Tuesday should have been Primary Day in Kentucky. But instead, a replacement for traditional voting was in place outside a Madisonville bowling center.
A mobile unit for primary voting had its first use Wednesday at Melody Lanes. Its next scheduled stop is Friday at Veterans Park in Dawson Springs.
“No appointment... anyone in the county can vote at it,” Hopkins County Clerk Keenan Cloern said Tuesday. “If you’re out, please stop by and try it.”
It could be called “early voting,” but in one sense it’s late. Gov. Andy Beshear postponed Tuesday’s scheduled primary to Tuesday, June 23 because of the coronavirus. That’s led to some innovative changes across the commonwealth to avoid spreading the virus at the polls.
Cloern faced several questions during Tuesday’s Fiscal Court meeting about what Judge-Executive Jack Whitfield Jr. has called the “voting truck.” The first stop will be at the business he owns, which remains closed through the end of May.
“Anybody can vote at any location,” Magistrate Vicki Thomison confirmed.
“They will not need their precinct number or information,” Cloern told Magistrate Ronnie Noel. “All the counties in this election are reporting as a county, and not by precinct.”
But you will need to show proper identification. Cloern prefers a driver’s license, but Social Security cards and credit cards will be accepted as well.
Beshear has advocated mail-in absentee primary ballots, so people can stay “healthy at home.” Hundreds of local voters have been listening.
“We did 100 yesterday,” Cloern said. About 360 requests have been handled so far.
Cloern added that the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office should have a web portal ready next week to request an absentee ballot online. Voters also can call her office at 821-7361, option 3.
Beyond Dawson Springs, Cloern has scheduled mobile voting at these locations:
• Wednesday, May 27 — Earlington First Baptist Church
• Friday, May 29 — VF Factory Outlet, Hanson
• Monday, June 1 — Mortons Gap City Hall
• Wednesday, June 3 — Nebo Fire Department
• Friday, June 5 — 178 N. Hopkinsville Street, Nortonville
• Monday, June 8 — St. Charles City Hall
• Wednesday, June 10 — White Plains City Hall
• Friday, June 12 — Grace Warehouse Church in Madisonville
Polls will be open at every location from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Stormy weather could postpone the voting.
The only open polling place in Hopkins County on the rescheduled primary day will be at Ballard Convention Center.
The Clerk’s office also is busy right now handling candidates filing for the November election. Deputy Clerk Jenny Menser says the latest council candidates to file are Joe Allen Jr. in Dawson Springs, Robert Cottoner in Earlington and Darlene Adamson and Mary Ann Smith in St. Charles.