Whitesburg KY

Voters lined up here as early voting opened

Early voting is underway

There were moderate lines for voting through much of the day in Letcher County on Tuesday, the first day early voting locations were open.

More than 170 people had cast ballots in person by 2 p.m. Tuesday. As of the same day, the names of 2,145 voters requesting absentee ballots had arrived at the courthouse from the Secretary of State, and the clerk’s office is expecting to receive more this week. The last day to request the ballots using the state’s Internet portal was Friday, but voters can still request absentee ballots from the clerk’s office until Election Day, November 3.

In the primary, 2,827 voters cast paper absentee ballots in Letcher County, but there was only one location for early voting. There are two locations this fall.

“When I got here at 7 o’clock, there were people waiting to get in to vote,” County Clerk Winston Meade said Tuesday. “I told them to go over to the (Letcher County Recreation Center) with me so they wouldn’t have to stand in line. We got over there and there was a line there, too.”

By 2 p.m., 96 people had voted at the Letcher County Courthouse and 75 had voted at the Letcher County Recreation Center.

Meade said while there were some nasty phone calls from people, voting went smoothly.

Early voting totals in Letcher County portend a large voter turnout. In 2016, 56.4 percent of regis- tered voters here cast ballots in the presidential election in November, for a total of 9,273 ballots cast. The primary election this year set a record statewide, but primary turnout is historically lower than the general election. In Letcher County, only 23.5 percent of registered voters cast ballots. In the primary, Letcher County had only a single polling place open on Election Day, but there will be eight locations on November 3.

For those still voting by absentee ballot, those ballots must be postmarked November 3 and must arrive in the clerk’s office by November 6 in order to be counted. Voters who have not yet sent in their absentee ballots are being encouraged to take their completed ballot to the drop box in the county clerk’s office to ensure that it arrives on time.

Early voting locations here are in the Letcher County Recreation Center and the county clerk’s office. Voting at the rec center will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 8 a.m.-12 p.m. on Saturday. Voting at the clerk’s office will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 8 a.m.-12 p.m. on Saturday.

The last day for early voting at the rec center will be Saturday, October 31. The last day for early voting at the clerk’s office will be Monday, November 2.

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