Changes in Madison County on Election Day

Voters in Madison County may have noticed something a little different at the polls this Election Day. 

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How did these signs come to be? The process started just this past September in Berea, a small community in Madison County, when the city held a special election. While there was good voter turn out, not all went smoothly. There were many reports of confusion at the polls and voters being turned away for not possessing a state issued ID.  The members of the Madison County chapter of KFTC decided this could not happen again.

20151103_133137 (1) In early October several chapter members sat down with our County Clerk, Kenny Barger, to discuss the special election and put forth requests that they felt would improve the process for all involved. Too often frustrated citizens become displeased with the system and want to tear it down, but it has always been the KFTC model to build it up, making our communities better for everyone.

Barger met our members with enthusiasm and a realization that there was need for improvement. Our members made three simple requests:

  1. That there would be clear posting at all polls of what qualifies as identification to vote in Kentucky.
  2. That voters’ rights would be clearly posted to reduce confusion if there was a problem on Election Day.
  3. That future training for Election Officers would contain a comprehension test at the end of class.

"Kenny Barger was incredibly open to hearing our ideas on ways to make sure that all people are informed on their voting rights. Through his implementation of the ideas, it is clear that he wants to make our election process the best that it can be. He is excited to hear the concerns of his constituents and take the necessary steps to address them, and Madison County KFTC members are excited to continue working with him on voting and election issues."
- Megan McKinney, Madison County KFTC Chapter member and steering committee representative

"I enjoyed having a dialogue with Kenny Barger. We shared our concerns and he did his best to address them."
- Jonah Cabiles, Madison County KFTC Chapter member

Barger agreed immediately with the first two requests, explaining that they were easy to implement ideas that would solve problems his office had observed as well. He followed through on his promise to have these changes in place by Election Day, less than a month from our conversation with him.

On Election Day there was a major reduction of complaints within the county. Election officers shared that the act of posting the information in such a clear and visible way had simplified the day and reduced confusion for all involved.

"KFTC members made a difference again. Thanks to these changes, more people will be able to vote with less interference in Madison County." – Meta Mendel-Reyes, Madison County KFTC Chapter member and chapter steering committee alternate

On Election Day we choose those we wish to lead. Sometimes those we support win, sometimes they do not. Regardless of the outcome it is our responsibility to keep them on path, just as it is theirs to listen when citizens speak up. We at the Madison County chapter of KFTC are proud to share that our County Clerk shares that belief. We will continue working with him on improving the training for our Election Officers and look forward to the continuing progress within our county.