Absentee ballot request deadline approaching, KY clerks processing record numbers

Absentee ballot request deadline approaching, KY clerks processing record numbers

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Kentucky Primary Election is now less than two weeks away.

WAVE 3 News has gotten calls from people anxiously waiting to get their absentee ballot after sending in an application.

So, we decided to check in with the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office to see how things were going.

Right now, the agency said the office is staffed 24 hours a day to meet a need like they’ve never seen before.

Jefferson County Board of Elections spokesperson Nore Ghibaudy said 180 workers have been reassigned to help process absentee ballots until then.

In the 2019 primary election, Jefferson County saw a little more than 1,000 mail-in absentee ballots.

But, this year, as of Wednesday morning, Ghibaudy said what he’s seeing is drastically higher.

“Just for applications that came through the Clerk’s Office, we are over 100,000 there,” he said. “Most of those have been returned. Then, at this point, we are at about 108,000 for the ballot requests that have come in through the portal.”

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Monday, June 15. Voters can do that through the Jefferson County Clerk’s website or the state portal.

Nore said that as of 6 a.m. Wednesday, this is where absentee statistics stood:

Applications Requested and Sent by JCCO (Jefferson Co. website): 118,753

Applications Returned by Voters: 102,077

Ballots Sent by JCCO: 91,003

Ballots Returned by Voters: 15,420

(State) Portal Requested: 108,208

Sent through Portal: 49,288

“This year couldn’t have been more different than any other election that I’ve been involved with in the last 13 years,” Ghibaudy said.

After voters fill out their ballots, they can drop them off or send in the mail. A secure, monitored drop box is currently located at the Jefferson County Election Center located in the Edison Building lobby at 701 W. Ormsby Street.

Another will be set up at the Kentucky Fairgrounds and open in the week leading up to the election, as well as on June 23.

If they prefer, people can still vote in person on Election Day. The sole polling location for all Jefferson County residents will be at the Expo Center in Louisville at the Fairgrounds. It will be free to enter and park.

Ghibaudy said social distancing will be enforced. Voters will be required to wear a mask and each machine will be cleaned after each voter.

"That's going to be very time consuming for the individuals that are working there that day to get that through," he said. "We don't want lines. We like to keep people moving and we're going to do our very best, but like I said this is all new to us."

Ghibaudy added that those still waiting for their ballots should be seeing it arrive soon.

"Our advice is be patient because we're getting the ballots out as quickly as we can get them to them," he said. "The most important thing is, once they get their ballot, fill it out, drop it back in the mail or they have the option to take it to a drop off box right now at the Election Center and soon at the fairgrounds."

According to the JCCO, due to the number of geographic districts and parties taking part in the primary, Jefferson County has 2,200 different ballot styles.

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