be received by November 6. Drop boxes will be available for Kentuckians to return their mail ballots if they are concerned about postal delays. County clerks will determine these locations.
In terms of early voting, beginning Oct. 13, three weeks before the election, every workday between Oct. 13 and Election Day, and every Saturday for at least four hours, every county clerk will provide a location for safe in-person voting. Early voting is not absentee voting – anyone can vote early for any reason.
For Election Day voting, County election officials will decide election sites. The State Board of Elections, Secretary of State, and Governor will approve each plan. Every county will also have at least one voting super-center, where everyone from the county can go to vote, regardless of his or her precinct.
Finally, Kentuckians who were unable to get a driver’s licenses or photo ID due to the pandemic because their clerk’s office was closed, or because they were afraid of exposing themselves to COVID-19, can sign a document explaining this concern and cast their ballot.
“Secretary Adams and I were able to put partisanship aside and develop a plan for the General Election that puts the health and safety of Kentuckians first,” Gov. Beshear said. “This plan provides more time and options to vote in this General Election than ever before.”
Secretary Adams then took to the podium, saying they are taking one of the exceptions for absentee voting and broadening it to include any voter of any age or health condition who believes they are at risk for COVID-19. This will also apply to anyone who is in contact with vulnerable populations. Adams says they aren’t encouraging everyone to vote by absentee, as that may overload clerks and the Postal Service.
“Gov. Beshear and I worked together across the partisan divide to fashion election rules that are fair to every voter regardless of party,” Secretary Adams said. “We kept the best of what worked in the June primary, especially giving voters options to safely cast their votes, and we built on that record with improvements – more in-person voting locations, and faster election results.”
Election expert Joshua. A Douglas says voters should work to flatten the ballot curve now.
“Decide how you’re going to vote early, figure it out early in the process whether you think you need to vote by mail, which is fine, or if you want to go in person early, which is also great, or if you want to wait until November 3, but make that decision soon and do it soon,” Douglas said.
Those who want to wait until Election Day will have a supercenter to report in every county.
“We’ve proven that vote centers are secure and they make it so much easier for people to vote so it’s only a good thing,” Douglas said.
But Adams says he’ll need more poll workers to have more precincts. And for those eager to get results, Adams says he has good news.
“We’re explicitly requiring all the counties to report all their votes received on election night,” Adams said. “We’re allowing votes to come in if they’ve been post marked on election day, we’ll allow a few more days to come in, so the results on election night won’t be final.”
The governor then moved to update the state on COVID-19 cases in Kentucky. The governor confirmed 679 cases on Friday, bringing the state total to 38,298. That’s the 9th highest single-day total for cases. The governor also reported 8 new deaths on Friday. That raises the state’s death toll to 804. Over 9,000 people have recovered from the virus.
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