LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams called Tuesday’s Primary Election a national success story, despite a national outcry of voter suppression on social media.
Adam’s rough projections has the total votes at nearly 1.1 million. That’s nearly a third of registered voters and the highest in decades.
The graphic passing along social media reads 600,000 voters and just one polling location. By Monday, it became a national story line with #AllEyesOnKentucky with tweets from LeBron James, Jennifer Lawrence and Regina King.
UK Professor of Law Josh Douglas said the idea that Kentucky is suppressing voters is flat wrong.
“No one would think that we should allow 600,000 voters to show up at one spot on one day. It’s somewhat absurd, yet this narrative took off,” said Douglas.
Douglas said what people don’t understand is Kentucky made it easier to vote, but that the in-person convenience concerns are certainly an issue.
“It’s not perfect. In a perfect world, we would no only have easy mail-in ballot access, but also more in-person polling places, but we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a world with a global pandemic,” said Douglas.
The in-person numbers are far fewer than the mail-in votes. As of Monday, nearly half of the more than 800,000 mail-in requests had already been returned, with many more turning in their ballets Tuesday.
“The best that we have to analogize is what other states have gone through, who voted recently. It’s what they’re seeing basically, about 85-90 percent of ballots are returned. That’s still going to be the vast, vast majority of votes,” said Kentucky Secretary of State Mike Adams.
Adams plans to review Tuesday’s elections and where they can improve because if the pandemic is still going on in November, the Primary Election could dictate how the General Election will go.
“We’re well situated to deal with that if we have to, but I won’t sugarcoat it, we’re going to probably have two or three times the turnout,” said Adams.
When asked about future elections and if we can expect no-excuse mail-in ballots to stay, Adams said without federal funding, the state would likely have to make cuts from other budgets in order to make that happen.