LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Election Day is four weeks from tomorrow, but voting is already underway across the state.
In-person early voting is also scheduled to start next week. Right now only four counties, including Fayette and Jefferson, are still awaiting approval from the Secretary of State's office for their election plan.
Last week, Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins submitted a plan to the office of Secretary Michael Adams that contained six voting locations. Adams called that plan "concerning."
No schools were on the initial list of voting locations. But Blevins says he had been talking with Superintendent Manny Caulk for weeks about using a couple of schools for the election.
Once Fayette County Schools pushed back returning to in-person learning for most students until after November, Blevins and Caulk continued working on a plan.
On Monday, Blevins announced they'd reached an agreement to add two more in-person voting locations for a total of eight. Both are elementary schools.
"The first one is Garrett Morgan Elementary, out in Hamburg. That will help serve that area. The second one is Wellington Elementary, which will serve the Nicholasville Road corridor," said Blevins. "So the hope is that it'll alleviate some of the pressure on our in-person voting."
There will not be an absentee ballot drop-off box at either school, but they will be open for early voting along with the other six locations on October 13.
Secretary Adams did send a tweet in response to the news of now-eight voting locations in Fayette County, but the plan is not approved at this time.
The Secretary of State's office says that the other three counties without confirmed plans are Jefferson, Monroe and Owsley. He plans to finish up reviewing them within the next two days.
Even with the new additions, Blevins is stressing absentee ballots for Lexington voters.
"I know that our maximum capacity for those 8 locations is only about 30% for the whole turnout, so we really need for people to start requesting ballots by mail or else we're going to have long lines throughout that three week period," said Blevins.
Right now, he says only 83,000 Fayette County residents have requested an absentee ballot.
"It's crucial that we get another 40,000 people to vote by mail, otherwise we're going to be in trouble, even with the two additional locations," said Blevins.
The deadline to request an absentee ballot is this Friday, October 9.