Daviess County Offering Six Polling Locations on Election Day
The Daviess County Clerk’s office has finalized plans for the November election, as they anticipate slightly higher voter turnout than in the 2016 presidential election year.
Unlike the June 23 primary when the Owensboro Sportscenter served as the only voting precinct, the county will have six polling locations open for in-person voting on Nov. 3. Daviess County Clerk Leslie McCarty says COVID-19 has forced her office to forgo places that normally serve as precincts.
“You need a space big enough to distance everything and you need a place that has a separate entrance and exit, so it’s been quite a challenge," she told WKU Public Radio.
The six polling locations open on election day include Owensboro Sports Center, Yellow Creek Baptist Church, Hines Convention Center, Bellevue Baptist Church, Towne Square Mall, and Owensboro Christian Church.
Early voting will take place Oct. 13-Nov.2. According to McCarty, early voting hours are from 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, at the Daviess County Courthouse and Towne Square Mall. The courthouse will also be open for Saturday voting on Oct. 17, 24, and 31, from 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Voters may also cast an absentee ballot. McCarty said her office had received about 7,500 requests for absentee ballots as of Thursday afternoon, which is about half compared to the June primary. She thinks that's a sign that more voters are planning to cast their ballots in-person on election.
The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 9. Those ballots can be returned by mail or dropped off in the lobby of the Daviess County Courthouse and there are plans to add six other drop-off sites. Those include the Daviess County Public Library, Daviess County Operations Center, Whitesville City Hall, the Owensboro campus of Western Kentucky University, Towne Square Mall, and Doodle Bugs Market in Knottsville. Ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 3 to be counted.
Daviess County's election plan still needs approval from the state Board of Elections.
McCarty is predicting 65 to 70 percent voter turnout for the general election, slightly higher than the 63.9% of voters who participated in the 2016 presidential election.
“It seems like our political climate gets more and more volatile. That’s the difference," stated McCarty. "I don’t think it was as hateful or heated in 2016 as it is now, and that has a lot to do with platforms being used like social media. It’s easy for people to sit behind their phones and talk about their opinions and there is such a lack of decorum now where you cannot talk to someone civilly about politics.”