Couple turned away at the polls: ‘It wasn’t an issue’

Couple who were turned away at the polls says 'it wasn’t an issue’

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Turned away at the polls? It's one of the claims of voting irregularities made by Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin as he called for a recanvass.

Bevin fell short of re-election by about 5,000 votes to Andy Beshear, leaving people wondering if the claims are significant or common election hiccups.

WAVE 3 News wanted to speak with voters who might have been part of the election irregularities.

“Oh, I thought it was a terrible wreck; it was right up here at the first stop sign,” Maggie Spink remembered. But it wasn’t a wreck Spink saw Tuesday afternoon.

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LMPD was searching for two armed people around Bowen Elementary School, a school that doubles as the voting precinct where Maggie and David Spink have cast their ballots for years.

“I didn’t know what was going on; I wasn’t that afraid,” she said.

“We went to the door and we found they were locked,” David Spink said. “A man came up and said, ‘We’re in lockdown.’”

Jefferson County election officials said they believe the lockdown could possibly be one of the instances Bevin cited when he said “voters were being turned away from polling places.”

But, the Spinkses said they and other voters were immediately told to come back by election officers.

“He said, ‘We will be open, for the first time in history, we will be open to 6:45,’” Maggie Spinks said. She and her husband returned sometime later and voted.

“They put it right in the machine and I saw it go,” she said.

Added her husband: “It was no problem.”

Bevin also said machines in Jefferson County weren’t working properly, and ballots were being put into open boxes.

Election officials said they believe he was talking about the lock-box known as the emergency bin on the DS 200 voting machine scanner that can be seen in an election training video.

Election officials said that when ballots get jammed, bipartisan officers are called to witness the ballot going into the locked box, which is later counted.

Bevin also mentioned thousands of ballots were illegally counted somewhere, but hasn’t given specifics. The precinct where the lockdown happened on Election Day is currently in a Republican-represented district. Both of the voters WAVE 3 News talked to said they voted for Andy Beshear.

WAVE 3 News also checked in with Fayette County, where a large number of votes were cast. The clerk there told WAVE 3 News that Tuesday’s election was one of the smoothest for the county.

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