Darren Doyle, story:
Only one polling place was open for Edmonson County's primary election yesterday, which was the county Community Center. While the process went smoothly, County Clerk Kevin Alexander says he hopes the process returns to normal when it's time for the general election in the fall.
"This has been a 5-week process for planning and preparation and it's been fairly difficult, even though things went pretty well in the Community Center yesterday," he said. "The main issue is manpower it takes to follow these steps properly. We have to hire extra part time help but these folks are putting in full time hours. This isn't a local decision, but something handed down from the Governor."
There were no local elections for Edmonson County but voters were able to choose candidates for President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. Representative. Local tallies haven't been finalized yet, due to the processing and counting of absentee ballots. All ballots postmarked by yesterday will still be counted. Those final results won't be available until June 30th.
For republicans statewide, candidates already named the winners are President Donald Trump, Senator Mitch McConnell, and Congressman Brett Guthrie. Trump will take on Democrat candidate Joe Biden in the fall while Guthrie will face off with democrat Hank Linderman. McConnell's opponent has not yet been named as the race between Amy McGrath and Charles Booker is still being processed. McGrath currently has 44.7% of the vote while Booker is at 36.5%.
SCREENSHOTS FROM BALLOTPEDIA
Alexander said one of the issues that increases the difficulty of the process is the extra mail-in ballots. Each ballot had to be requested by mail, completed, then returned by mail to the Clerk's Office. Those ballots have to be confirmed by matching signatures on driver's licenses then processed.
"Some embraced the idea of voting from home because they didn't have to get out, but from what we saw, the much larger number would rather go vote in-person at their individual polling place," said Clerk Alexander.
There are 7 polling places in Edmonson County, all of which were closed except for the Community Center yesterday.
"As far as that process was concerned, it went pretty well. There was no waiting at all except for a few people that came to vote before 6am," he said. "Each voter came in, had their temperature taken, they were offered a mask and their own pen for voting. The room was laid out by CDC guidelines, which overseen by Sheriff Shane Doyle. There was plenty of spacing inside and voters were able to exit a different door than where they entered. It was a good response from those who attended this polling place, but we still hope that we can go back to a more normal process when the general election comes in November."
Alexander said 570 votes were cast at the Community Center and approximately 1600 mail-ins had been received as of now. He said he expected around a 30% county voter turnout, which is higher than many thought, with virus restrictions considered.