Early voting at Louisville polling locations ends ahead of primaries
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - On the last day of early voting, Broadbent Arena was busy with people casting their ballots.
Early voting became an option after state lawmakers passed legislation with bipartisan support to make early voting a normal part of elections here, in a move inspired by Kentucky’s first experience with such expanded voting options during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Governor Andy Beshear and Secretary of State Michael Adams expanded early voting to prevent people from being exposed to COVID-19 while casting their ballot.
In March of 2021, Kentucky lawmakers passed House Bill 574, allowing no excuse in-person absentee voting from Thursday through Saturday before a primary or general election.
Erran Huber, Communications, Media, and Public Relations Director for the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office said 2,427 people voted the first day of no-excuse voting. Almost 500 more people came out the second day across all six voting locations in Jefferson County.
“We’ve had about 9,000 people who have participated in some way in the in-person absentee process,” Huber said. “Whether that is mail in ballots, no excuse voting, or excused voting.”
Approximately 3,517 mail in ballots have been requested and more than half of those have returned so far, Huber said. 366 people voted in excused absentee in-person (early) voting.
“They’re excited about it,” Huber said. “They love the fact that we make it as convenient as possible.”
Volunteer Clematis Wallace said she agrees.
”They are really excited about the early voting,” Wallace said. “They don’t have to deal with the one-day crowds or just the one-day voting or the parking. It gives people the opportunity to change their schedule because the pandemic did change a lot of scheduling.”
Wallace said she never misses a chance to vote and wanted to return the favor for voters.
The flexibility to vote is something Simone Finley said she also appreciates.
”It’s been really easy,” Finley said. I was afraid the big crowd, so I said let me cut out early, but they had plenty of signs to tell us where to go and I am in and out in 10 minutes. There are a lot of things happening in our city, our country, our state that we need to take action.”
People who can’t make it out to vote early can still vote on Election Day on Tuesday. The polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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