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Federal Judge: Wisconsin Shows ‘Disturbing Pattern’ of Failing to Provide Access to the Ballot
10/21/16 |
Publication Date: 
Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 16:00

Nine percent of Wisconsin’s registered voters—300,000 people—do not have one of the few acceptable forms of strict voter ID required to vote, according to the state’s own analysis. These citizens are relying on the state’s promise of free and readily accessible voter IDs to exercise their right to vote. Early voting has already begun in Milwaukee, Madison, and elsewhere in the state.

On September 29, reporting from both VoteRiders and Ari Berman of The Nation revealed that Wisconsin failed to live up to its promises....[O]nly 3 of the 10 DMVs surveilled by VoteRiders told applicants that they would receive voter IDs within a week or less. On-the-ground investigations found that Wisconsin’s DMVs continued to require applicants to present hard-to-acquire documentation, such as birth certificates. ...

U.S. District Judge James Peterson ordered the state to...implement several changes, or “improvements,” to the law...[including] to provide follow-up training and competency checks for its DMV workers and to dedicate additional resources to funding a public information campaign about the state’s voter ID law. This is to ensure that people are informed about the availability of IDs even if they do not have birth certificates or other hard-to-obtain documents. Additionally, the state will report to the court on its administration of the voter ID law every Friday from now until the election.

Federal appeals court: Right to vote constitutionally protected - legal reasoning behind its decision earlier this month that allowed thousands of Kansas residents to register to vote
10/20/16 |
Publication Date: 
Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 06:00

A federal appeals court laid out on Wednesday the legal reasoning behind its decision earlier this month that allowed thousands of Kansas residents to register to vote without providing documents proving their U.S. citizenship.

The 85-page opinion from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals came a day after voter registration closed in Kansas for the November election. The appeals court had earlier this month upheld a preliminary injunction that forced Kansas to register people who filled out voter applications at motor vehicle offices.

“There can be no dispute that the right to vote is a constitutionally protected fundamental right,” the appeals court wrote.

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Kentucky Election Info

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

Voter Registration Deadline: Tuesday, October 11

For more information, visit the Kentucky State Board of Elections website or Kentucky Statutes Title X.

Election Day:

Polls are required to be open from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (local time) on Election Day.   Persons in line at the polls at 6 p.m. will be allowed to vote.  Persons who arrive to the polls after 6:00 p.m. will not be allowed to vote.

Kentucky does not have early voting, although certain voters may be able to vote an in-person absentee ballot early at their county clerk’s office. For more information visit

How to Find Your Polling Place: Visit the Kentucky State Board of Elections Voter Information Center


Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.

Registration Deadlines: You must register at least 29 days prior to the General Election. The deadline for this year’s General Election is Tuesday, October 11.

How to Check Your Registration: Use Kentucky’s Voter Information Center.

Registration Eligibility: In order to be eligible to register in Kentucky, you must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States;
  • Be a resident of Kentucky and the precinct in which you plan to vote on at least the day before the Registration books close; for this year’s General Election, you must be a resident as of Tuesday, October 11;
  • Be at least 18 years old on or before Election Day;
  • Not be barred from voting due to a disqualifying conviction;
  • Not be in confinement on Election Day under the judgment of a court for a penal offense; and
  • Not have been declared mentally incompetent by a court of law.

How to Register: Kentucky residents may register, online, by mail or in person:


In order to register online, you must provide your name, Social Security number and date of birth. Applicants can apply to register online via the Kentucky Online Voter Registration website.

By Mail

In order to register by mail, you must obtain a mail-in registration card by:

In Person

You may register to vote in person at your local County Clerk’s Office.

Identification Required for Registration:

Voters may register online or by mail without identification; however, see “Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot” to determine what type of identification voters must provide when voting at the polls on Election Day. 

If You Want to Vote Early

Kentucky does not have early voting.

If You Want to Vote Absentee

To qualify to vote by mail-in absentee ballot, you must be one of the following:

  • Advanced in age, disabled or ill;
  • Military personnel, a dependent of military personnel, or an overseas citizen;
  • A student who temporarily resides outside the county;
  • A voter who changes his or her place of residence to a different state while the Registration books are closed in the new state of residence;
  • Temporarily residing outside of Kentucky and maintain eligibility to vote in Kentucky, such as a “snowbird;”
  • Incarcerated, but not yet convicted of a crime;
  • Employed outside of the county all hours the polling place is open;
  • A voter who is a program participant in the Secretary of State’s crime victim address confidentiality protection program.

In addition, voters falling into the categories above, and voters (and their spouses) who have surgery scheduled that will require hospitalization on Election Day, voters who temporarily reside outside the state, and voters who are pregnant and in their last trimester of pregnancy may submit an application in person to the county clerk to vote on a voting machine in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections.

In the case of medical emergencies within fourteen days or less of an election, a registered voter, or a member of his or her immediate or extended family, or a person he or she designates, may request and deliver an absentee ballot.

Rules and Deadlines:

  • For persons seeking an absentee ballot, they must submit an application by the close of business hours 7 days before the election. For this year’s General Election, that is Tuesday, November 1.
  • The absentee ballot must be received by the County Clerk’s office by 6 p.m. (local time) on Election Day. 

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

Voters can vote without identification if an election officer can identify the voter by personal acquaintance.  Alternatively, voters can identify themselves by providing documentation. Valid forms of identification include:  

  • A motor vehicle operator’s license;
  • A Social Security Card;
  • Any identification card that has been issued by the County and which has been approved in writing by the State Board of Elections;
  • Any identification card with a picture and signature;
  • Any United States government-issued identification card;
  • Any Kentucky state government-issued identification card with picture; or
  • A credit card.

Without an eligible form of identification, a voter is permitted to cast a provisional ballot as a last recourse if a valid ID does not exist or cannot be obtained.  Voters who cast a provisional vote, or want to learn more about provisional votes, should visit the Provisional Voter Information webpage.

VoteRiders has created Kentucky voter ID info cards in English and in Spanish.

Moving Within the Same Precinct

If you have a new address, and you move before the end of registration on October 11th, you should update your address at or with your county clerk. If you you move after October 11th and have a new address, you should go to the polling place for your new address and update your address there.

Moving within the Same County

If you have moved from one precinct to another within the same county, you can update the registration records and vote in the present election at the precinct designated for your new address upon affirmation of your new address and signing the precinct list.  You must also confirm your identity and submit an affidavit prior to being allowed to vote.

Moving Between Counties

If you have moved to a different county before the Registration books close on Tuesday, October 11, 2016, you must update your voter registration address with the new County Clerk or update your driver’s license in the new county at least 29 days before the election.  Otherwise you will not be eligible to vote at either your old or new address.

If you have moved to a different county after the Registration books close on October 11, you may vote at the appropriate precinct for your former residence in your former county.  However, you must register to vote in your new county of residence to vote in future elections.

Military and other overseas citizens may use the standard procedure for absentee voting by mail, but there are also special provisions for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and merchant marine, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, along with family members of all these groups, and other citizens who reside outside the United States (together these groups are called UOCAVA voters).

Registering and Requesting an Absentee Ballot
UOCAVA voters can register to vote and request and absentee ballot by:

  • Using the Federal Post Card Application (FCPA).  Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) Kentucky-specific FPCA webpage for more information. To register to vote: the FPCA postcard must be postmarked by October 11, 2016.
  • Complete and submit the declaration accompanying a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB), which is obtainable online or by contacting the appropriate County Clerk, a United States Consulate or Embassy, or a Military Branch Voting Assistance Officer.  For more information, visit the Kentucky Military & Overseas Voting Services webpage. To request an absentee ballot: the County Clerk must receive the ballot request request at least 7 days before the election (November 1, 2016).
  • Following the absentee voting procedures available to all voters.

Receiving an Absentee Ballot

UOCAVA voters may receive their blank absentee ballots by U.S. Mail or electronic transmission.  Ballots must be returned via U.S. Mail, commercial carrier, or by hand delivery.

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot

The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is a ballot that can be used by UOCAVA voters.  Eligible voters can use their FWAB whether they are located inside or outside the United States (including APO and FPO addresses), provided that they are away from their voting residence for service-related activities. To vote in an election: the FWAB must be received by the County Clerk no later than 6:00 p.m., local time, on Election Day. For specific instructions, visit the Kentucky-specific FWAB webpage.

Persons convicted of felony are not eligible to vote, unless their rights have been restored by an executive pardon from the Governor.


Top Issues to Field 

For more information for voters with disabilities, find a National Disability Rights Network partner in your area.

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

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

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

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2016 Election Information for your state