Primary election ballot count to be completed tonight

Members of the McCracken County board of elections counting the votes from absentee ballots on Friday include (from left) County Clerk Julie Griggs, Sheriff Matt Carter (running ballots through an election machine), Democratic Party representative Tommy Dickey and Republican Party representative Ulla Schierhorn.

Members of the McCracken County board of elections completed tallying the votes Friday of the ballots that had been mailed to the county clerk’s office — thus far.

The deadline for ballots to be approved for the primary election is 6 p.m. today, and they must have been postmarked on Tuesday or before. County Clerk Julie Griggs said she planned on announcing the final totals Monday afternoon.

Any ballots coming in after the deadline — regardless of the postmark — will be processed but will not count toward the election tally.

“I’ll be meeting them over at the post office (today) at 6 to pick the rest of those ballots up,” Griggs said. “(If something comes in after 6 p.m.,) we can’t accept it.

“We still have to account for it — we’ll have to scan it in and show that we received it — but then, we have to notate the reason it was rejected, and it would be ‘missed deadline.’ ”

The board consisting of Griggs, Sheriff Matt Carter, Democratic Party representative Tommy Dickey and Republican Party representative Ulla Schierhorn have been counting absentee ballot votes for about two weeks.

Griggs said that about 14,400 ballots were issued for the June 23 primary election earlier in the month, and about 12,000 of those were mailed back or returned by hand.

She added that 4,312 people voted in person from June 8 through Tuesday.

Griggs said that while this election has operated differently than those in the past, it has been a fairly smooth process.

“We’ve had a few hurdles,” she said, “but all in all, when you consider the volume of the ballots that we sent out and that we’ve never dealt with that before, I am so pleased with the way it turned out, especially our Election Day voting. It went so smooth.

“We’ve got the county board of elections here, I’ve got a great staff and the precinct workers that we had — we had about 10 out of our normal 250 who were down here helping us. It really has gone well.”

Of the nuances that this primary election has brought, Griggs said she liked the online portal set up by the Kentucky Board of Elections allowing people to apply online for an absentee ballot.

“I think they’re going to keep that for future elections,” she said.

Griggs said that those wanting to change party affiliations can do so in the next week.

“We’ve had a lot of people inquiring about changing their party affiliation,” she said. “I think that’s one thing people don’t realize. People don’t vote in a primary as much, and certainly not like they did this time, and I think a lot of people, really, have not even realized what party affiliation they were because they were used to voting in the general election, and there, they can vote however they want to.

“There was a lot of confusion among the voters, thinking they were affiliated one way and they weren’t and didn’t realize it until they got their ballot.”

People can check their registered party affiliation at govoteky.com by clicking “Review Your Registration.”

The deadline to register to vote in the 2020 general election in November is Oct. 5.

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