In-person and excused voting wraps Wednesday, polls open Thursday

Posted at 5:00 PM, Nov 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-01 17:14:01-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Wednesday will be the last day of early in-person absentee voting, with an excuse, before the Commonwealth opens the polls to everyone on Thursday, November 3.

“In 2020, we all got a taste of what early voting and voting by mail would look like, and I think the public really liked it,” said Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins.

The public did, for the most part, like that process which was necessitated by the pandemic. For Blevins and his colleagues around the state, it adds a lot to a process that’s already very challenging.

“Didn’t come with extra funding to hire more staff, so that’s a challenge. In addition, in Fayette County, we have challenges related to just physically where we’re going to do early voting,” Blevins said.

During the primary election in the spring, Blevins used Kroger Field on the University of Kentucky campus. That wasn’t an option he could bank on in November with the team in the midst of its season.

“Civic Center is huge economic impact if I shut that down for five days, can’t do the schools because it's just as bad, if not worse for families. Once you drop off that level, you’re down to libraries and such and we don’t have adequate capacity for those. So, this time we’re going to use the senior center, which is good but not great,” Blevins added.

Mr. Blevins spoke with LEX 18 one floor down from where early, excused in-person absentee voting was taking place inside the clerk’s downtown Lexington office. This accommodation was made for those who have a legitimate conflict with in-person voting on Election Day, or any of the three early voting days prior (Thursday, Friday and Saturday).

The clerk’s webpage has a list of all suitable excuses, and those who meet the criteria can vote through Wednesday, November 2.

Blevins said, unlike in previous years, counting and recording can begin early but results won’t be made available until Election Day. He also takes it personally when anyone, anywhere makes accusations that a free and fair election did not take place.

“Very frustrating because there is so much security that’s in place,” he said. “It is virtually impossible to cheat.”

Blevins told a story from the 2020 election when officials had concern that one Louisville man may have voted twice in two different locations.

“Well, guess what? Turned out to be two different guys with the same name. So we had literally zero fraud in Kentucky,” Blevins stated in no uncertain terms.

*For a list of early voting locations beginning Nov. 3 in your county, click here.