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Nearly 80,000 Absentee Ballots Unreturned on Eve of Election Day


Any registered voter in Kentucky fearful of contracting or spreading COVID-19 was eligible to request an absentee ballot, but many of those ballots haven’t been returned.

According to data from the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office, 654,397 registered voters requested an absentee ballot, but 79,823 of those ballots have not been returned.

Unlike in the June primary, voters will not be allowed to cancel their absentee ballot and vote in-person.  Secretary of State Michael Adams says as long as voters received their ballot, they’re required to vote that way.

“Voting is making decisions and that’s the decision you’ve made," Adams told WKU Public Radio. “But if you don’t feel comfortable mailing it, I get it. You can drop it at the drop box at your county clerk’s office or other voting locations.”

Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked by election Day and received by the county clerk no later than November 6 in order for them to count.  Adams says if voters have requested an absentee ballot, but never received it, they’ll be allowed to vote in-person on election day. 

Kentucky voters will select candidates for president, U.S. Senate, several state House elections, as well as some local races. Voters also will decide on two amendments to the state constitution.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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