Early voting for Kentucky special elections begins Thursday

Thousands of voters running out of time to return ballots
Posted at 6:00 PM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 18:16:49-04

JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Once every four years, Kentuckians get a break from elections. 2021 is one of those years. But for some Kentuckians, there's no break this time.

Three special elections will be held on November 2nd to fill vacant seats in the Kentucky General Assembly.

The first election is the race for the 22nd Senate District seat. This district includes Jessamine, Garrard, Mercer, and Washington counties - and some parts of southern Fayette County too. The election is being held because longtime Senator Tom Buford passed away this year. He served in the Kentucky Senate since 1991.

Jessamine County Clerk Johnny Collier says his team is ready to go. The machines are out and the plan is in place. However, Collier suspects the turnout may not be great for this election.

"We advertised it as much as we could, but a lot of people still didn't know there was going to be an election," said Collier.

The good news is voters have more options this time. Early this year, Kentucky reformed its election procedures. Part of that change includes three days of early voting. So, voters don't need to wait until Tuesday. They can vote on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.

Collier doesn't know how many people will vote early this time. But he says Jessamine County voters used all the voting options that were available last year - before early voting was permanent.

"We had 9,000 people come through this courthouse. On Election Day, we had about 9,000 people," said Collier. "And we had somewhere around 9,000 people who did absentees during the general election. So this time, we're expecting quite a few people to vote in the early voting."

The other two are elections to fill two House seats - House 51 and House 89.

House 51 - Adair and Taylor - was previously held by Republican John Bam Carney. He died this year after a long medical battle.

House 89 - Jackson, part of Laurel, and part of Madison - was previously held by Republican Robert Goforth. He resigned this summer amid domestic violence charges.