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Voting in Kentucky

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Kentucky does not permit online voter registration or no-excuse absentee voting. Early voting is available for those who qualify for an absentee ballot. In Kentucky, if a voter is not personally known by the election officer, a valid form of identification must be presented at the polls.[1]

For full information about voting in Kentucky, contact the state election agency.


Kentucky utilizes a closed primary system. Voters must register with a party to be able to vote in their primary election.

In order to vote in Kentucky, you must:[2]

  • be a U.S. citizen
  • be a Kentucky resident "for at least 28 days before Election Day"
  • be at least "18 years old by the date of the next general election"
  • not be a convicted felon who has not had civil rights restored
  • not have been judged "mentally incompetent" to vote by a court
  • not claim "the right to vote anywhere outside Kentucky"

When and where

Registration must be completed 28 days prior to the election. Registration can be completed by submitting a form or in one of the following locations:[2]

  • County Clerk’s office;
  • Driver’s License office when you apply for or renew your driver’s license;
  • Social service agency clients when applying or renewing benefits at these locations:
  • K-TAP, SNAP, Medicaid, WIC and state funded offices serving those with disabilities;
  • Military Recruitment offices, if you are a prospective member of the military;
  • A high school, if you are a student or staff member[3]

—Kentucky Board of Elections

Online registration

See also: Online voter registration in the 50 states

As of April 2015, Kentucky is one of 30 states that have not implemented full online voter registration.

Voting on Election Day

Voter identification

See also: Voter identification laws by state

Voters are required to present identification before voting. Valid identification includes photo and non-photo identification. Election officers can also confirm the identity of a voter by personal acquaintance.[4]

Poll times

See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times

In Kentucky, all polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Central and Eastern Time. All those in line by 6:00 p.m. will be able to vote.[2]

Kentucky is split between Eastern and Central time zones.

Absentee voting

See also: Absentee voting


A voter in Kentucky may cast an absentee ballot if he or she is one of the following:[2]

  • Uniformed-service or overseas voter
  • Student who temporarily resides outside the county
  • Voter who temporarily resides outside Kentucky (e.g., vacationers)
  • Voter who is incarcerated but has not been convicted
  • Voter whose employment takes you outside the county for all days and hours the polling place is open
  • Voter of advanced age or who suffers from disability or illness
  • Voter who is a participant in the Secretary of State’s Address Confidentiality Program[3]

—Kentucky State Board of Elections


To vote absentee, a request must be received at least seven days prior to the election. The ballot must then be returned by 6:00 p.m. on Election Day.[5]

Military and overseas voting

For full details regarding military and overseas voting, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

Early voting

See also: Early voting

Kentucky is one of 14 states that do not permit early voting in any form.

Election policy ballot measures

Voting on
elections and campaigns
Ballot measures
By state
By year
Not on ballot
See also: Elections and campaigns on the ballot and List of Kentucky ballot measures

Ballotpedia has tracked the following ballot measures relating to election and campaign policy in Kentucky.

  1. Kentucky Absentee Voting Referendum (1945)
  2. Kentucky Commissioner of Education Referendum (1957)
  3. Kentucky Dates of Executive Elections Amendment (2016)
  4. Kentucky General Assembly Election Years Referendum (1979)
  5. Kentucky Voting Machines Referendum (1941)
  6. Kentucky Voting Rights Referendum (1955)

Recent news

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See also

Elections in Kentucky

External links