Kenny Barger Clerk

Madison County Clerk Kenny Barger is urging voters to apply for absentee ballots for Kentucky’s June 23 primary election. Barger made his appeal during a Tuesday teleconference meeting of the Madison County Fiscal Court, noting the county will only be operating three walk-in polling sites on Election Day.

“I know there are people who feel strongly about casting their ballots in person on Election Day for various reasons,” said Barger, explaining some people can’t vote by absentee. “But your exercising your right to vote (by voting in person on Election Day) may be hampering them exercising their right to vote. And that is the least American thing I can think of. Do the responsible thing and request a ballot online.”

According to a mailer recently sent out to residents, registered voters can request an absentee ballot online at GoVoteKY.com until June 15. Ballots will be mailed to the voter’s home, including a pre-paid return envelope, and must be postmarked by Election Day on June 23.

Votes will be certified three days after the election, Barger said.

Voters can also call the Madison County Clerk’s Office for assistance at 859-624-4703. The deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail is June 10. Additionally, absentee voting is now underway in the Madison County Clerk’s Office, but is only available by appointment because of social distancing restrictions. Residents can learn more about making an appointment to vote at Madisoncountyclerk.us.

Because of the pandemic, only three voting precincts will be open on Election Day, including Boonsboro Elementary School, Clark Moores Middle School, and Silver Creek Elementary School. Unlike past years, Madison County voters can now cast their ballots at any of those three voting sites instead of having to cast ballots in a specific precinct. Still, Barger said voting in person is ill-advised.

“Let’s say every voter in Madison County shows up on Election Day. It takes three minutes to vote.” Barger said, adding that Madison has 65,000 voters with access to just three polling places. “If everybody voted [in person] that would take 133 days.”

In other business Tuesday:

• Madison County Judge/Executive Reagan Taylor announced the final reading/vote on the fiscal year 2020-2021 budget had been postponed until the next business meeting on June 9.

• The Fiscal Court unanimously adopted a resolution to participate in a Waste Management Tire Grant Program through the Kentucky Division of Waste Management. The $4,000 grant would enable the county to collect used tires all year around instead of only during the county-wide tire amnesty drive, which takes place every three years. Officials said the county will accept tires from citizens, not businesses. Residents can call 859 624-4709 to get more information on how to get rid of used tires.

• The court adopted a resolution to participate in a CSEPP beta testing agreement, in which the county and a private vendor would work to develop an app where citizens can receive emergency notifications. Tests would begin on a small scale, officials said.

• Ralph Oliver III was appointed to the county Board of Adjustments.

• The court voted to participate in the Patrick Lee Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program, which reimburses law enforcement agencies for bulletproof vests. Bulletproof vests cost between $1,000 and $1,200 and the Madison County Sheriff’s Office needs 40, officials said. Grant writer Tom Webb said the idea is to get the county enrolled in the program, then eventually get all of the vests replaced over a period of years. The grant is through the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs.

• The court also heard a COVID-19 update from Emergency Management Director Dustin Heiser. Heiser said in the nine weeks since emergency services activated in response to the pandemic, the agency has worked to distribute personal protective equipment where needed, protected first responders by providing an emergency sheltering location in case responders get infected, and it has continued to keep the public informed.

• Taylor noted the county is eligible to apply for $3.2 million in relief aid for reimbursement of costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is part of $300 million that is being made available to local governments and is part of the $1.7 billion relief package secured for the state by Kentucky’s legislative delegation in Washington.

• John Tudor and Roger Barger urged citizens to be civil to one another. Tudor expressed concern about a rally in Frankfort in which an effigy of Governor Beshear was hung from a tree. Tudor added the proper place to express discontent for government officials is by voting. Barger urged people to “be kind.”

• The next teleconference meeting of the Madison County Fiscal Court will take place on June 9 at 9:30 a.m.

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