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New paper balloting for Fayette County voters this week

Stu Johnson

This year’s Primary Election is just over a week away. It’s always a busy time for Kentucky county clerks. That may even be more of the case in Fayette County.

For Fayette Countians, early in-person voting begins this Thursday and runs for three days, through Saturday. It is happening from 8:30 to 4:30 at Kroger Field on the UK campus. Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins said voters this week will also get their first look at new paper ballot voting machines. Blevins noted there may be a slight learning curve for election officers.

“Citizens might at first be taken aback but that oh I have a paper ballot and a pen now and I got to go fill it in. But, it’s pretty obvious how you do it. You fill in the bubble just like any standardized test or something like that,” said Blevins.

Blevins said an increasing number of people are voting through the mail-in absentee process. So, the veteran county clerk doesn’t anticipate a large voter turnout on May 17th, Primary Election day. Blevins expects the overall turnout to be about 27%.

Blevins said early voting for the November general election will not be at Kroger Field. And Blevins added another favorable location, Central Bank Center, will also not be available.

“So, I’m gonna have to find another location or locations to host early voting. And once you get away from those two places, it drops pretty quick in terms of size and capability, which leads you to the conclusion that you have to have multiple locations to handle the volume of people,” said Blevins.

Blevins said school buildings are typically a good fit, but in November, it would mean no class for students over those three days. That would necessitate making them up later.

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