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Warren County Election Education Commission brings awareness to upcoming election


The Warren County Election Education Commission was formed earlier this year by the Warren County Fiscal Court and was commissioned by Judge Executive Doug Gorman.

The non-partisan task force works together to provide educational resources to citizens in Warren County about how to navigate elections. 

“We want to make sure that everyone that is interested in voting is able to vote and we don’t want anyone to not vote because they don’t know or are unaware,” Scott Lasley, WKU political science professor and member of the WCEEC, said.

The task force was established at the August fiscal court meeting, and members began organizing a plan in September and have been working on a tight deadline to provide information to citizens. 

“We got together to discuss with the county clerk to let her know some of the concerns that the NAACP had with the upcoming election,” Saundra Ardrey, political science professor, member of WCEEC and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said.  “Mainly we were concerned with access to some of the voting places since we have gone to these vote centers.” 

Ardrey said that due to change in precinct voting to the large vote centers, it can be hard for marginalized people without resources to have the ability to make it to a vote center on election day. 

Lasley said that the group has transitioned to focusing on how to vote early and how to vote on election day including information about the location of the vote centers and citizens having access to all centers. 

“That’s why the task force was formed, to educate the public on where to vote, how to vote, the procedures,” Ardrey said. “We’ve got folks in the Democratic party, the Republican Party, we’ve got community groups, that’s who I represent the NAACP, on the political action committee chair. We all work together to make sure that no matter where you stand that your voice is going to be heard.”

Ardrey has been representing the Warren County chapter of the NAACP since 1988 and was a former president of the chapter. 

The task force provides information through posters, door hangers that were distributed to campaigns to include with their own literature, social media campaigns, members of the task force speaking with TV and radio stations and an added page on the Warren County website

“We’ve been working with organizations like the College Democrats or Republicans on getting them essentially literature that they can hang with their candidates’ information when they’re door knocking,” Connor Ferguson, senior, business management, Gordon Ford College of Business Senator for the Student Government Association said. “We supplied these organizations with door hangers and print-outs with general voting knowledge on them.”

Ferguson was approached by Student Body President Sam Kurtz after Lasley surveyed about adding a college-aged representative to the task force. Ferguson has experience with political campaigns at the state and federal level through working as a press intern in D.C over the summer and working on campaigns personally. 

The task force has been working swiftly to provide information to the public and is hoping for better strategy and tactics moving into the future. 

“You know, we probably haven’t quite been as successful as we’d hoped, but we’re trying to figure out strategies to get the information out,” Lasley said. “We’ve been working as fast and as quickly as we can because of the short timeline.”

Ferguson said that there were ideas that they generally didn’t have time for such as getting involved with festivals in Bowling Green. He is hopeful that the organization will be able to table at cultural festivals in the coming years, tailgating for WKU and organizing a QR Code to have available at different events that individuals can scan and receive voting information. 

“I think that what is good about this committee and the makeup of it is that it’s going to have a pretty good retention rate,” Ferguson said. “I think the current people sitting on the task force are hoping to stick around for election years to come.”

Ardrey said that a goal she has for the task force is to increase the number of vote centers in Warren County to give marginalized people higher access. 

“We have been working with the secretary of state as well as the county clerk to make sure that we can increase the accessibility,” Ardrey said. “We’re going to make sure we get the resources, the machines and the money in order to do all of that, especially for the people that don’t have a car. We need more voting centers closer to these folks.”

Ferguson has a goal to increase the knowledge on campus regarding voting and the resources available. 

“We want people to be able to reach out to us to talk on campus,” Ferguson said. “I’ve done the best I can whether it be through SGA or my fraternity and using Greek life as a little inroad of letting students on campus know that they can come to me with questions.”

Lasley said one of the biggest things the group is doing is reinforcing the idea that citizens need to make a plan to vote on election day. 

“Folks that have a plan to vote and they think about what day and where, they end up being more likely to go and vote,” Lasley said. 

The task force has organized a trolly system that will be available on Election Day, Tuesday Nov. 7, from 8 a.m – 4 p.m in response to the concern of citizens having access to the vote centers.

The trolly makes a stop every 30 minutes and takes an hour to make a complete loop. The stops include: The Bowling Green Towers, Cherry Hall, La Luz Del Mundo and Parker Bennett Community Center. The trolly will not run on early voting days. 

Warren County offers five early election locations including: Ephram White Park, Living Hope Baptist Church, Michael O Buchanon Park, Phil Moore Park and Sugar Maple Square. Early vote centers are open Nov, 2, 3, 4 from 8 a.m to 4 p.m. 

On Election Day, there are 12 vote centers in Warren County including: Cumberland Trace Elementary, Eastwood Baptist Church, First Baptist Church, Smiths Grove Methodist Church, State Street Baptist Church, Warren Central High and Warren County Cooperative Extension. Election Day locations are open from 6 a.m to 6 p.m. 

“I think it’s something that Warren County should be proud of that there is a body of community members coming around for this because ultimately Warren County and Western Kentucky in general always play a very big role in our elections,” Ferguson said. “I’d want the community to be proud that we have this.”

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