Amid claims of voter suppression, Kentucky could be on track for record primary turnout

Amid claims of voter suppression, Kentucky could be on track for record primary turnout
FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2020 file photo Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks to the press at the Capitol in Frankfort, Ky. Beshear says protesters who hung an effigy of him were trying to use “fear and terror" to force their will on others. The Democratic governor on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 referred to the protesters as a mob. He said he won't back down as he condemned the rally that spread to where his children play at the Governor’s Mansion. (Source: AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Kentucky may be on track for its highest primary voting total in the last decade, but we won’t know for at least a week until after the election is over.

Due to the pandemic, Kentucky allowed mail-in voting and ‘no excuse’ early voting for the first time, according to Gov. Andy Beshear.

Because of that, not every vote will be in-hand by election night, Sec. of State Michael Adams said Monday. Many counties are also withholding even partial results until June 30, the extended deadline for all counties to report returns, Adams added.

Complete but unofficial results will be reported June 30.

Absentee ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday or dropped off at the polling location nearest you. You can look that up here.

Kentucky’s primary was originally scheduled for March 19.

When the voting procedure for the new election was announced in May, the main goal of providing absentee options for voters was to avoid long lines at polling sites where social distancing should be maintained, Adams said.

Those lines may be long Tuesday anyways, due to a limited number of polling locations.

According to CNN, the number of locations was reduced from 3,700 during a normal election to 170 Tuesday, leading critics to sound the alarm about voter suppression, particularly in the state’s most populous counties. Lexington and Louisville will each have just one in-person polling location.

Beshear fought back against those accusations Monday, saying Kentucky is on track to see its highest primary vote totals in at least a decade.

As of Monday, Beshear said, 883,054 absentee ballots have been requested, 200,000 more than voted in Kentucky’s 2019 gubernatorial primary.

Some 452,305 ballots have already been returned, according to the governor, and 88,520 people have already voted early.

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