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Ky. bill makes some pandemic voting changes permanent

Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 12:48 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - There may be no major elections in Kentucky this year, but next time those across the commonwealth go to the polls, they may be greeted with some of the changes that were born out of the pandemic.

Legislation has cleared the General Assembly to keep some of the adjustments county clerks said voters found most popular.

If it becomes law, House Bill 574, which gained final passage late Monday, would create three days of in-person, non-excuse early voting, including on a Saturday heading into an election.

The bill can still be vetoed or signed by the governor.

It also allows counties to create voting centers where anyone can cast a ballot, regardless of what precinct they live in.

Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw said she hopes to learn from the prior year as her office begins planning for future elections as soon as April.

“At least we’ve got something to look back on and see where our strengths and weaknesses are, and to hopefully even improve what we saw the last time,” she said. “I do think people were quite satisfied with the voting experience they had last year.”

The bill would not make widespread mail-in absentee balloting a reality but would maintain an online portal for those who are eligible to vote by mail.

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