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Secretary of State urges Kentuckians to register to vote before May 26th deadline

Election 2020 Ohio Primary
Posted at 5:00 AM, May 21, 2020

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — The countdown to the postponed pandemic primary election is dwindling and voters have until Tuesday, May 26 at 4 p.m. EST to register to vote online at govoteky.com.

Election 2020 Voting
FILE - In this March 17, 2020, file photo Fran Drago shows her sticker after she voted in the Florida presidential primary in Cape Coral, Fla. Scrambling to address voting concerns amid a pandemic, election officials from Nevada to Florida are scaling back or eliminating opportunities for people to cast ballots in person. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams encourages every Kentuckian to go to the website to ensure their name, address and other personal information are up to date. Otherwise he explained it will be difficult to obtain an absentee ballot.

He said he expects more voters to choose the absentee option because of coronavirus fears at the polls which is why expanded options are being mailed to registered voters.

"Every Kentucky registered voter is going to get a postcard in the mail from the State Board of Elections with a link to a website," explained Secretary Adams. "You don't have to use that website, you can call your county clerk, you can go vote early in person. You can go vote on election day. You can email; you can fax your county clerk. You can get your ballot in lots of ways."

The Secretary explained voting will be available in-person in every county but with alterations to the normal process with the goal of keeping Kentuckians safe.

He said, "We've had to accommodate the current reality, to keep people safe that's what we've done here with our elections as well. Election Day will look different. We're going to be spacing people six feet apart on Election Day. Whether you're voting early or voting on June 23. We're going to try to limit the direct contact between individuals, whether it's poll workers and voters, or voters and other voters. So you're gonna see us take steps to protect people that's going to potentially slow down the line somewhat."

Secretary Adams said he hopes Kentuckians will take advantage of the absentee process to ensure high voter turn-out and avoid what happened nearly 100 years ago.

"Back in 1918, and we had the Spanish Flu, it was horrible for election turnout. We had the midterm elections in 1918 [and] it did get control the US Senate--one party took the Senate from the other party," recalled the Secretary.

"That was attributed in part to the fact that you had a very low turnout people didn't come out and vote for their candidates and it actually changed the election results. I don't want any party to have a benefit because the other side's voters don't show up. Everyone's voice should be heard. I want everyone to come out and vote. I don't want our democracy to be destabilized by low turnout. I want everyone who wants to be part of this process, they come out and vote, however they do it."