Pushing to Vote by Mail in Kentucky | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Pushing to Vote by Mail in Kentucky

Kentucky is one of just 8 states that don’t generally allow voters to vote by mail and that haven’t expanded their vote-by-mail options in the face of the current pandemic. Connecticut, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas are the other 7. 

As it stands now, these are the reasons someone can have to request an absentee ballot in Kentucky:

  • Advanced in age, disabled, or ill
  • Military personnel, their Dependents, or Overseas Citizens
  • A student who temporarily resides outside the county
  • A voter who temporarily resides outside of Kentucky and who maintains eligibility to vote in Kentucky, such as a "snowbird"
  • Incarcerated, but not yet convicted of a crime
  • Prevented from voting in person at the polls on election day and from casting an in-person absentee ballot in the county clerks office on all days in-person absentee voting is conducted because of his or her employment location

If you fall into one of these categories, you may request an absentee ballot from your local county clerk. They’ll then send you a form to apply for an absentee ballot, which you’ll then need to get back to them by June 16. Then they’ll send you the ballot by mail, which you’ll need to make sure gets back to them on or before election day.

It’s not a very streamlined process and only applies to a small number of Kentuckians.

What we need is a robust vote-by-mail option for all Kentuckians and extensive public education to get the word out about it.

According to legislation passed through the General Assembly in the last few days, the governor and secretary of state can jointly change the time or manner of an election during an emergency. That means that they have the power to implement a vote by mail plan.

KFTC will continue pushing in the coming weeks for vote by mail and other options to strengthen our democracy.

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