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State Board of Elections Asks Counties to Relocate Polling Places from Senior Care, Community Centers

The Kentucky Board of Elections said Friday that it is asking all county boards of elections to relocate polling places currently located at senior care facilities or senior community centers.

The request followed Governor Andy Beshear's announcement that state nursing and long-term care facilities would restrict visitation, and his urging that all senior care and long-term care facilities take similar action amid the current coronavirus/COVID-19 global pandemic.

Kentucky's primary election is scheduled for Tuesday, May 19. The primaries for President, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, legislative seats, and some local offices are on the ballot.

The state board said that it would provide support and funding to county clerks to ensure that the appropriate notification of change in polling location is sent to voters.

“The State Board of Elections is working with partner organizations, including the CDC, DHS, and the Kentucky Department of Health, to ensure that we are providing up-to-date guidance and best practices to County Boards of Election as we move toward the May 19, 2020 Primary Election,” said Jared Dearing, executive director of the State Board of Elections. 

Additionally, the State Board of Elections has requested that county clerks communicate with senior care facilities and other at-risk populations regarding the availability of absentee voting due to age or illness to accommodate any potential inconvenience associated with the governor’s directive and the state board’s recent actions.

“Recognizing the public concerns surrounding COVID-19, the members and staff of the State Board of Elections remain committed to providing information and resources to clerks and voters that guarantees access to the ballot, while also protecting public health,”said Ben Chandler, chairman of the State Board of Elections.

-Staff report