LEXINGTON – (KT) You never know where a case of the coronavirus will strike next.  This time, it’s the Fayette County Clerk’s Elections Department, which temporarily shut down during a busy time due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19.

Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention require all employees in the area to self-quarantine for a minimum of two weeks, so they hope to be able to reopen for business on September 28.

Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins, Jr., said, “This is a devastating setback for us.  We are in the process of establishing backup procedures, but this will definitely have a significant impact.”

The primary impact on the election schedule will be a delay in mailing out absentee ballots to those who have already requested them through the GoVoteKy.com web portal.

“We are hoping to keep the delay to a minimum, perhaps just a few days,” Blevins stated.  “Voters’ requests for ballots will be processed in the date order received.  Some will see their ballots by late September, but many will not receive their ballots until the first week of October.”

Fayette County voters will not be able to contact the Elections Department until the employees in that area are able to return to work.  In the meantime, residents who have questions are being temporarily directed to call the State Board of Elections at (800) 246-1399.

On a more positive note, Blevins says all the needed election officers for the November 3 General Election have been recruited.  He adds that he is still negotiating locations for in-person voting and hopes to have those locations finalized later this week.

In addition, the clerk’s website, www.fayettecountyclerk.com, contains the most up-to-date information regarding the election, as well as the office’s many other services.  However, a number of those services have been altered in accordance with safety restrictions imposed due to the pandemic.  Fayette County residents are urged to check that website regularly for the latest updates.

The deadline to apply online for an absentee ballot is Oct. 9.

(By Tom Latek, Kentucky Today)

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