Washington Post: Here’s why all election officials should pay attention to Kentucky’s primary
Washington Post: Here's why all election officials should pay attention to Kentucky's primary
Kentucky’s primary contest yesterday marked a rare bright spot after a string of primaries where officials proved wholly unprepared to hold safe and secure elections during the pandemic.
The Kentucky primary Tuesday was far from flawless. Indeed, some in-person voters waited up to two hours in Lexington. But the state managed to evade the fate of Wisconsin, Georgia and the District of Columbia where large numbers of requested mail ballots never arrived, poll workers were unprepared and voting lines stretched for four hours and longer.
And it did it while shattering the record for primary voter turnout, largely driven by interest in a contentious Democratic primary to take on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Secretary of State Michael G. Adams (R) predicted total turnout would exceed 1 million voters with a large percentage of them casting ballots by mail. …
The state has yet to make firm plans for its general election, including ensuring all voters can cast ballots by mail then. During normal elections, Kentucky is among a handful of states that requires voters to provide an excuse to vote by mail such as illness or travel.
Voting accessibility advocates are also already pushing for the state to open up more polling places in November — both to deal with a surge in voters during a highly contentious presidential election and to ensure in-person voters aren’t forced to travel so far they choose to stay home.
“Governor Beshear and Secretary of State Adams made a good faith effort to make the best of the difficult task of holding an election in the middle of a pandemic. But now they must take the lessons learned from the primary and get things right for the general election when we will likely see even higher turnout,” Richard Beliles, Kentucky Board Chair for the voting rights group Common Cause, said in a statement.