Kentucky

Upcoming Elections

2023-04-19 – Registration Deadline

Wed Apr 19, 2023

2023-05-02 – Ballot Request Deadline (Received by)

Received by Tue May 2, 2023

2023-05-02 – Ballot Request Deadline (Online by)

Online by Tue May 2, 2023 11:59PM EDT

2023-05-11 – In Person Absentee Ballot Voting From

Thu May 11, 2023

2023-05-13 – In Person Absentee Ballot Voting To

Sat May 13, 2023

2023-05-16 – Ballot Return Deadline (Received by)

Received by Tue May 16, 2023 6:00PM EDT

Last updated: March 2022

Voting in Kentucky

When You Can Vote

Election Day: Polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. local time on Election Day, or until the last person in line at 6:00 p.m. has voted. 

All early voters may vote in person on November 3 to 5.  Early voters with a qualifying “excuse” (generally inability to vote in person on November 3-5 and 8) may apply to vote in person between October 26 and November 2.


Mail-in absentee ballots must be received by the clerk no later than 6:00 p.m. local time on Election Day.

Where You Can Vote

How to Find Your Polling Place: Visit the Kentucky State Board of Elections’ polling locations webpage to determine where to vote.

Registering to Vote

Registration Deadlines

  • The voter registration deadline for the Kentucky Primary Elections is Wed Apr 19, 2023.

How to Check Your Registration: Voters can determine whether they are registered to vote at the following link: Am I Registered?.

You are eligible to vote in Kentucky if you:

  • Are a U.S citizen
  • Are a resident of Kentucky
  • Are at least 18 years old by Election Day

You must be a state resident for at least 28 days to be eligible to vote.

You are NOT eligible to vote in Kentucky if:

  • You are registered to vote in another state
  • A judge has specifically ruled that you are not able to vote.
  • You are in prison or detention or jail or penal institution

You can vote while awaiting trial (excluding felony charges), even if incarcerated, as long as you have not lost your right to vote due to a prior conviction.

Restorative Requirements

  • If you are convicted of a non-violent felony, your right to vote is automatically restored once you complete your full sentence.
  • If you are convicted of a felony involving treason, bribery, or a violent crime, or if you are convicted of a felony outside of Kentucky, once you have completed all terms of your sentence including probation and parole, your right to vote may only be restored by the petitioning the Governor.

How to register 

  • Kentucky Primary Elections
    • Register By: Wed Apr 19, 2023

Kentucky residents may register to vote at the County Clerk’s office, by mail, or online. The online voter registration application can be found on the Secretary of State’s website

Voters must register to vote at least 29 calendar days before the election they intend to vote in, or by Tuesday, October 11 (4 pm for online registration).

Voters who wish to register must have lived in Kentucky for at least 28 days before the date of the election. Applicants are asked on the voter registration application to provide their residence address in Kentucky and other identifying information, and sign an oath affirming that they meet the legal qualifications to register to vote.

Voting Early & by Absentee Ballot

If You Want to Vote Absentee, requests may be made:

  • In-Person
  • By Mail
  • By Fax
  • By Email
  • Online

Absentee Ballots may be returned:

  • In-Person
  • By Mail
Kentucky Primary Elections

Ballot Request:

  • Received by Tue May 2, 2023
  • Online by Tue May 2, 2023 11:59PM EDT

Ballot Return:

  • Received by Tue May 16, 2023 6:00PM EDT

Kentucky distinguishes between in-person absentee (early) voting  and mail-in absentee voting. All voters who wish to vote early may do so by absentee voting in person on November 3-5.  Early voters with a qualifying “excuse” (generally inability to vote in person on November 3-5 and 8) may apply to vote in person between October 26 and November 2. Voters who wish to vote by mail also must qualify and apply.

Rules and Deadlines: 

  • Voters may apply for absentee mail-in ballots as early as 45 days before an election, but no later than 14 days before Election Day. 
  • Mail-in absentee ballots must be received by the County Clerk’s office by 6:00 p.m. local time on Election Day.

Qualifications for Mail-In Voting: 

To qualify for a mail-in absentee ballot, voters must meet one of the following criteria: 

  • In the military or overseas; 
  • A student who temporarily lives outside his/her county; 
  • In jail on criminal charges, but not been convicted of a crime; 
  • Moved to a different state during closed registration in the new state; 
  • Temporarily lives outside the state and is eligible to vote in the state; 
  • Employed outside the county for all hours of in-person voting; 
  • Participant in the crime victim protection program; or  
  • Age, disability, or illness prevents in-person voting.

How to Request an Absentee Ballot: 

  • Voters must use the state’s online portal to request an absentee ballot, unless the voter is disabled, is in the military, or a medical emergency occurs within 14 days of the election. Voters who are unable to use the portal are encouraged to call (or visit in person) their County Clerk’s office which will take the necessary information and import it into the online portal.

Missed the Application Deadline: 

  • Voters who missed the absentee application deadline can vote in person. However, voters may apply for a medical emergency ballot after the deadline and up to Election Day.

Where to Return Absentee Ballots: Voters may return their mail-in absentee ballots to the county clerk by mail, in person, or drop box. In addition, early voters may vote at any early voting location in their county. Polling and drop box locations can be found here.

Identification Requirements

Voter Registration

To register to vote in Kentucky you should provide:

  • Your Kentucky Driver’s License or State ID Number (online applicants only)
  • Your Social Security Number

If you do not have one of these forms of ID and need help getting ID, go to www.voteriders.org.

Voting In-Person

In Kentucky, you need to show a valid photo ID to vote. You can use any ID from this list:

  • Valid Kentucky Driver’s License
  • Current and Valid Photo ID with Signature
  • Debit or Credit Card
  • Social Security Card
  • Personal Acquaintance/Known by Local Election Official

First time voters who did not submit an ID when registering to vote will need to include an ID from the above list when submitting an absentee ballot request application. If you do not have one of the Kentucky valid IDs and need help getting ID, go to www.voteriders.org or get a free state-issued ID card. If this is not possible, you may sign a Reasonable Impediment Declaration. In that case, you may show alternative ID such as your Social Security Card; an ID card with your photo or name; a Food Stamp or public assistance ID card; or a Credit or Debit Card.

Voters who do not have any of the documents listed above may obtain a free state issued ID card for voting at their local circuit clerk’s office or one of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s regional offices. They will need to show their social security card, birth certificate, and proof of residence. 

Voters who do not have government or university-issued photo ID may sign a “Reasonable Impediment Declaration,” stating the reason for their inability to obtain a photo ID and present one of the following IDs: 

  • Social Security Card; 
  • Any ID issued by a county in Kentucky that’s been approved by the State Board of Elections and shows the voter’s name; 
  • Any ID card with both the voter’s photo and name; 
  • Any food stamp ID card, EBT card, or SNAP card issued by Kentucky; or 
  • A credit or debit card with the voter’s name.

Voters who do not have an accepted ID, or a reasonable impediment and qualifying ID, can vote for federal offices by provisional ballot as a last resort.

Voters who mail in their absentee ballot are not required to provide any additional form of identification.

If You Have Moved Within Your State

Moving within the same precinct: 

If a voter has changed addresses since registering to vote and his/her new address is within the same precinct, the voter should update his/her address at the polling place. 

Moving to a different precinct in the same county: 

If a voter has moved from one precinct to another but within the same county (whether before or after the voter registration deadline), the voter can update the registration records at the polling place and vote in the precinct dedicated for his/her new address. The voter must confirm the new address, his/her identity, and submit an affidavit. 

Moving to a different county: 

If a voter has moved after the close of registration to a new county, the voter may vote at the precinct for the old residence, but must re-register to vote in the new county for future elections. If the voter moved before the close of registration and failed to update his/her registration, the voter is not eligible to vote. 

Moving to a different state: 

If a voter moved to a different state before a presidential election while the registration books are closed in the new state, the voter can vote absentee for president and vice president only.

If You Are a Military or an Overseas Voter

Voting Military

Service members and their dependents may register and request a ballot using the overseas voter registration/ballot request form (“FPCA”). Your state does not require an ID to be provided in order to register/request your ballot.

Voting Overseas

U.S. citizens living overseas may register and request a ballot using the overseas voter registration/ballot request form. Your state does not require an ID to be provided in order to register/request your ballot.

Military and other overseas citizens may use the standard procedure for absentee voting by mail. There are also special provisions for members of the U.S. Uniformed Services and a merchant marines, active or reserve members, including activated status National Guard, along with family members of all these groups, and other citizens who reside outside the United States (together, these groups are called UOCAVA voters). 

Registering and Requesting an Absentee Ballot: 

UOCAVA voters can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot. Visit the Kentucky Board of Elections Military and Overseas Voter Portal. Voters can use the state’s Absentee Ballot Status Tool to check if their absentee ballot was sent and received. 

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot: The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is a back-up ballot that can be used by UOCAVA voters. UOCAVA voters can use the FWAB whether they are located inside or outside the United States (including APO and FPO addresses), provided they are away from their voting residence for service-related activities. UOCAVA voters must apply for a regular ballot early enough for their local election officials to receive the request at least 14 days before the election. If a UOCAVA voter does not receive a regular ballot in time, he/she may use the FWAB. The FWAB must be received by the local voting officials in Kentucky no later than 6:00 p.m. on Election Day. For specific instructions, visit the FVAP’s Kentucky-specific FVAP page.

If You Have a Felony Conviction

Kentucky voters convicted only of a misdemeanor are eligible to vote unless they are imprisoned.  Kentucky residents with a felony conviction are not eligible to vote unless they have had their civil or voting rights restored. Rights are restored automatically to people with some past felony convictions who: have completed their full sentence, probation, and parole; or are still on probation or parole only because of unpaid fines or restitution. Rights are not restored automatically to people who were: convicted of bribery, treason, sex offenses, and certain violent offenses; convicted in a different state; or convicted of federal crimes. 


Voters may check their restoration status online. If the voter’s rights were not restored, he/she can petition the Governor for restoration of civil rights. The application is free and can be found online. If a voter believes his/her rights should have been restored but their name is not in the database, the voter should call the Kentucky Department of Corrections at 502-782-8866 or CivilRights.Restoration@KY.gov.

Questions about voting in Kentucky?

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