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Kentucky Primary Offers Lessons For Pandemic Voting Going Forward

Voting rights primer
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June 29, 2020 9:59 a.m.

Despite fears that it would be latest state to see chaos around its elections, Kentucky managed to avoid the major disaster some were predicting for its June 23 primary and its experience offers lessons for elections going forward.  Crucially, Kentucky waived its excuse requirement for early and absentee voting, and the vast majority of primary voters took advantage of the opportunity to cast their ballots by mail. The state’s move to consolidate voting sites so that most counties had only one location drove the most dire predictions about last week’s primaries. But the most populous counties wisely chose for those sites large, open facilities that could safely hold several voters and poll workers at time. Only Fayette County, home to Lexington, saw consistently long lines where wait times were often one to two hours. The lines were caused by a chokepoint in checking in voters —another teachable moment for elections moving forward.

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