Election 2020

This year, due to the pandemic, Kentucky voters were able to request an absentee ballot by June 15, and mail it in. But for Jefferson County voters who want to vote in person, there’s only one option on primary election day. That’s the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. 

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

Short waits times at the Jefferson County polling site at Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville on June 22, 2020.

People have been able to cast their ballot at the site since June 15. On Monday, voters like Haysley Kelty voted early to avoid long lines on Tuesday. 

“It was quiet,” she said of the scene inside the center’s A and B South Wings, where the polling site is set up. “It was nice. It was simple. It wasn’t very crowded.”

At midday on Monday, there were some short wait times, but in many cases voters could walk right up to the registration table. There were also hand sanitizer dispensers dispersed throughout the polling area and, with a small crowd, ample space for social distancing. Poll workers wore masks and face shields. 

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

Election officer Emily Padron at the Kentucky Exposition Center on June 22, 2020.

Kelty said she votes anytime she has the chance “because it’s my public duty.” She opted to vote in-person because, last year, she “got an absentee ballot and it didn’t work out as well. So, I figured it’s just easier to do it in person.” 

Tom, who declined to give his last name, said he decided to vote in person because he’s familiar with the process. 

“I have never utilized mail-in voting,” Tom said. “With it being a primary there was not a big crowd or anything like that. Very easy to walk in, register and walk out.”

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

A box of “I Voted Today” wristbands at the Kentucky Exposition Center on June 22, 2020.

Monday was a first for Versca Johnson.

The first-time voter held an “I Voted” wristband in her hand as she described the experience as “great”. Voting in-person made it feel “official.”  It took about 10 minutes, she said. 

A few poll workers said they anticipate much bigger crowds when polls open on Tuesday. Polls will be open at the Kentucky Exposition Center from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Election Day, according to the Jefferson County Election Center website

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

Jefferson County polling site at the Kentucky Exposition Center on June 22, 2020.

Stephanie Wolf is WFPL's Arts Reporter.