Kentucky Secretary of State holds virtual town hall with students to discuss voter registration

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Jacob Latimer

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly said Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams was elected in January. He was elected in November. The Herald regrets the error.

Just one day before National Voter Registration Day, Kentucky’s Secretary of State Michael Adams hosted a virtual town hall, alongside WKU president Tim Caboni and Political Science Department Head Scott Lasley.

Adams, who was elected Secretary of State in November, put a focus on the importance of voting in the presidential election, despite the changes put in place due to COVID-19. He also spoke of improvements that have been made in Kentucky’s voting process since the primary in June.

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“We’re going to have a much more robust in-person voting option,” Adams said. “We’ve got three weeks of early voting in person, instead of just two as we did in the primary.”

Along with extending the time that voters have, Adams also stated that there will be more locations to vote than there were in June. He stated that due to the state opening up, more locations are willing to open their doors as polling places this November.

Adams emphasized the speed of Kentucky’s vote-counting process, predicting that Kentucky will be either the first or second state to have their votes counted on election night. He cited two reasons for this prediction.

“Number one, we think most voters will vote in-person this year because of all the additional locations and additional time,” Adams said. “It’s easier to count votes in-person… it’s less laborious and time-consuming to count than absentee votes. Number two, this time, we’re requiring the county clerks to count all of their absentee votes on election night that they have in hand.”

While stressing the importance of voting in the upcoming election, Adams shared what he called a “harrowing statistic”.

“Over the summer of 2019, we had about 267,000 new voters registered,” Adams said. “In the summer of 2020, we had 21,000 new voters registered.”

This cites around a 90% drop in voter registration over the course of the year.

Adams stressed the importance of the following dates when closing his talk about voting in Kentucky:

  • Oct. 5: the last day for voter registration,
  • Oct. 9: the last day to request an absentee ballot,
  • Oct. 13: early in-person voting begins,
  • Nov. 3: the last day to vote in person.

Eligible Kentuckians can register to vote at govoteky.com, and can request an absentee ballot here.