Kentucky’s primary elections will see new voting procedures after Gov. Andy Beshear and Secretary of State Michael Adams reached an agreement to ensure the safety of Kentuckians when voting amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The primary elections have been moved from May 19 to June 23, 2020 following an executive order by the governor in March. Now, after recommendations from Secretary of State Adams, Beshear issued a new executive order on Friday to change the way votes will be cast on the new date.
The executive order states all Kentuckians will be able to utilize absentee voting by mail if they are able to do so. To accomplish this, the State Board of Elections will create an online portal that will allow voters to request the absentee ballot be mailed to them and will also be sending out a postcard to every registered voter in Kentucky informing them of this new ability and the process.
As for in-person voting, the order states in-person absentee voting will begin on June 8 and clerks will be encouraged to prioritize such voters by appointment. Clerks and poll workers will be provided with personal protective equipment and proper sanitization and work will be done to ensure minimal contact between individuals during the voting process which could include drive through voting.
“Today’s Executive Order and regulations that will be created by the Kentucky State Board of Elections will allow all Kentuckians who are registered to vote for the upcoming primary to vote by mail through an absentee ballot,” said Governor Beshear. “While there will be significant education and work required, we are committed to making sure this election will be held in a safe manner while we are in this worldwide health pandemic.”
“Voters across the political spectrum will be pleased with this plan to protect both democracy and public health,” said Secretary Adams. “I’m grateful to Governor Beshear for his leadership, and his working in good faith with me toward ensuring a successful and safe election.”