The Johnson County Board of Elections and Johnson County Clerk Sallee Conley Holbrook have released a plan detailing what the November election will look like in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a statement, “Balloting in Kentucky’s November election for races from city council to president will be held much like the June 23 primary, with both in-person and expanded absentee voting offered.”

The statement noted that despite the unprecedented nature of voting amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Election officials are assuring voters that there will be plenty of opportunity to safely cast in-person ballots in the general election.

According to the statement, the plan, put together by Secretary of State Michael Adams and Gov. Andy Beshear, contains guidelines to protect voters’ safety and the integrity of the election.

“The change in voting procedures gives voters the option of polling in person as close to normal as possible or by mail to alleviate any personal concerns over contracting coronavirus,” the statement said.

In-person balloting for Johnson County’s 18,325 registered voters will be offered inside the Johnson County Courthouse lobby and an additional location may be added if necessary, beginning Oct. 13 through Nov. 2, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The statement continued, “Polls on Election Day will be open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., as usual, but in accordance with the governor’s executive orders for balloting, polling location are as follows; Porter Elementary, Highland Elementary, W.R. Castle Elementary, Flat Gap Elementary, Central Elementary and Paintsville Elementary gyms. They will all be a voting super center where any registered voter in the county can poll.”

For those concerned with contracting the virus, mail-in balloting will again be available to any registered voter, the statement noted.

An online portal to request a mail-in ballot at, govoteky.com is now available and continues through 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 9. Mail-in ballots may also be requested by contacting Johnson County Clerk’s Office at, (606) 789-2557.

After the date, mail-in ballots cannot be sent to voters without a medical emergency, so early in-person voting at that point will be the only way to avoid crowds on Election Day.

The statement continued, “No matter the method of voting, the commonwealth’s election process ranks among the best in the country. Kentucky’s election procedures offer safe voting at the ballot box and secure mail-in voting that ensures privacy. Voter fraud should not be a concern for the people of Johnson County.

“Mail-in ballots will be sent to only registered voters who request them,” the statement said. “They cannot be mailed to voters until mid to late September. Absentee ballots will be digitally tracked through the entire voting process by utilizing unique bar codes for each voter. Marked ballots will be secured within two envelopes to ensure the privacy of each vote.”

Completed mail-in ballots may be taken to the post office or deposited into the secure voting drop-box outside the Johnson County Clerk’s Office during regular business hours. Ballots, the statement said, must be received in the dropbox by 6 p.m. on Election Day. If mailed, they must be postmarked by Election Day and received in the County Clerk’s Office by 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6.

To best ensure mailed ballots are processed in a timely manner, the Board of Elections has suggested that voters take their marked ballots to the post office counter during business hours to have it postmarked in-person. Paintsville Post Office typically processes local ballots to be received by Johnson County Clerk’s Office in-house, avoiding processing at another facility.

“No election results from early voting will be released until 6 p.m. on Election Day, but it could be the next day before final totals are made available,” the statement said.

Prospective voters must register by the close of business Monday, Oct. 5 in order to qualify for Kentucky’s general election. In Kentucky, you can register to vote or update voter registration online at, govoteky.com, or at the County Clerk’s Office.

For more information, contact Johnson County Clerk’s Office at, (606) 789-2557.

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