(Editor’s note: The printed edition of this story in Wednesday’s News Journal, incorrectly states that one of the two in-person voting sites in Whitley County on Primary Election Day will be Williamsburg Independent School. The site for this portion of Whitley County will instead be Whitley County High School.)
With Kentucky’s primary election set for June 23, Whitley County voters will have a number of options on how they cast their vote, up to and on election day.
Whitley County Clerk Carolyn Willis said after speaking with state election officials, it has been determined that voters will be able to cast ballots by mail, by dropping them off at the clerk’s office, by scheduling an appointment to vote using a ballot and e-scan machine at the Williamsburg or Corbin clerk’s office, or by going to one of two central locations to vote on election day.
“What I want to do is have five weeks of early voting,” Willis said.
Two of the e-scan machines will be available at the clerk’s office in Williamsburg, and one will be set up at the Corbin office. Voters will be required to make an appointment to vote in this manner.
“There is no regulation other than social distancing, so we are going to schedule the appointments 10 minutes apartment,” Willis said.
The vote by mail process will begin with the Kentucky Board of Elections mailing out election cards to registered voters.
“The card will give directions to go on a portal to request that a ballot be mailed,” Willis explained, adding that the request will be downloaded into the Whitley County system so that local officials know who has requested a ballot.
Upon receiving the ballot, the voter will mark it and may either mail it back or hand deliver it to the clerk’s office.
“We will have two drop boxes, one in Williamsburg and one in Corbin, under surveillance cameras,” Willis said.
Willis said the clerk’s office in Williamsburg will be open again on May 18. While no date has been given for Corbin City Hall to reopen to the public, Willis said her staff will ensure voters with appointments are able to get inside to vote.
In an effort to make early voting and ballot drop–off more accessible, Willis said the clerk’s offices in Williamsburg and Corbin will both be open exclusively for voting on Saturday, June 13, and Saturday, June 20.
“We are trying to accommodate working people who can’t come in during the week,” Willis said.
For those who would prefer to vote in person on election day, Willis said that too will be an option, though with some changes in the wake of the COVID–19 pandemic.
Voting locations will be reduced to two, Whitley County High School, and one of the Corbin schools, likely Corbin Primary.
“State officials are asking all counties to do one central location, but I want to do everything I can to allow people to exercise their right to vote,” Willis said.
Voting on election day will be 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The deadline to register to vote in the June 23 election is May 26.
More information is available by contacting the Whitley County Clerk’s Office at 549-6002.
Officials in Knox and Laurel County say they are still working to finalize how voting will take place.
Laurel County Clerk Tony Brown said county election officials are scheduled to meet May 14 in an effort to finalize the process.
“We are working with the fiscal court to make it as good as we can,” Brown said.