LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Typically, counties across Kentucky have their unofficial vote totals available on election night. However, that won't be the case for every county in the June 23rd Primary.
Some, like Fayette County, are choosing to hold their results until June 30th.
Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins Jr. said he will not release any totals until all the ballots are counted. That includes absentee ballots, which will drastically be up due to the pandemic.
Absentee ballots in Kentucky must be postmarked by June 23rd to count. That means Fayette County expects to get many votes in right before and after Election Day.
"Our friends in Colorado that have done this for about ten to 12 years now warned us that we will see anywhere from 25 to 40% of the ballots come back the final week," said Blevins. "That's a lot of ballots.
While Lexington leaders are encouraging everyone to vote absentee, Fayette County voters also have the option to vote in-person on Election Day at Kroger Field. Those results are typically released as soon as they are counted. However, Blevins said he will not do that for this primary because partial results could be misleading.
"We will only have partial results on Election Day even if we tabulate them. I don't want to do that. I think it would be very misleading to the public to release results on a daily basis. It might be exciting and fun, but I also think it's very misleading," said Blevins.
Other counties in Kentucky may choose to do the same or release their results earlier.
In a discussion for Babbage Cofounder, Secretary of State Michael Adams said results are up to each county.
"Some of our counties, as a matter of policy, are going to announce the results as they calculate them. And that actually makes some sense because, as I said earlier, there is a bit of a difference [in] how rural counties are responding to absentee voting and how urban counties are," said Adams.
Adams said he expects the majority of ballots cast in urban areas, like Fayette and Jefferson counties, to be absentee ballots. In rural areas, in-person voting will likely be higher. That means it may take longer to count votes in urban areas.
"In the rural areas, where we're not seeing as much of a utilization of absentee balloting, my guess is [the] majority of voters will vote in-person," said Adams. "We're going to have, if not final results yet, at least the vast majority of votes in and counted sooner than you're going to see in the urban areas."
However, Adams believes voters will know which candidates won their races sooner rather than later.
"We're not going to have a complete picture of every race in the state until June 30th," said Adams. "But my guess is most of our races will know the answer - if not Election night - then pretty soon after."