SBE site delivering incorrect voting locations for special election

Bruce Maples (bruceinlouisville@gmail.com)

For some time, we have told people that their one-stop shop for voting information was GoVoteKY.com. That link actually takes you to https://vrsws.sos.ky.gov/ovrweb/govoteky, the voter information portal for the State Board of Elections. It's a great site, with a LOT of functionality and great information.

Unfortunately, for the special election next Tuesday, some of that information is incorrect.

System returns wrong locations

The basic problem is that the back-end database that powers the site has not been updated with the polling information for the special election. For example, when Democratic candidate Mae Suramek put in her own information, here is where the system told her to vote:

Screen shot of voting info taken by Mae Suramek

Madison Southern HS is where Ms. Suramek always votes, in every election – EXCEPT this one. For the special election, voters should go to the Madison County Clerk's office for early voting, and the Russel Acton Folk Center to vote on election day. If they go to the high school, they will have to find the correct information, and then take time to drive to the right location.

Correct locations are in a spreadsheet

So you're standing at the high school, and there's no voting going on there. You remember the GoVoteKY.com web site, so you decide to check that on your phone.

Right there on the main menu is a link for "Polling Locations." You think to yourself "Great!" and click the link. Where does it take you? It asks if you want to download a spreadsheet of the polling locations – to your phone.

Some people know enough about spreadsheets and cell phones that they might be able to make that work. But many, many voters would just give up at that point and go home without voting.

Two solutions to this problem

We reached out to the State Board of elections before writing this story, but did not hear back. So, here are two possible solutions for getting the right info for next Tuesday.

  • Use IWillVote.com. This national site has some of the same functionality as the GoVoteKY site, AND it seems to have the correct polling locations as well (for the ones we checked).
  • Use this resource on Forward Kentucky. We have taken the spreadsheet and redone it as a web page, so it should be more usable on your phone.

Let's hope that many, many people vote in these special elections – and, let's hope they find out the right location to vote.

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