McCracken County Board of Elections members Tommy Dickey (Democratic representative), Sheriff Matt Carter and Ulla Schierhorn (Republican representative) handle primary ballots Monday at the McCracken County Courthouse. The county clerk’s office on Monday released primary results, which were certified Tuesday.

McCracken County Clerk Julie Griggs reports no irregularities for the 2020 primary election, which saw 15,537 voters, more than 12,400 absentee ballots returned and about 1,200 rejected.

The primary’s over now, but one thing left for Griggs on Tuesday was filing a post-election report.

“You just have to report any irregularities with the election, which there were none this time,” she said.

“Sometimes you may have a problem with a machine or something — it may break down or something like that — but no, there were no irregularities this time with the election. But we just have to file that report with the State Board of Elections.”

Griggs also provided a breakdown of how McCracken County voters cast their ballots in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, after weeks of early in-person voting, Election Day in-person voting and mail-in absentee ballots. The clerk’s office released primary election results late Monday afternoon, before certifying and uploading them Tuesday to the Secretary of State’s Office.

In McCracken County:

• 15,537 voted.

• 4,312 voted in-person total (2,490 voted in-person early, 1,822 voted in-person on Election Day).

• 12,428 absentee ballots returned.

• 1,203 absentee ballots rejected.

Voter turnout was higher than anticipated. For comparison, the 2019 primary saw a total turnout of 9,175 voters, including 268 with absentee ballots. There was a high percentage of absentee ballots returned too, as 15,781 were mailed originally with 12,428 returned.

“Some of those (15,781 ballots) were canceled because people decided to vote in person, so we had to cancel their mail-in ballots, so that number decreased a little bit,” Griggs said.

She also explained what factored into rejected ballots and the process behind that.

There are different reasons why some were rejected, such as missing the mail deadline. They had to be postmarked June 23 or before to count, while the clerk’s office had until 6 p.m. June 27 to accept them.

“Some of them were because they didn’t have a signature on an envelope or the inner envelope wasn’t sealed,” she said.

“Some we had envelopes returned with no ballots in it, but the main reason though that we had for rejecting a ballot was because they did not seal the envelope, which it specifically states on there that it has to be sealed for it to be counted.”

Those issues aren’t a new thing, although the clerk’s office had a much higher number of absentee ballots for the 2020 primary due to changes implemented for the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have the same issues every election with voters not signing where they’re supposed to or not sealing their envelope or not returning their ballot on time,” Griggs said.

McCracken County’s Board of Elections includes Griggs, McCracken County Sheriff Matt Carter, one Democratic representative and one Republican representative. All four members make the determination if a ballot is accepted or rejected.

Carter described the election as “definitely a lot of work.”

“It was good to see the large number of people that exercised their right to vote with a very high percentage of voters for a primary election,” he said. “I was impressed with how fluid everything worked and how smooth everything ran.”

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