Historic, Incomplete and Inconclusive
Today will be marked in the history books as one of Kentucky's oddest primary elections. The primary was held after being moved from the original May date, in response to concerns related to COVID-19 and spurred further - and also historic - changes to Kentucky's voting process. Voters were allowed and encouraged to vote via mail-in ballots which it appears many chose to do. In-person voting was available in all 120 counties today, but the number of polling locations was significantly limited including only one polling location for Jefferson and Fayette counties.
The most significant impact of these historic changes is that it will slow the tabulation of votes and delay official results until June 30th.
Some county clerks did report results this evening from today's in-person voting, however not from all counties including Jefferson County. With so many voters using mail-in voting these results are unofficial and very preliminary. Here's what we think we know so far:
- It's reported that there's been historic voter turnout. Secretary of State Michael Adams estimated this evening that 1.1 million Kentuckians cast a vote which is roughly 32%, breaking the 2008 record for highest voter turnout in a primary election.
- The United State Senate Democratic primary became the race to watch as Charles Booker gained tremendous momentum the past several weeks over once-assumed front runner, Amy McGrath. Based on results from today's in-person voting as of this writing McGrath has a (45-36 margin). The winner takes on US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in November. McConnell appears to be easily defeating his primary challenge with more than 80% of the in-person votes as of this writing.
- State House: There were 28 contested primary races with 11 incumbents facing a primary challenge. The highlight here is that three incumbents are trailing in their primaries based on today's in-person votes. Those incumbents trailing after in-person voting are: McCoy (R), Yates (R), and Brenda (R).
- State Senate: There were 6 contested races with 2 incumbents facing a challenge. Additionally, a special election was held to fill the seat vacated by the retirement of Ernie Harris following the legislative session. The highlight here is that Republican Bill Ferko has a large lead (79-21) over Democrat Karen Berg based on today's in-person voting results in the special election to replace Ernie Harris. It is important to note that no Jefferson County in-person votes in this race were reported as of this writing.
- State Supreme Court: Incumbent Sam Wright is running to keep his 7th district seat. The race is nonpartisan with the two top vote getters moving on to November. Retiring State Rep. Chris Harris is also running for this seat. Based on today's in-person voting both Harris and Wright trail Robert Conley who has 45% of the in-person votes reported in roughly 50% of the precincts as of this writing.
We will update you as more information is available with official results expected next week.
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