What happened in the Kentucky primaries and what does it mean for the national election?

The Millennial Source
5 min readJun 26, 2020

This appeared in The Millennial Source

Even after the presidential nominees have been decided, the primary season carries on, with multiple states holding primaries on Tuesday, June 23.

Though former Vice President Joe Biden locked up the Democratic nomination at the beginning of the month, there is still considerable drama in down ballot races in the remaining primaries.

Kentucky’s Tuesday primary is evidence of that.

Closed polling stations, long lines of people waiting to vote and a hotly contested Democratic primary where the winner gets the chance to take on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are the three biggest storylines out of the Bluegrass State. These stories don’t just highlight concerns over a fair voting process in Kentucky, but underscore the difficulties lying ahead for the 2020 general election.

A lack of polling stations

Two national news stories emerged out of Kentucky in the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s vote.

The first was that many polling stations throughout some of the most highly populated counties in the state had been closed, resulting in a lawsuit being filed in a United States district court.

Earlier this year, five county boards of elections in Kentucky voted to only have one polling place available for Tuesday’s primary. This vote affected the state’s four most populous counties, including Jefferson County (767,000 residents), Fayette County (318,000 residents), Kenton County (164,000 residents) and Boone County (129,000 residents). It also affected the 92,000-resident Campbell County.

A lawsuit led by State Representative Jason Nemes, a Republican, was filed in all five counties in an attempt to force the county boards to provide more polling stations. The boards cited a lack of poll workers for the reduced stations, but Nemes argued that the result was voter suppression and a greater risk of COVID-19 infection. The coronavirus pandemic has led to more people voting by mail.

Ultimately, Nemes’ lawsuit, which was joined by other state officials, failed, with US District Judge Charles R. Simpson…

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