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Absentee voting to start June 1

By Greg Bird

The June 23rd Primary Election, already pushed back due to the COVID-19 outbreak, will see further changes as the state tries to make voting safer and easier for citizens still concerned about gathering in large crowds.
The McCreary County Board of Elections: Shane Gilreath, Adam Phillips and Sheriff Randy Waters met with Clerk Eric Haynes to discuss options for the Primary Election to be held on Tuesday, June 23.
Under new guidelines issued by Governor Andy Beshear and Secretary of State Michael Adams, the primary has been set back to the later date to allow for more time during the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak. The two state officers have also released a set of guidelines for local election boards to follow for the upcoming vote.
In order to maintain social distancing as much as possible, the guidelines call for expanded absentee voting, and local Boards of Election to accommodate citizens to vote without having to wait in lines at polling places.
The McCreary Board opted to allow in-person absentee voting to take place at the McCreary County Courthouse from June 1 through June 22, during regular business hours.
Due to the state of emergency declared anyone can request an absentee ballot through the McCreary County Clerks Office -606-376-2411. The office can either mail an absentee ballot, or schedule a time to come in and vote at the courthouse during the early voting period. Voters who show up without an appointment will also be allowed to vote early.
The state has allocated funds to the local boards to hire poll workers to staff absentee voting stations throughout the times they are open.
On Election Day, only one polling place will be open for the county – located at the Whitley City Fire Department. All registered voters, who have not voted via absentee ballot, can cast their vote at the polling place, regardless of their normal voting location.
The primary races that will appear on the ballot this spring are President, U.S. Senator and State Representative.
As an additional note, the deadline for candidate filings for the November 3 General Election is June 2. The only local races that will be on the ballot this fall are three seats for the McCreary County Board of Education (Districts 1,3, and 5).
Through Tuesday only one candidate, Nelda Gilreath, D-5, has submitted a filing for her re-election bid.

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