FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - No agreement yet between Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear and Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams on how to conduct the November general election, but both sides say they are not that far apart.
“We actually agree on a lot more than people realize,” Adams told reporters after the two men met at the Governor’s office Wednesday afternoon. “He wants a safe election with high turnout. So do I.”
The major sticking points, according to Adams, are how long the early voting period will be, how broad the excuses should be for absentee voting, and how fast can the votes be cast and counted.
On the final point, Adams said, “Do we have a deadline of Election Day to receive all the ballots, or do we give them a little more time, if they are mailed, to get to us?”
Adams said he believes none of the issues are insurmountable. “I think we are very, very close to an agreement.”
He says he believes four weeks of early voting is too long, not only for candidates having to be at their peak for that period of time, but also for the people who own the polling locations having to give up space for that long. He thinks two weeks, with Saturday hours, should be enough.
Adams has also said universal absentee voting by mail is a big burden for both the U. S. Postal Service as well as county clerks, especially since he expects two and a half times the turnout that was seen in the primary.
He says the two will be meeting again soon. “I have some homework to do, I’m going to take a stab at making some modifications to what I had,” he said. “The Governor had some suggestions for improvement. I think he was right, and I’m happy to include them.”
Gov. Beshear echoed many of Adams’ sentiments on Wednesday. “I’d like to think we are working together on creating a safe environment for our election and hopefully continue,” he said. “I believe we are very close to coming to an agreement. I think he said 48 hours to someone earlier, I think that’s fair and reasonable.”
Beshear would not detail the areas that remain to be worked out, but said, “I think that we have a lot of the same ultimate goals and that right now I am confident that we can reach a good agreement.”
The governor added, “He is acting in good faith and all of our negotiations, I think I am, too.”