Kentucky Politics

Louisville plans to have eight polling locations on Election Day, up from the one voting center during the primary election. The city also plans to have four early voting locations open six days per week starting on October 13.

All of the polling places will be “super centers” where voters can cast ballots no matter where they live in the city.

Louisville normally has 270 polling places, but plans to have fewer this year amid a shortage of poll workers and available locations during the coronavirus pandemic.

Jefferson County Clerk Bobby Holsclaw said she is suggesting the changes for reasons beyond her control.

“It has been my priority to ensure the health and safety of all Jefferson County voters, election officers and members of my staff. In order to do this, we have had to make some very very tough decisions,” Holsclaw said during a press conference on Wednesday.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the plan had not been submitted to Gov. Andy Beshear and Secretary of State Michael Adams, who have final say on local election plans during the coronavirus pandemic.

The deadline for counties to submit their plans is September 30th. As of Tuesday, plans from only 26 of Kentucky’s 120 counties had been approved.

The polling locations planned for Louisville are the state fairgrounds, the Yum Center, the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Ballard High School, Shawnee High School, Valley High Schools and a yet-to-be named location in the East End.

The fairgrounds, the Yum Center, the Center for African American Heritage and the East End location will also be available for early voting.

No-excuse early voting will be available Monday through Saturday from 8:30 until 4:30.

Voters will also be able to cast ballots by mail if they want. The deadline to request a mail-in ballot is Oct. 9. That can be done at GoVoteKY.com.

National figures like Hillary Clinton, Lebron James and Stacey Abrams criticized Louisville’s primary election plan because there was only one in-person polling place available, though it was a very large one located at the state fairgrounds.

Louisville and the rest of the state ended up with record-high turnout during the primary election, but state and local leaders have promised they will have more locations available during the General Election, when turnout is expected to be even higher.

Kentuckians will weigh in on elections for the presidency, U.S. Senate, Congress, the state legislature and local elections in November.

Ryland Barton is the Capitol bureau chief for Kentucky Public Radio.