Less than four weeks until Election Day, certain voters across Kentucky can begin to cast their absentee ballots in the May 17 primary.
State law does provides opportunities for citizens such as military personnel, students temporarily residing outside their county, and the disabled to cast absentee votes before the primary election.
“It is very important that everyone votes in this upcoming election. Kentucky law provides voters with a number of opportunities to cast a ballot,” Secretary of State Elaine Walker said in a news release. “I hope that all citizens will plan for Election Day accordingly, and if they cannot make it to the polls on Election Day that they still vote absentee. There simply is no unimportant election.”
Several county clerk’s offices across the commonwealth have already begun in-person absentee voting, where citizens actually vote on voting machines similar to those used on Election Day.
The beginning of in-person absentee voting varies by county, but must begin at least 12 working days prior to the election. If people have questions about when their absentee begins they are encouraged to call their county clerk’s office.
Voters will have until May 16 to cast an in-person absentee ballot.
Those applying for a mail-in absentee ballot have until May 10 to turn their paperwork in and have until 6 p.m. local time on Election Day to return their ballots to the county clerk.
There are a variety of reasons why a voter might request to cast an absentee ballot, including:
• Advanced age, disability, or illness
• Military personnel, their dependents, and overseas citizens
• Students who temporarily reside outside the county
• Other voters who temporarily reside outside of Kentucky, such as a vacationer
• Voters incarcerated but not yet convicted
• Voters whose employment takes them out of the county during all hours the polling place is open
• Voters who will be out of the county on Election Day
• Military personnel confined to base who learn of it within seven days or less of an election
• Voters who have surgery scheduled that will require hospitalization on Election Day, and the voter’s spouse
• Pregnant women in third trimester
• Precinct Election Officials