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Long voting lines in Northern Kentucky deterred some voters from casting a ballot

Long voting lines in Northern Kentucky deterred some voters from casting a ballot (WKRC)
Long voting lines in Northern Kentucky deterred some voters from casting a ballot (WKRC)
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KENTON COUNTY, Ky. (WKRC) - One of the issues Northern Kentucky voters faced on Election Day were long lines at polling locations, particularly in Kenton County.

Depending on the time of day, some voters waited as long as one and a half to two hours to get in and cast their vote at Lakeside Christian Church.

Another busy place was St. Barbara Catholic Church, where some voters told Local 12 they waited upwards three hours to cast their ballot.

Jeff Hay told Local 12 he stopped by three different times at Lakeside Christian church to vote, but the line was too long.

"It is a little frustrating and I guess I'm a little aggravated myself too, maybe I should have checked into this early voting more,” Hay said.

Election leaders believe the lengthy ballot is a big reason for the long lines.

“We had two amendments, the first time in the history of Kentucky that the amendment had to have a word for word as to what that constitutional change would be. So, it took people time to actually read that,” Gabrielle Summe, Kenton County Clerk said. “We also had a lot of judge races, they are only on the ballot once every eight years. You had all of your city races, all your commissioners or councils. You know, with all of that going on, it took people a fair bit of time and a lot of people were walking in and then researching the candidates when they got there. So even if they were able to get their ballot in a fairly timely fashion, there were people waiting to use equipment because it took them to the time to really go through the ballot, whether they used the paper ballot with the bubbles or the paper ballot where they use the touchscreen.”

Along with the long ballot, there were about half the polling locations compared to previous elections.

“The other issue is that some of these places don't meet ADA compliance. We had a review during the primary. We had to move a couple of facilities because as far as Ada was concerned, it really was very detrimental for those who would be trying to come into the facility,” Summe said.

If the line at an assigned polling location was too long, Kenton County voters had the freedom to visit another polling location to cast their vote, where they would have to use an express vote machine, which is touchscreen rather than a printed ballot.

“The express vote is a handicap accessible ADA compliant machine. It's also really great way for regular voters or anybody who doesn't have a handicap accessibility issues to cast their ballot just using a touchscreen,” Summe said.

This election marks the second time express vote machines have been used.

Local 12 reporter Jenna Cisneros asked Summe: “What is the board going to do for the next election in hopes that these lines aren't as long as what voters saw yesterday?”

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“That's why we're going to have some future meetings on this. Today, our goal is to finish reviewing all of our write ins, provisional ballots, to provide all of the candidates with final numbers as to who won and get that information to the state. We have about a week's worth of paperwork, and then we'll sit down to decide what we need to do next,” Summe said.

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