While the deadline to request a mail-in ballot for the June 23 primary election has passed, voters may still cast in-person ballots at the clerk’s office, or wait until election day.
Voters may cast ballots in Williamsburg at the Whitley County Courthouse or in Corbin in the hallway outside the old district courtroom.
Whitley County Clerk Carolyn Willis said the option to vote early without the need to provide a valid reason as to why a voter is unable to vote on election day has proven very popular and may lead to a significantly higher turnout.
As of Thursday, 2,096 ballots had been cast between Williamsburg and Corbin.
Willis had initially predicted a turnout of less than 20 percent, but based on the current turnout, she said it could reach the 30 to 35 percent range.
“I’m hoping it may reach 40,” Willis said.
With 27,694 registered voters in Whitley County, that would mean more than 11,000 ballots cast.
Willis said while it has been an unusual election because of the COVID–19 pandemic and the changes required, she would like to see several of them made permanent, particularly opening the polls to permit early voting.
“It has went so well,” Willis said. “It works out so much better for the individual. It makes it so easy for them.”
In order to accommodate as many voters as possible, both the Williamsburg and Corbin locations will be open on Saturday.
The Williamsburg location will be open from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
The Corbin location will be open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.
On election day, polling locations will be confined to two sites, Whitley County High School and Corbin Primary School.
The polls will be open from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. Voters who are in line by 6 p.m. will be able to cast a ballot.
Willis said as of Friday, 679 ballot have been received either by mail, or by voters who had requested a ballot to be mailed, returning it to the clerk’s office in Corbin or Williamsburg.
Mail-in ballots must be postmarked no later than June 23.
Officials at the clerk’s office said the deadline for ballots to arrive in the mail is 6 p.m. on June 27.
Because of that, Willis said the final results of the election will not be available until June 30.
Significant local races on the ballot include filling the unexpired term of former Whitley County Clerk Kay Schwartz, who retired in November. The Republican Primary for the 82nd Legislative District, which includes Whitley and southern Laurel County features incumbent Regina Petrey Huff, and challenger Matt Anderson.
One issue Willis has repeatedly encountered with the mail-in ballots is the failure of the voter to sign the interior envelope containing the ballot and the exterior envelope.
“We have had a few where one or the other is not signed,” Willis explained. We can’t count the ballot if both envelopes are not signed.”