On April 24, 2020, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear issued an executive order to allow and encourage all Kentucky voters to vote by absentee mail-in ballot for the primary election, scheduled for June 23, 2020.
This is a landmark victory for voting rights advocates and for public health advocates calling for safer elections in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The decision was made in conjunction with Secretary of State Michael Adams.
These are the most important points to know about the revised primary voting process:
Each registered voter will receive a postcard with information on the process and with the URL for the online portal to request a ballot.
In accordance with a letter of recommendation from Secretary Adams, voters will be able to cite a medical emergency as their reason for absentee voting by mail.
Absentee ballot requests by mail are due before June 16, seven days before the primary election. An absentee ballot may be received after this date, but must be picked up from the county clerk.
All return postage for mail-in absentee ballots will be paid for by the Kentucky State Board of Elections.
Ballots must be received by the county clerk no later than 6:00 p.m. on June 23 (with the exception of ballots postmarked on or before June 23, which will be accepted until 6:00 p.m. on June 27)
In-person absentee voting will begin on June 8 (making an appointment with the county clerk is encouraged).
This decision comes after the passing of a more stringent voter ID law from the Kentucky General Assembly, which now requires all voters to present a government-issued photo ID at the polls. However, this law will not be in effect for the June primary, but will be for the November general election.
The election will include races for U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Kentucky General Assembly, judicial seats, and various county positions. Every registered voter in Kentucky should take advantage of this opportunity to make their voice heard! Be sure to stay updated and vote this June!
This article reflects the situation as of May 1, 2020. Updates may be found at the Governor’s webpage for actions on COVID-19.