The state’s governor and top election official have released a plan to keep Kentuckians safe and socially distanced when voting in the November election that includes absentee voting, early voting, and in-person voting on election day on Tuesday, November 3.
At his press conference Friday, Gov. Andy Beshear said Kentuckians concerned about contracting or spreading COVID-19 can request a ballot by mail through an online portal that will be launched within the next week. Ballots can be requested through the portal through October 9 and then can use traditional means to request an absentee ballot after that.
Mail ballots must be postmarked by Election Day, Nov. 3, and received by Nov. 6.
Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams said they are broadening the exemptions for absentee voting to any voter of any age or health condition that feels they are at risk with COVID-19. Any Kentuckian who is in close contact with someone in that vulnerable population can also get an absentee ballot.
Adams says he expects most of the votes to be in and counted by election day.
Early in-person voting will be available for three weeks ahead of the scheduled election day, beginning October 13, and the governor encouraged Kentuckians to take advantage of that option. Every Saturday, voting will be available for at least four hours and every county clerk will provide a location for safe in-person voting.
Every county will have at least one voting “supercenter” like the fairgrounds and other polling locations will have to apply and be approved.
With the new voter ID law passed in the 2020 session, the new voting plan says Kentuckians who were unable to get a driver’s license or photo ID due to the pandemic because their clerk’s office was closed or they were unable to get one because of COVID-19 can sign a document explaining this concern and cast their ballot.
Adams said the plan took about a month of planning between himself and the governor to ensure everyone is safe. He said the two used what worked from their plan in the primary election and made it better and fixed what didn’t go quite as well in June.