FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56) — Come Nov. 8, Kentuckians will have performed their civic duty and voted in a number of races, including deciding whether or not the Commonwealth will have a new governor.
But the work to ensure Election Day goes smoothly is far from over.
The main responsibility of the State Board of Elections is to ensure every election in the state upholds the standard of both state and federal law.
Over the last few years, early voting opportunities have grown immensely.
While the expanded voting options were put in as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, now they provide options for Kentuckians who may not be able to make it out to the polls on Election Day.
These added options bring added concerns, as some voters fear they could be lost or tampered with between when they cast their votes and when they’re actually counted after the polls close on Election Day.
Karen Sellers, executive director for the State Board of Elections, said they understand the concern but encourage voters to trust in the staff at both the state and local level.
“I want people to understand that the State Board of Elections and what we do here to provide the state with the unofficial results is that we are a nonpartisan agency,” Sellers explained. “Our goal is to ensure that everyone get out and vote and cast that ballot with feeling safe and secure, that your vote has been cast as you would like for it to be cast.”
Another common concern is electioneers trying to persuade voters while at the polls. Sellers wanted to reiterate that no person campaigning can be within 100 feet of a polling center, and should you feel intimidated or pressured while at the polls, reach out to your local county clerk’s office.
Between Sellers, her staff, the county clerk’s officers statewide, and all the volunteers working the polls, it is a true team effort to pull off any election.
To make the lives of all those workers a little easier, Sellers is asking people to be prepared—not just knowing who they’ll vote for either during early voting or on Election Day but also having proper forms of ID, as well as patience.
While all poll workers are trained to answer questions, with so many moving pieces, it may take a moment to get the answer to your question. Some patience will also be needed once the polls close.
“Once the polls close, all of us are here,” Sellers said. “We’re making contacts with the counties. They have a lot of preparation to get their results back to us. They are working very hard at each of their polling locations in their county to make sure that that information is securely brought to the State Board of Elections, where we can make it accessible to all of the Commonwealth.”
Election results won’t be made official until the vote is ratified, roughly a week after Election Day. So while people will have an idea of who won each race, the work will be far from done for the State Board of Elections.
You can track the results on Election Day on FOX 56 News as well as on the State Board of Elections’ website.