In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state and local election officials have made voting less challenging under social distancing guidelines by providing numerous ways Kentuckians can cast their ballot. Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman urged Kentuckians on Thursday afternoon to make a plan for voting in the November general election.
“As a mom, I’ve been thinking a lot about how we prepare the future world for our children. Voting does exactly that,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “By making your voice heard at the ballot box, you have a say in the direction of your communities, state and country for years to come.”
Coleman introduced Secretary of State Michael Adams and State Board of Elections Executive Director Jared Dearing, who also encouraged Kentuckians to use one of many voting options.
Secretary Adams offered an update on the state’s plan for upcoming elections. He also encouraged Kentuckians to vote as early as possible and to sign up to be poll workers.
“Gov. Beshear and I agree that the best way to ensure that we have a safe and successful election is to give voters choices,” said Secretary Adams. “And now, you can track your absentee ballot the way you track an Amazon package.”
The deadline to register to vote is October 5th at 4 p.m. local time. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is October 9th. Visit govoteky.com for more information. Voters can mail in an absentee ballot or bring it back to their county clerk – in person or at a drop box.
Kentuckians can also vote in person at various sites during early voting beginning October 13th, or on Election Day.
“Every single county in the state is going to have in person, early voting. There’s no appointment needed – just show up and vote,” said Secretary Adams. “All day during business hours, every day, five days a week, and we’ve added Saturday hours. This is going to be the most voter-centric election we’ve ever had in Kentucky’s history.”
Dearing explained exactly how Kentuckians can fill out an absentee ballot.
“Once you apply for an absentee ballot, you’ll be able to check your status at govoteky.com. You’ll receive in the mail a ballot packet with three envelopes: one outer envelope, a middle envelope and an inner envelope called a security envelope,” said Dearing. “You’ll also receive your ballot and ballot instructions. We highly recommend that you read through the ballot instructions first.
“Then you take your ballot out and mark it. Please bubble in everything effectively and correctly. If you make a mistake using a pencil, erase it completely and then bubble in the selection you would like. If you’re using a pen and you mark the wrong choice, bubble in the choice that you do want and then circle that choice to show voter intent.
“Then, you’re going to fold the ballot in half, place it inside the yellow security envelope. Please leave the flap that is on that envelope on. Do not detach that flap. On that flap, you will find a place for you to sign. We recommend that you use a signature that closely represents your driver’s license of voter registration signature.
“Sign and seal that envelope. Then take that yellow envelope and put it in the inner envelope. That inner envelope needs to be sealed and then also signed on the outside in the top left hand corner.”
Voters then have a few options on how to send their ballot in to be counted. Mailing it back, physically delivering it to a county clerk’s office, and dropping it off at a county drop box are all methods of ensuring that that vote will be counted. County clerks can be contacted for questions on the location of drop boxes.
“Please do not wait until the last day to turn these back in,” Dearing added. “We highly recommend that you take advantage of the ability to cast your ballot early. That way if you do have a ballot irregularity, we can reach out to you and give you an opportunity to cure whatever that error is and make sure that ballot is counted.”