CATLETTSBURG, Ky. — Boyd County is expanding its polling places from one to three for Tuesday’s primary election and will have face masks and pens for every voter, said Sheriff Bobby Jack Woods.
Boyd County has sent out 7,256 applications for absentee votes for the postponed June 23 primary and is in the process of counting those returned to the office of Boyd County Clerk Susan Campbell.
The county initially was going to have only one precinct open for the election at Boyd County Middle School off U.S. 60 west of Ashland, Woods, a member of the county’s board of elections, said Thursday.
The board decided to open polling places at the Catlettsburg Senior Citizens Center on Louisa Street and at Poage Elementary School in Ashland, Woods said.
“We wanted to have a polling place in Ashland,” he said.
Poage is a regular voting site, has plenty of parking and is handicapped accessible. Ashland voters are voting on seats for the Ashland Board of City Commissioners in this primary, he said.
Six voting machines, including five for paper ballots and one electronic voting machine, will be available at all three locations, Woods said. The board also is making hand sanitizer and gloves available for those who want to use them, he said.
A member of the Kentucky National Guard also will be on hand to sanitize voting areas after voters cast their ballot, Woods said.
“We made arrangements to get masks and sanitizer through the Boyd County Emergency Management Agency,” he said.
Gov. Andy Beshear said his office is providing 5,000 masks, 4,000 gallons of hand sanitizer, 5,800 face shields and 20,000 gloves for the primary. The personal protective equipment is being made available across the state, according to a news release.
The state initially was anticipating 10,000 voters to head to the polls in Boyd County on Primary Election Day, he said. With the number of people already voting by absentee, Woods said, the number could reach the 12,000 who voted in Boyd County in 2016.
Voters will be able to keep the pens they use to fill out their paper ballots, Woods said.
He said there is no problem having sufficient workers at the polls on Primary Election Day.
The board counted 2,400 absentee votes Thursday and will count more Friday, he said.
A number of races are on the primary ballot, including president, U.S. Senate and U.S. House.
There also are nine candidates for the Ashland Board of City Commissioners. The top eight will advance to the general election this fall. The four with the most votes will be elected to two-year terms on the board.