vote

Knox County will officially have two voting precincts for the June 23 primary election.

According to Knox County Clerk Mike Corey, voting precincts will be set up in the gymnasiums of both Lynn Camp and Knox Central High School.

Voting will open at 6 a.m. and close at 6 p.m., just as in traditional election years.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions put in place by Governor Andy Beshear that saw the original primary election day pushed back five weeks, absentee voting has been extended to every eligible, registered voter.

Voters may request an absentee ballot be mailed to them by the local County Clerk’s office by visiting govoteky.com and follow the simple questionnaire to ensure all personal information is accurate, or one may call the County Clerk’s office at 606-546-3568. An absentee ballot cannot be picked up in person. The office may, however, receive the ballot to be counted after selections have been made and the ballot is sealed.

On election day, precinct workers will direct voters to participate in social distancing. Each voting location will have seven workers present, helping process voters as they arrive.

Corey encourages voters to bring their state-issued identification card to speed up the process. “We can scan that barcode on the I.D. and it will keep the workers from having to type everyone’s information in,” said Corey. If a state-issued I.D. card is not available, other forms of identification such as a Social Security card or credit card will be accepted. Once a voter is checked into the system, they will be handed a ballot corresponding to their registered party (democrat or republican), and sent to a table where they can complete the ballot. When the ballot is complete, the voter will exit the precinct, placing their ballot in a scanner as they leave which tallies the vote and secures the paper ballot in a lockbox.

While Corey says the votes from election day will be counted quickly, by law he has to accept any absentee ballots postmarked by June 23 up until June 27 for an official, final count.

The County Board of Elections, made up of democrat and republican representatives, will meet to open and process the absentee ballots together. Corey said there will be two envelopes for each ballot, one containing the ballot, which is then inside another for mailing purposes. When it comes time to open the ballots, the Board of Elections representatives will only see the inside envelope, which does not contain any identifying information about the voter, just the ballot itself.

Corey hopes for early voting in his office at the Knox County Courthouse to begin June 1.

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Charles is a native of Barbourville, Kentucky. He has worked with The Mountain Advocate in various capacities since 2003.

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