Around 9 a.m. Wed­nes­day, Hardin County Clerk Debbie Donnelly could be found at the post office in Eliza­beth­town de­liv­er­ing the first batch of absentee ballots for the November general election.

The more than 270 ballots were sorted into bins marked with neon green tags that read, “Ballots only.”

“They have to be put in special containers. They can’t just go in with regular mail,” said Millie Druen, who works at the U.S. Post Office in Elizabethtown and assisted Donnelly.

Before the ballots were sorted, Donnelly read the names on the envelopes as Druen checked them off a list. Druen then had to stamp, initial and date the list.

Donnelly said several protocols must be followed to ensure election protocol and security are met.

The ballots Donnelly sent out Wednesday were the first group mailed to residents who have requested a ballot directly through the Hardin County Clerk’s Office.

Donnelly said her office is waiting on labels from the state to mail ballots requested through the online portal. They expect to receive the labels within the next few days.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is 11:59 p.m. Oct. 9. Registered voters can contact the clerk’s office at 270-765-2171 or go to GoVoteKy.com to order a ballot.

Donnelly noted the clerk’s office already had more than 6,000 residents request ballots on the portal.

Early in-house voting will begin Oct. 13, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Donnelly said residents also have three Sat­ur­day opportunities to vote early. Those will take place from 7 to 11 a.m. Oct. 17, Oct. 24 and Oct. 31.

Donnelly said the primary election went smoothly with similar modifications in response to the coronavirus pandemic and she feels the general election Nov. 3 will be the same.

“We’re ready for it,” she said.

Mary Alford can be reached at 270-505-1741 or malford@thenewsenterprise.com.

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