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Kentucky Election Expert Pleased with Voting Options, But Still Has Concerns

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A University of Kentucky law professor says he still has concerns about the upcoming November election, even though the state saw strong voter turnout during its recent primary

All of Kentucky’s 120 counties are required to create election plans for November 3. These plans will include early voting locations, in-person voting sites, and the number of poll workers.

County election officials also have to prepare to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines for social distancing, sanitation, and have enough personal protective equipment. 

UK law professor Joshua Douglas believes the commonwealth is approaching the election correctly. The state will have options for mail-in voting, early voting, and casting ballots in-person on Election Day.

Douglas said this may be the easiest it’s been to vote in a Kentucky election, but also said the number of in-person voting sites could cause limitations

“You know, we’re not going to have the same number of precincts as we’ve normally had because we don’t have enough poll workers, which is also important,” Douglas said. “If you are able to serve as a poll worker that could really help with the increase the number of in-person polling sites.”

Each county also has to have voting "super centers" approved by Democratic Governor Andy Beshear and Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams. Voters will be allowed to vote at their county’s super centers regardless of their precinct. 

Counties are expecting to hear back from state officials this week about whether their election plans have been approved. 

Douglas hopes those plans will fit the needs of each county. 

“I’m a little concerned about the location of ballot drop boxes for people to deliver their ballots," he explained. “We don’t yet have plans from the counties as to how many there will be, and where they will be located, and so I think that it is important to make sure they are accessible as possible.”

Counties are expecting to hear back from state officials this week about whether their election plans have been approved. 

Early in-person voting in Kentucky begins October 13. Kentucky’s registration deadline is October 5. 

Former student intern Alana Watson rejoined WKU Public Radio in August 2020 as the Ohio Valley ReSource economics reporter. She transitioned to the station's All Things Considered Host in July of 2020. Watson is a 2017 graduate of Western Kentucky University and has a B.A. in Broadcasting Journalism. She also has her M.A in Communications from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN. Watson is a Nashville native and has interned at WPLN-FM in Nashville. In 2019, she won a Tennessee AP Broadcaster & Editors Award for her sports feature on Belmont University's smallest point guard. While at WKU Public Radio she won Best College Radio Reporter in 2016 from the Kentucky Ap Broadcasters Association for her work on post-apartheid South Africa. Watson was previously at Wisconsin Public Radio as thier 2nd Century Fellow where she did general assignment and feature reporting in Milwaukee.
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