Kentucky shows Tennessee what a universal vote-by-mail option election might look like

Jun 24, 2020

Credit nashville.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne)  --  Tennessee officials got a preview of what a universal vote-by-mail election might look like during Tuesday’s primary next door in Kentucky.

By court order, Tennessee will allow any registered voter who wishes to the option of voting by mail during the upcoming August 6 primary. The ruling by a Nashville judge June 4 came in response to voter concerns about contracting coronavirus while casting an in-person ballot.

Tennessee election officials have expressed concerns about being overwhelmed by a flood of absentee ballots.

The Tuesday primary was the first Kentucky has ever held where a universal vote-by-mail option was offered. The Louisville Courier Journal reports some 883,000 voters requested absentee ballots.

Kentucky officials have warned final election results could be delayed by as much as a week depending on exactly how many state residents ultimately choose to vote by mail.

Kentucky also saw a record in-person turnout at the polls yesterday. The newspaper reports 32 percent of registered voters cast ballots. Compare that to the 2016 presidential election when 20 percent of eligible voters showed up at the polls.