Speed Reads

Plot twist

The pandemic may actually increase turnout in Kentucky's primary

COVID-19 has been a disaster for democracy in many states. But in Kentucky, it may lead more people to vote than have in years.

Wisconsin's April primary proved an example of how not to conduct an election during a pandemic, with the state's Supreme Court refusing to delay the election so absentee ballots could get sent out, forcing thousands of voters to wait for hours at just a few polling places. Georgia saw similarly long lines just a week ago, and with fewer than 200 of Kentucky's 3,700 polling places set to be open Tuesday, it's shaping up to look like more of the same, The Washington Post reports.

But Joe Sonka of the Louisville Courier Journal suspects things won't be that bad this time around. After all, nearly twice as many absentee ballots have already been mailed out in Louisville's Jefferson County as turned out in the last three primary elections. That's not even counting the number of people who have voted early in Louisville's election.

Sonka credits Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear and Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams for learning from Wisconsin's mistakes, agreeing to let everyone apply for an absentee ballot without requiring an excuse. Still, there's a chance some people who didn't apply for a ballot will face long lines at the limited poll sites on Tuesday, even with hundreds of thousands sending in their votes ahead of time.