Jefferson County voters urged to check their ballots for missing amendment 2

Jefferson County voters who find their ballot is missing an option to vote on amendment 2 should reach out to the Jefferson County Clerk Election Center or make their intentions clear on the ballot.

Mail-in absentee voters can write their vote on the ballot, and a bipartisan team will recreate the ballot to reflect their intention, said Erran Huber, director of communications, media and public relations for the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office.

The office can be reached at 574-6100 and is located at 1000 East Liberty St.

Huber said a printer setting caused a mail-in absentee ballot error. It’s unknown how many ballots were printed without the amendment, the final item on the second page of the ballot in Jefferson County.

Amendment 2 relates to abortion in Kentucky. A “yes” or “no” vote indicates support for or opposition to a constitutional amendment that states there’s no right to abortion in Kentucky’s constitution. The bishops of Kentucky have urged voters to vote “yes.”

Jason Hall, executive director of the Catholic Conference of Kentucky, which represents the bishops on matters of public policy, said, “It’s unfortunate that this has happened. We hope they are proactively addressing it.”

He also encouraged “voters to make sure that their vote in favor of amendment 2 is recorded.”

Election officials conducted “an extensive review” after learning that a ballot mailed to a voter in the Prospect, Ky., area was missing the measure, Huber said. “We found no other examples where amendment 2 is not on the ballot.”

“We do not have any other reports,” he said on the morning of Oct. 27. “What we have determined is that the issue was due to a printer setting that we have corrected.”

Huber encouraged voters to reach out to the election center if they received one of these ballots and reminded voters to review both sides of their ballot.

“We are here to help, we have a full-time staff and are prepared to help people with issues that arise,” he said. “We are here to help and ensure everyone can participate in our free, fair and secure election process.”

Huber emphasized that registered voters, including those who are homebound or who have limited mobility, can use the provided ballot — even if it’s missing the amendment — by writing their intention on the ballot.

The Prospect voter who alerted the election center to the problem returned the ballot in person and received a new one. But they had written “Amendment 2,” “yes” and “pro-life” at the bottom of the second page of the original ballot.

“If the voter had mailed in this ballot, where it said ‘amendment 2 and pro-life’ — the voter’s intent is there — our bipartisan team would have recreated this ballot with the voter’s intent,” Huber said. 

“We do recognize there are folks who may have mobility issues and they may be homebound, and their vote counts as much as anyone else’s,” he added.

Amendment 2 has been hotly contested, with advertising campaigns covering TV, radio and print, and a crop of yard signs.

In an op-ed published recently in newspapers around Kentucky, including in The Record on Oct. 27, Kentucky’s bishops urged voters to choose “yes” on the ballot to affirm the amendment.

The amendment reads: “To protect human life, nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.”

The bishops wrote in the op-ed, “The Yes for Life Amendment is an important and necessary protection for our pro-life values and the precious lives of unborn Kentuckians.” 

“It would prevent any state judge from putting their own politics on abortion before the clearly expressed will of the voters,” they wrote. “And this amendment would prevent our tax dollars from being used for abortions, which would morally implicate every one of us in this horrific practice.”

According to the Secretary of State’s office, about two percent of registered voters in Kentucky requested mail-in absentee ballots. In Jefferson County, 15,370 voters, or 2.4 percent, requested mail-in absentee ballots. As of Oct. 27, 4,145 had been returned, according to the Secretary of State’s office.


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Marnie McAllister
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