Only one Ky. county not posting results to the state website on primary night
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Just one of the 120 counties in the Commonwealth will not be included on the State Board of Elections website on election night.
Laurel County won’t be uploading results to the Board of Elections website on election night. Instead, they will be uploading it to their own site. It’s a decision the county clerk says they made for their voters’ privacy.
Typically, the State Board of Elections Election Night Reporting website reports vote totals for the primary at both the county and precinct levels.
119 out of 120 counties are going to be included on May 16. The one not on the site will be Laurel County.
“We had already sent out absentee ballots. Then we were informed that state board of election staff wanted our results, absentee by mail results, to be in precinct level form,” said Laurel County Clerk Tony Brown.
Brown said when they sent out ballots, they only did it by ballot styles, not by precinct level.
In a letter from the State Board of Elections to Brown, they ask that they set up their election machines in a way to report all ballot types by precinct on election night.
“The ballots that came back, we would have to have opened those and transpose them to a readable ballot for the election and to protect the secrecy of the vote. Talking with the county attorney and the Commonwealth’s attorney, they said no, that’s not advisable, and advised us not to do it. So we’re not going to do that,” said Brown.
Brown says although there’s talk of a low voter turnout, he’s hopeful people in Laurel County will come out and cast their ballots.
We reached out to the Secretary of State’s office for comment, but they say the election results website is run by the state board of elections, so they do not have control of this matter.
The State Board of Elections released a statement saying:
In preparation for the upcoming primary, one of Kentucky’s election vendors failed to program a majority of their counties’ equipment in the agreed upon manner that would provide electionnight results displaying all voted ballot types broken down by precinct.
While current law does not require precinct-level reporting of all ballot types, the State Board of Elections asked the vendor and the counties to correct the mistake so that all 120 counties could display uniform results for voters on election night.
All counties in the Commonwealth will report cumulative election totals on election night, but, as he may rightfully do, Clerk Tony Brown has chosen not to report all ballot types by precinct, leaving Laurel County as the only county in Kentucky to not provide this information.
Contrary to statements made earlier today by Clerk Brown, reporting of all ballot types by precinct is lawful for this primary according to both the plain language of Section 147 of the Kentucky Constitution and judicial precedent.
While anyone can create hypothetical scenarios that may lead to litigation in any election, worry about the secrecy of ballots is not supported by the law and voters can be confident that their vote will remain their vote as they make their choices this May.
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