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How Voting Will Work in Kentucky this November

Voting procedures in Kentucky were announced Friday by Governor Andy Beshear and Secretary of State Michael G. Adams who reached a bipartisan agreement as part of an effort to make voting safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Adams sent Beshear a formal recommendation that Beshear then turned into an executive order outlining procedures for the election to be held on November 3.

“Secretary Adams and I were able to put partisanship aside and develop a plan for the general election that puts the health and safety of Kentuckians first,” Beshear said in a statement. “This plan provides more time and options to vote in this General Election than ever before.”

“Governor Beshear and I worked together across the partisan divide to fashion election rules that are fair to every voter regardless of party,” Adams said in the announcement. “We kept the best of what worked in the June primary, especially giving voters options to safely cast their votes, and we built on that record with improvements – more in-person voting locations, and faster election results.”

Both appeared together during a media briefing on Friday.

In the weeks ahead, the governor, secretary of state, state board of elections and local election officials will educate Kentuckians on the general election plan, the announcement said.

Details of the plan include:

Absentee ballot by mail

  • Kentuckians concerned with contracting or spreading COVID-19 can request a ballot by mail.
  • An online portal will launch within the week to allow Kentuckians to request a ballot by mail. Ballots can be requested through the portal through Oct. 9, and through traditional means after.
  • Mail ballots must be postmarked by Election Day, Nov. 3, and received by Nov. 6.
  • Drop boxes will be available for Kentuckians to return their mail ballots if they are concerned about postal delays. County clerks will determine these locations.

Early voting

  • Beginning Oct. 13, three weeks before the election, every work day between Oct. 13 and Election Day, and every Saturday for at least four hours, every county clerk will provide a location for safe in-person voting.
  • Early voting is not absentee voting – anyone can vote early for any reason.

Election Day voting

  • County election officials will decide election sites on Election Day. The State Board of Elections, Secretary of State and Governor will approve each plan.
  • Every county will have at least one voting super-center, where everyone from the county can go to vote, regardless of his or her precinct.

Voter identification

  • Kentuckians who were unable to get a driver’s licenses or photo ID due to the pandemic because their clerk’s office was closed, or because they were afraid of exposing themselves to COVID-19, can sign a document explaining this concern and cast their ballot.

-Staff report