Kentucky Elections

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Your State

Upcoming Elections

2016 Presidential Preference: Saturday, March 5 for Republicans; Tuesday, May 17 for Democrats     

  •    Voter Registration Deadline: Monday, April 18 for Democrats

Please note caucuses have specific rules. Contact your local state party for more information.

2016 State/Congressional Primary: Tuesday, May 17

  • Voter Registration Deadline: Monday, April 18

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

  • Voter Registration Deadline: Tuesday, October 11

For more information, visit the Kentucky Secretary of State website.

Please note that the information in the sections below has not been updated, and refers to the 2015 general election.


More state specific election info below.

Voting Rights

News

Welcome to the First Presidential Election Since Voting Rights Act Gutted
06/26/16 |
Publication Date: 
Sunday, June 26, 2016 - 03:00
Excerpt: 

- by Ari Berman

Three years ago this week, in Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court invalidated the centerpiece of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, ruling that states with the longest histories of voting discrimination no longer needed to approve their voting changes with the federal government. "The Supreme Court stuck a dagger into the heart of the Voting Rights Act," Lewis said after the decision.

That means the 2016 election is the first presidential contest in 50 years without the full protections of the VRA — and the country is witnessing the greatest rollback of voting rights since the act was passed five decades ago.

This year, 17 states have new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election cycle, including laws that make it harder to register to vote, cut back early voting and require strict forms of government-issued IDs to cast a ballot that millions of Americans don't have.

These states comprise 189 electoral votes — nearly half of the Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency — and include crucial swing states like Ohio, Wisconsin and Virginia. 

There were 21 presidential debates during the primaries but not a single question was asked about voting rights. This remains one of the most important yet least discussed issues in 2016. Before anyone votes in November, there's a huge struggle underway that will decide how many eligible voters will be able to cast a ballot.

 

Kansas to Use Provisional Ballots for Upcoming Elections
06/23/16 |
Publication Date: 
Thursday, June 23, 2016 - 17:00
Excerpt: 

In an effort to comply with a federal court order requiring that Kansas allow people who registered to vote at the DMV without providing proof of citizenship to vote for federal office in upcoming elections, Secretary of State Kris Kobach is planning to use provisional ballots and then throw out all of the votes for state and local races cast by the thousands of voters who register to vote at motor vehicle offices without providing proof of citizenship.

"The state had a similar process in place in the 2014 elections in which a few hundred voters who registered with a federal form were affected. But implementing it in the upcoming elections is estimated to affect as many as 50,000 who registered to vote when they got their driver's licenses without providing the citizenship documentation.

Clint Blaes, spokesman for Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, said the attorney general's office has not yet received any proposed regulations from Kobach, but would review them in the same manner as any other proposed regulation.

"The secretary of state is representing himself in this lawsuit," Blaes said. "Therefore, the attorney general is not involved in either the lawsuit or the operation of the secretary of state's office."

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Voting as a Student

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be “home” — whether that’s your parents’ house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the voting rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

More Info On Student Voting

Kentucky Election Info

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 Presidential Preference: Saturday, March 5 for Republicans; Tuesday, May 17 for Democrats     

  •    Voter Registration Deadline: Monday, April 18 for Democrats

Please note caucuses have specific rules. Contact your local state party for more information.

2016 State/Congressional Primary: Tuesday, May 17

  • Voter Registration Deadline: Monday, April 18

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

  • Voter Registration Deadline: Tuesday, October 11

For more information, visit the Kentucky Secretary of State website.

Please note that the information in the sections below has not been updated, and refers to the 2015 general election.

Polling Place Hours

6:00 am to 6:00 pm. 

Early in person is available at your county clerk's office 12 (or more) working days before the election but you must have a valid excuse. Check the early voting section for qualifications.

Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE

You will receive a notice in the mail from the county clerk with your precinct name and voting location address.

Check for your polling place here.

REGISTER TO VOTE HERE

Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.


Registration Deadlines

Your completed voter registration card must be mailed or returned at least 28 days prior to the election.

2015 Primary Election: April 20, 2015

2015 General Election: October 5, 2015

Registration Eligibility

In order to register to vote in Kentucky, you must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States;
  • Be 18 years or older at the time of the general election;
  • Have lived in Kentucky one year, in the county six months, and in the precinct sixty days before the next election;
  • Not be a convicted felon, or if you have been convicted of a felony, you have had your civil rights restored;
  • Have not been judged mentally incompetent in a court of law; and
  • Do not claim the right to vote anywhere outside Kentucky.

Identification Required for Registration

The Kentucky Voter Registration Card requires the applicant's social security number.  In addition, a date of birth is required to verify that the voter meets the minimum age requirement for voting.  No person shall be denied the right to register because of the failure to include his Social Security number.  All forms which require a voter's signature shall provide for verification by the signer.  If a voter signs a voter registration form with only a mark, two witnesses are also required.

How to Register

In-Person or by Mail

A voter registration card can be completed in person at your local County Clerk's Office.

You are also able to download a voter registration card online.

You can print the voter registration form, sign it, and mailit to the State Board of Elections, 140 Walnut Street Frankfort, KY 40601 OR your County Clerk's Office.

How to Check if You Are Registered

Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

To verify your voter registration status, use your state registration tool, or contact your County Clerk's Office.

If You Want to Vote Early

A voting machine is available at your county clerk's office 12 (or more) working days before the election for you to vote early if you are qualified.  You must fulfill one of the below criteria in order to be eligible:

  • You will be out of the county all hours that polls are open on Election Day;
  • You are a uniformed-service member or overseas voter who will be absent from the county on Election Day;
  • You are a student who temporarily resides outside of the county;
  • You have surgery scheduled and will require hospitalization on Election Day;
  • You are a spouse of a voter who is having surgery on Election day; 
  • You are a pregnant woman in your third trimester; or
  • You are a precinct election officer appointed to serve a in precinct other than your own, an alternate precinct officer, a county board of elections member, a county board of elections member of staff, a deputy county clerk, or a state board of elections member of staff.

If You Want to Vote Absentee

You can obtain an absentee ballot through your county clerk's office.  To qualify for a mail-in absentee ballot, you must fulfill one of the following criteria:

  • You are a uniformed-service member or overseas voter;
  • Be of advanced age;
  • Have a disability or illness;
  • You are a student who temporarily resides outside the county;
  • You temporarily reside outside of Kentucky (perhaps on vacation);
  • You have been incarcerated but have not been convicted;
  • Have employment that takes you out of the county during all the hours the polls are open; and
  • You are a voter who participates in the Secretary of State’s Address Confidentiality Program.

The deadline for applying for a mail-in absentee ballot is 7 days before an election.  The completed application for an absentee ballot must be received by the county clerk by mail or in person by the seven day deadline.  The absentee ballot must be received in the county clerk's office by 6:00 pm on Election Day for the ballot to be counted.

You can apply for a medical emergency absentee ballot if a medical emergency occurs within 14 days before an election.  The spouse of the voter can also apply for an absentee ballot.

You may request an application for an absentee ballot through your county clerk's office in person, by phone, by mail or by fax.  Also, the voter's spouse, parent or child can request an application for a mail-in absentee ballot.

Procedures for Voting by Absentee Ballot

In Person

Absentee ballot applications will be available at your County Clerk’s Office.

If you qualify for the voting machine absentee ballots, you can visit your County Clerk’s Office starting 12 (or more) working days before the elections.  Contact your County Clerk’s Office to find out the hours and dates of voting machine absentee voting.

By Mail

Obtaining an absentee ballot application can be very simple.

You or your spouse, parents, or children can contact your local County Clerk’s Office to request an absentee ballot application.  The clerk can mail the application to you or you can get the application in person at the County Clerk’s Office.  You are able to return the completed application by mail or in person.

The deadline for applying for a mail-in absentee ballot is 7 days before an election.  The completed application must be received by the County Clerk’s Office by the 7-day deadline.  The absentee ballot must be received by 6 PM local time on Election Day in order to be counted. 

Identification Requirements to Register to Vote

The Kentucky Voter Registration Card requires the applicant's social security number.  In addition, a date of birth is required to verify that the voter meets the minimum age requirement for voting.  No person shall be denied the right to register because of the failure to include his Social Security number.  All forms which require a voter's signature shall provide for verification by the signer.  If a voter signs a voter registration form with only a mark, two witnesses are also required.

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

A photo ID can be requested of the voter but the voter is not required to present it.  If the voter does not present a photo ID, the voter must sign an oath attesting to his/her qualifications.

Election officers can also confirm the identity of a voter through:

  • Personal acquaintance or
  • Document, such as a driver's license, Social Security card, or credit card.  A photo ID is not required.

Moving Within the Same County 

If you move within the same county, you must notify the county clerk of your new address or update your driver's license.  The county clerk will tell you the location of your new voting precinct.  If you do not do this before Election Day, you must go to the voting precinct of your new address to vote and update your voter registration address.

Moving to a Different County

More than 28 days before Election Day 

Update your voter registration address with the new county clerk or renew your driver's license in the new county at least 29 days before the election.  If you do not notify the county clerk in either your old county or your new county of residence 29 days prior to an election, you are not eligible to vote in either county.

Less than 28 days before Election Day

You may vote in your previous county of residence for this election, but must register to vote in your new county of residence for future elections.

If you temporarily reside outside of Kentucky, but are eligible to vote in Kentucky: You may vote by absentee ballot.  Please see section regarding absentee ballots.

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), also known as Standard Form 76, to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot.  Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) Kentucky-specific FPCA page.

Military and overseas citizens can send and receive voting materials by fax and email.  If you wish to use the fax or email options, you must indicate this on your FPCA.  Instructions for doing so are found on the FVAP's Kentucky-specific FPCA page.

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) if they are concerned with receiving their printed ballot and returning it by the 7:00 p.m., Election Day deadline.  The FWAB is a blank ballot on which voters write-in their choices.  The FWAB may also be used to register to vote and to apply for the absentee ballot, all in one step.  If the FWAB is being used to register to vote, it must be received by the voter registration deadline.  For specific instructions, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's Kentucky-specific FWAB page.

Individuals convicted of a felony, treason, or bribery in an election may not vote in Kentucky unless their civil rights are restored by executive pardon by the Governor.

Get more information about how to restore your voting rights.

FAQ

Electionary

Top Issues to Field **not yet updated since 2014**

For more information for voters with disabilities, visit the National Disability Rights Network’s voting resource center.

For more information for student voters, visit the Kentucky Student Voter Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

2016 Election Information for your state