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Voting & Elections Toolkits

Continuing Updates on the 2020 Election

Last updated: Sept. 7, 2020

Voter Registration in Kentucky

Eligibility

  • Age: Be at least 18 years old by the next General Election.
    • Kentucky law allows qualified individuals to register at 17 years of age and be able to participate in a Primary Election if the individual will be 18 years old by the General Election.
  • Formerly incarcerated individuals:
    • Not be a convicted felon, or else have had your civil rights restored.
  • Citizenship: Be a U.S. citizen
  • Residence: Be a Kentucky resident for at least 28 days before the election.Non-U.S. citizens, including U.S. nationals do not qualify.
  • Not have been adjudged mentally incompetent and had voting rights removed.
  • Not claim the right to vote outside Kentucky.
  • Information for college students
  • Check to see if you are already registered or use the shortcut: GoVoteKY.com

 

More information on Kentucky voter eligibility from the Kentucky State Board of Elections

 

Deadline

  • April 20, 2020  is the registration deadline for the May 19th, 2020 election.
  • October 5, 2020 - 4:00pm local time is the registration deadline for the November 3, 2020 General Election.
  • Election Calendar

Online registration

Note: requires entering Social Security # and date of birth.

Online registration (in English) is directly at: https://vrsws.sos.ky.gov/ovrweb/default

Mail-in registration

The voter registration card should be routed to the County Clerk in the county listed on the voter registration card [County where you live], NOT to the State Board of Elections.

Printable forms (in English)

Refer to the box below for information about ID requirements.

Choosing a political party   

  • You may choose a political party affiliation when you register, but it is not required. Note: if you did not select a party, and wish to vote in a partisan primary, you must update your registration by December 31 of the year prior to the primary election.                

Updating registration      

To update registration after a move, name change, or change of political party affiliation, use the Kentucky Voter Information Portal

If you did not select a political party, and wish to vote in a partisan primary, you must update your registration by December 31 of the year prior to the primary election.  

Cancelling registration

To cancel your voter registration, contact the County Clerk’s office where you are registered to vote.

 

ID Requirements for Kentucky Voters

ID Requirements for Registration

Online Registration

For online voter registration, one must enter  Social Security # and date of birth.

Mail-in Registration

An ID is not required for mail-in registration.

ID Requirements for Voting

For the 2020 General Election:

Kentuckians who were unable to get a driver’s licenses or photo ID due to the pandemic because their clerk’s office was closed, or because they were afraid of exposing themselves to COVID-19, can sign a document explaining this concern and cast their ballot.

More information

Where to get an ID

Transportation Cabinet, Division of Driver Licensing

Obtaining a Driver’s License

Casting a Ballot in Kentucky

Important Dates

  • Primary Election:   May 19, 2020    [also date of Presidential Preference Primary Election]
  • Voter Registration:  October 5, 2020 - 4:00pm local time
  • Absentee Ballot request (online): October 9, 2020, 11:59pm
  • Absentee Ballot request (mail request or in-person request) : October 27, 2020
  • General Election: November 3, 2020
  • Absentee / mail-in ballots : postmarked by November 3, 2020 - and - received by November 6, 2020
  • Early voting: is now allowed, from October 13, including Saturdays.
  • For all 2020 dates

 

        Election schedule (not dates) up to 2024

Absentee voting

          General information on absentee voting in Kentucky

Opening/closing dates

  • Absentee ballots -- received prior to Election Day if by mail; or in person at the County Clerk's office prior to Election Day.

Military voters and voters who reside outside the U.S.

Who is eligible to use an absentee ballot?

For the 2020 General Election - new -- "Kentuckians concerned with contracting or spreading COVID-19 can request a ballot by mail."

 

NOTE: below is out of date for the 2020 General Election.

In order to apply for and receive an absentee ballot, you must meet one of the following requirements:

    for mail-in absentee ballot:

  • Advanced in age, disabled, or ill
  • Military personnel, their Dependents, or Overseas Citizens
  • A student who temporarily resides outside the county
  • A voter who temporarily resides outside of Kentucky and who maintains eligibility to vote in Kentucky, such as a "snowbird"
  • Incarcerated, but not yet convicted of a crime
  • Prevented from voting in person at the polls on election day and from casting an in-person absentee ballot in the county clerks office on all days in-person absentee voting is conducted because of his or her employment location

     for in-person absentee ballot :  [one of these requirements]

  • Out of the county on election day
  • Advanced in age, disabled, or ill
  • Military, their Dependents, or an Overseas Citizen
  • Military personnel confined to base and learn of your confinement within seven days or less of an election
  • Student or resident who temporarily resides outside of the county
  • Voter or the spouse of a voter who has surgery scheduled that will require hospitalization on Election Day
  • Pregnant woman in third trimester
  • Precinct election officer appointed to serve in precinct other than his own
  • Staff / officerof : Alternate precinct election officer; County Board of Elections’ members ; County Board of Elections’ staff ; Deputy county clerk ; State Board of Elections’ staff

 

Polling places and hours

  • Use the Voter Information Center to find your polling place
    • Requires entering date of birth
  • For the General Election, November 3, 2020, polls in Kentucky are open from 6:00am to 6:00pm local time. If you are in line by 6:00pm local time, you will be allowed to vote.
  • Time off to vote:  "If you are working on Election Day, you may be entitled to a maximum of four consecutive hours off from work in order to vote or cast an absentee ballot if you make a request for time off with your employer. Your employer may specify the hours you may take  leave to cast a ballot."

Rides to the polls

Many organizations offer free rides to polling places. Check your local newspaper or broadcast news station for these organizations.

Help for voters with disabilities

  • Polling places are accessible
  • A voter may receive assistance in voting if the voter is blind, has a physical disability, or has an inability to read English. (The person assisting you can be a someone you choose or the two precinct election judges, except that the voter’s employer, an agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of the voter’s union shall not assist a voter)

Ballots

Where to get more info on candidates - League of Women Voters; local newspapers (daily and weekly)

 

Sample ballots

Elections

Primaries vs. general elections

  • Primary elections are conducted to select each party’s candidates in the general election.
  • In Kentucky, a voter must be a member of a political party -- by December 31st of the previous year -- in order to vote in that party’s primary.
  • In a general election, voters are not required to have a party affiliation.

Jurisdiction

Offices/Measures That May Appear on the Ballot

Federal (even years)

President/Vice-President (elected every four years; next election in 2020)

Senator (elected every six years for staggered terms; next election in 2020)

Representative (elected every two years)

State (even years for most)

Governor/Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, State Comptroller, Attorney General, (elected every four years; next election in 2021)

State Senator (elected every four years - odd-numbered yeaers)

State Representative (elected every two years)

Statewide ballot measures

Municipal (odd years)

School Board and other boards and commissions

Mayor

Tax Collector

Local ballot measures

Who are the candidates, and what else is on the ballot?

   As of Sept. 7, only one county's sample ballot is online.

Important Dates

 

 

Who conducts elections?

  • The Kentucky Secretary of State  oversees statewide elections.

Voter Bill of Rights

Voter Rights - State Board of Elections

 

Where to go with complaints about candidates or how elections are conducted

 

Campaign finance

 

How to contact your elected officials:

Find your elected officials:

General Resources on Voting and Elections

General Resources on Voting and Elections


Hotlines


1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)

1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)

1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)


Voter Registration & Election Day Resources

Find useful voter information including:

  • Local Election Office and Contact Information
  • Address, Telephone and Email for Local Election Offices
  • Upcoming Federal Election Dates and Deadlines
  • Upcoming State Election Dates and Deadlines
  • Eligibility Requirements
  • Identification Requirements
  • Voter Materials Transmission Options
  • State Lookup Tools – Am I Registered? Where’s my Ballot?

Population-Specific information and Resources

Voting Rights: Laws, Cases, Policy

Voter Engagement

Voter Education

Campaign Finance/Funding Information

Primary Sources, Lesson Plans & Exhibits

Disclaimer

Librarians from the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT), a Round Table of the American Library Association (ALA), created these reference guides. These guides are intended for informational purposes only and are not in any way intended to be legal advice.

These guides are designated with a Creative Commons license and re-use and modification for educational purposes is encouraged.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.