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Kentucky Slashes Polling Places by 95%, Causing Election Day Chaos

HeadlineJun 24, 2020

Voters went to the polls Tuesday in New York, Kentucky, Virginia and other states for primary elections marred by long lines and fears over the coronavirus. In Kentucky, officials slashed the number of polling places from 3,700 to just 170 — a 95% reduction. In Louisville, which has Kentucky’s largest African American population, just one polling place was open: the Kentucky Exposition Center. At 6 p.m., officials locked the building, even as up to 200 voters were stuck in traffic waiting to find parking spots. In a dramatic scene, scores of people banged on doors and windows demanding the right to vote. They were allowed inside just before 6:30, after a judge ordered a half-hour reprieve.

Mother: “We need justice. We need peace. We all need to come together. We should love one another. We shouldn’t have to go through all this. I got a daughter right here. She’s 18 years old.”

Daughter: “Eighteen.”

Mother: “She’s a first-time voter.”

Daughter: “In my very first.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell easily won the Republican Party’s nomination in Kentucky. His Democratic challenger will be either progressive state Representative Charles Booker or former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath. McGrath has an eight-point lead over Booker with about half of precincts reporting, though a large number of absentee ballots remain to be counted, and final results aren’t expected until at least June 30.

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