Yes, 2020 is a year for the record books. We have all had to cancel or change plans, adjust our goals and sometimes just close the door on the future we imagined. But there has been one change that is a very big improvement. Because of a bipartisan agreement between Secretary of State Michael Adams and Governor Andy Beshear, it has never been easier to vote. We have three choices: vote by mail; vote in-person early; vote in person on Election Day.

If someone feels uncomfortable voting in person or has health concerns that would make them uneasy about voting in person, they may visit or they may call the office of the county clerk at 270-522-6661 to request a ballot. The portal is open now, but the ballots will not be printed for a couple of weeks. They will be sent mid- to late-September. The last day to request a mail in ballot will be Oct. 9. Once completed and signed on both envelopes, they may be mailed or brought to the office. If bringing to the office, the ballot may be handed in at the drive-thru window or inside. If mailed, it is recommended that you bring the ballot inside to the postal clerk’s window since anything in the drop box goes to Nashville first.

The State Board of Elections is working on a method of tracking your mail-in ballot. To help prevent a signature problem, Ms. Finley’s office will highlight the signature lines so the voter knows where to sign.

Early voting in person will start at the EOC beginning Oct. 13 and run through Nov. 2. They will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (During the primary elections, there was never a waiting line.)

On Nov. 3, voting will take place from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the EOC and at The Way. Both will be “su%ers,” meaning you can vote in either place no matter where you live, so long as you live in Trigg County.

Now I have heard that if 2020 was an ice cream flavor it would be liver and onions. If it was a drink it would be colonoscopy prep. So you know that this change has had a few growing pains. Of the more than 848,000 absentee ballots cast in Kentucky’s primary election, 800 had signature problems (signed in the wrong place or not signed in both places). Several hundred of those, however, were able to be corrected. Another pain was the cost. Printing and postage, plus personnel time, cost considerably more.

The primary election had 29% voter turnout, compared to 20% four years ago. Greater voter participation is always a good thing, and this is a huge increase!

The clerk’s office is well aware of the need to make sure this is a safe and secure election.

County Clerk Carmen Finley said, “At the close of each day of early voting, we will pick up the unvoted ballots, bring them to the office and lock them up.

“We will deliver the ballots to the EOC each morning. We will have a separate entry and exit for the voters at the EOC. We will provide hand sanitizer, gloves and masks for those who need them. We will also have social distancing and plexiglass-glass shields for the precinct officers that check in the voters. The E-Poll book has allowed us to keep voters from trying to vote twice.

“If someone orders a ballot by mail, then they should vote by mail. If they claim they did not receive the ballot and they want to vote in person, we can cancel their ballot and have them sign an Oath of Voter card and the supplemental roster. The last day to request a mail-in ballot is Oct. 9.

“Since everything is in the Voter Registration System in real time, it is impossible for the voter to double-vote.”

So study the issues (not on social media) then vote! It’s the right thing to do!

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