Election officials grilled by Ky. lawmakers over polling location plan

WATCH | Election officials grilled by Ky. lawmakers over polling location plan
Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 4:08 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Some Kentucky lawmakers had some harsh words for state elections officials during a legislative panel meeting on Thursday.

Secretary of State Michael Adams told us earlier this week that there were problems in a handful of counties, but, overall, the election was smooth.

However, lawmakers grilled Kentucky Board of Elections officials over a plan to assure more polling places in some places was not approved.

“It’s unacceptable,” said Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville. “We are lucky someone didn’t get hit crossing the big road. Or that it didn’t rain.”

Rep. Nemes demanded answers from the directors of the elections board after showing the committee a video of a long line of voters taken just minutes before he says polls closed in Oldham County. He said it was so bad, he called it voter suppression.

The elections board representative said there should have possibly been more foresight on their part.

“I am sure that the lines we had in this general election will certainly be taken into consideration when new plans are prepared in the future,” said Karen Sellers, Kentucky Board of Elections director. “I do believe the county clerks will do that as well.”

The president of the County Clerks Association says it comes down to money. He says poll workers don’t make enough. Some counties pay a lot. Some pay way too little. There’s no uniform system and higher pay for poll workers would help a bunch.

“Yeah, I am a little frustrated that my effort to have more polling places was overturned,” said Sec. Adams. “I hope the General Assembly will take this as a priority. I think they will.”

Election officials say among the reasons why voting took so long for some was the length of the ballot and some people doing research on candidates on their phones while in the voting booth.