It’s that time of year again: election time. This year, the general election in Kentucky will be held November 4th. There is a US Senate position, multiple US House of Representative positions, and various state positions being contested this year.
It might sound cliché, but it is a citizen’s right and duty to vote in elections. If you want to vote in the general election next month, the deadline to register is this upcoming Monday, October 6th. If you are not registered to vote, there are a few eligibility requirements that need to be met. To be eligible to vote, you need to:
- be a US Citizen and a KY resident for at least 28 days prior to the election
- be at least 18 years old by the general election in October
- not be a convicted felon
- not have been judged mentally incompetent in a court of law
- not have claimed the right vote elsewhere in the US
If these requirements are met, there are a few different places that voters can complete registration, such as the County Clerk’s office, the DMV, and through a mail card.
What else should you know about voting in Kentucky?
- You must register with a party. Kentucky has closed primaries; this means voters can only vote in the primary election of the party with which they are registered. It also means that if you select “Other,” you can only vote in nonpartisan city and judicial primaries.
- If you are unable to vote on election day, you have a few options. You may qualify for a mailed absentee ballot. If you don’t qualify for a paper ballot, you may still be eligible to vote early at the County Clerk’s office in the 2 weeks leading up to the election. For a complete list of eligibility requirements, see the State Board of Elections webpage.
- Voters must provide identification at the polling location. Acceptable forms of identification are: Driver’s License, Social Security Card, a credit card or another ID containing a photo and a signature. If you do not have identification, you have the right to vote on a provisional ballot. Provisional voting is for Federal elections only and will not include any state or city election information.
- If a voter’s name does not appear in the register at their polling location, they have the right to have an immediate hearing at the county board of elections and to vote on a provisional ballot.
- If voters need assistance at the voting location, the poll workers are there to help. Voters may notify one of the election officers at their location that they need help, and the voter should expect to be helped by two officers: one Democrat and one Republican, to ensure unbiased assistance.
As a reminder, it against the law for a voter to impersonate another person to vote, to vote under a false name, and to vote more than once in an election. It is also unlawful for any person or group to influence a voter’s decision through force, threat, menace, intimidation, bribery, or reward. If a voter feels that their right to vote has been violated, they should contact the County or State Board of Elections, the Attorney General’s Election Fraud Hotline, or notify any of the elections officers are their polling location.