Creating fair, representative, and accessible elections for all Kentuckians!
With Our People Our Vote, we’re making sure Kentuckians are registered to vote, know how to vote, and know what they’re voting on.
Because voting is more than checking boxes on a ballot; it’s an opportunity to care for your family and community by voting for fully funded schools, public transportation, better wages, and other issues you care about.
To do this, we provide non-partisan voter education resources that make voting easy and accessible for all Kentuckians!
2023 Key Election Dates in Kentucky
September 23 – October 24, 2023
Absentee ballot online request portal opens (to Kentuckians with a valid excuse)
October 10, 2023
Deadline to register to vote (4 p.m. local time)
October 25 - November 1, 2023 (excluding weekend days)
In-person, excused, absentee early voting before Election Day (locations chosen by local county clerks)
November 2 - November 4, 2023
In-person, no-excuse, absentee early voting opens to all Kentuckians (hours and location vary by county)
November 7, 2023
Mail-in absentee ballots due (return by mail or ballot drop-box)
What’s on your ballot?
Use this tool to make a plan to vote by checking your voter registration, locating your early voting or Election Day polling place, and get assistance to request a vote by mail ballot.
Make Sure You’re Ready to Vote
Learn more about what ID to bring to the polls
Election Protection Hotline
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are a college student, you can register to vote in the county where you live and attend college, as long as you register or update your registration by the October 10 registration deadline. You can also choose to stay registered to vote in your home county, but you would need to either request an absentee ballot, or make a plan to vote in person at home–either at your home polling location on Election Day; at the County Clerk’s office or another location chosen by the County Clerk during the county’s excused in-person absentee voting days; or at a no-excuse absentee early voting location between Thursday, November 2 to Saturday November 4. See “Out of Town on Election Day?” for information on how to request an absentee ballot.
In 2019, Governor Andy Beshear issued an Executive Order automatically restoring the right to vote and the right to hold public office for formerly incarcerated Kentuckians who have been convicted of non-violent felonies and who have satisfied their term of supervised release and/or their sentence of incarceration.
- Click here to see if your voting rights have been automatically restored.
- Once you confirm that your rights were restored, you still have to register to vote.
What if I don't qualify for automatic restoration?
- If your rights were not restored, you can petition the Governor for restoration of civil rights.
- The application is free and can be found here.
- The application takes up to 12 weeks to process.
Still not sure if you are eligible for restoration of your right to vote?
- Click here to review a list of questions to help determine your eligibility.
- You can also email [email protected] or call 502-782-9731.
Per the Kentucky Department of Corrections: “Any individual who submitted an application for restoration of civil rights to a prior Governor's administration is encouraged to submit an application with updated information to the current administration.”
This means that, even if you submitted a complete application to restore your voting rights during Governor Matt Bevin's term (2015-2019), you must reapply and submit a new application to Governor Andy Beshear’s administration to petition for a restoration of your voting rights.
As long as you will turn 18 years old by the November 7, 2023 General Election, you may register to vote in Kentucky. Be sure to register by the deadline on October 10 at 4 p.m. local time in order to cast your vote on November 7!
A valid photo ID is required to vote in Kentucky. This means an ID with your name and photo on it, issued by:
- the United States or the Kentucky state government
- the United States Department of Defense, a branch of the uniformed services, the Merchant Marines, or the Kentucky National Guard
- a public or private college, university, or postgraduate technical or professional school located within the United States
- any local government within Kentucky, including city, county, urban-county, charter county, consolidated or unified local government
Some examples of a valid photo ID include a Kentucky driver’s license, a military ID, a college ID, or a Kentucky government ID. (An expired Kentucky driver's license is also a valid form of ID.)
If you don’t have a valid photo ID, consider getting a free state-issued ID card, which is available for any individual who is at least 18 and doesn’t have a valid driver’s license. To get one, bring a birth certificate, social security card, and proof of residency to your local Circuit Clerk’s office, or to a Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Regional Driver Licensing Office.
If you can’t get a valid photo ID, you can still vote if you sign a document at a polling location that states you could not obtain a photo ID, and instead present:
- a social security card
- an ID issued by a Kentucky county that shows your name and has been approved by the State Board of Elections
- any ID card with your name and photo
- any food stamp ID card, EBT card, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance card that shows your name
- a credit or debit card that shows your name.
Lastly, a voter’s identity can be verified by a personal acquaintance with an election official, but the official will be asked to sign an affirmation.
Prior to the voter registration deadline on October 10 at 4 p.m. local time, you can register to vote at your new address by registering or updating your voter registration.
If you moved between counties after the voter registration deadline of October 10, or didn’t have a chance to update your registration, you can still vote at your previous address for one election–but would need to either request an absentee ballot for your previous address, or make a plan to vote in person at your former precinct. You can vote in person at your former polling location on Election Day; at a location determined by your former County Clerk during the county’s excused in-person absentee voting days; or at a no-excuse absentee early voting location between Thursday, November 2 to Saturday November 4. See “Out of Town on Election Day?” for information on how to request an absentee ballot. And be sure to update your voter registration with your new address before the next election.
If you moved within your county, you can vote at your new polling location, and can update your new registration address at that time.
If you’ll be out of town on Election Day, there are three different ways you may vote:
- You qualify for excused in-person absentee voting. Simply visit your County Clerk’s office or another location chosen by your County Clerk during working hours between October 25th - November 1st, 2023 to cast your vote early.
- You also qualify for excused absentee voting by mail. Simply fill out the Absentee Ballot online request portal (open to Kentuckians with a valid excuse) between September 23 - October 24. Be sure to leave enough time when requesting your absentee ballot for the ballot to be mailed to you, and for you to mail it back or drop it in a ballot drop box before you go out of town. Once someone has requested a mail-in ballot, there is no circumstance under which they can vote in-person. All absentee ballots must be received via mail or drop off by 6 p.m. local time on Election Day. If you have trouble filling out the ballot request form online, contact your County Clerk for help.
- Lastly, you may vote in-person during the no-excuse absentee early voting days: Thursday, November 2 to Saturday, November 4, 2023. Hours vary by county.
If any of the options below are true for you, you are allowed to vote absentee by mail:
- I am a covered voter under the Kentucky Uniform Military and Overseas Act–a member of the uniformed services or their dependent, or a voter residing overseas
- I am a student who temporarily resides outside the county of my residence.
- I am incarcerated in jail but have not been convicted of the crime for which I have been charged.
- I have changed my place of residence to a different state during a period in which my new state’s voter registration books are closed (you will receive a ballot only for the offices of President and Vice-President of the United States).
- I temporarily reside outside of Kentucky but am still eligible to vote in the state.
- I will be absent from my county of residence on Election Day and on all of the days that in-person absentee voting is conducted.
- I am a participant in the Secretary of State’s crime victim address confidentiality program.
- I am not able to appear at the polls on Election Day or on the days of no-excuse in-person absentee voting on account of age, disability, or illness and I have not been declared mentally disabled by a court of competent jurisdiction.
If you have a disability that prevents you from marking a paper ballot and you would like to request an accessible absentee ballot, please contact your county clerk for guidance related to the state's accessible absentee portal.
If any of the options below are true for you, you are allowed to vote during excused in-person absentee voting, which takes place during working hours at your County Clerk’s office, or another location chosen by your County Clerk, between October 25 – November 1, 2023.
- I am a covered voter under the Kentucky Uniform Military and Overseas Act–a member of the uniformed services or their dependent, or a voter residing overseas–and will be absent from the county on the day of an election and during the days of no-excuse in-person absentee voting;
- I am a student who temporarily resides outside the county of my residence and will be absent from the county of my residence on the day of an election and during the days of no-excuse in-person absentee voting;
- I or my spouse have surgery scheduled that will require hospitalization on the day of an election and during the days of no-excuse in-person absentee voting;
- I temporarily reside outside of Kentucky but am still eligible to vote in the state and will be absent from the county on the day of an election and during the days of no-excuse in-person absentee voting;
- I am a resident of Kentucky who is a uniformed-service voter as defined by Kentucky Uniform Military and Overseas Act and will be confined to a military base on election day and during the days of no-excuse in-person absentee voting;
- I am in my last trimester of pregnancy (you will need to complete a form by the State Board of Elections confirming this)
- I am scheduled to work (including commute time) during all days and all hours that polls are open on election day and the days of no-excuse in-person absentee voting
- I am an election officer tasked with election administration for the current election cycle.
- I am not able to appear at the polls on Election Day or on the days of no-excuse in-person absentee voting on account of age, disability, or illness and I have not been declared mentally disabled by a court of competent jurisdiction
All Kentuckians who are registered to vote and have not already requested a mail-in absentee ballot may cast an in-person absentee ballot at the county voting center for any reason. The locations and hours of no-excuse absentee voting vary by county; locations will be announced here.
Once someone has requested a mail-in ballot, there is no circumstance under which they can vote in-person.
As a Kentucky voter, you have the right to:
- Vote if you are a registered voter
- Ask questions on election procedures
- Review a sample ballot before voting
- Vote in privacy and free from coercion or intimidation
- Have non-discriminatory equal access to the elections system for all voters, including elderly, disabled, and minority, military and overseas citizens
- Vote if you are in line to vote by 6:00 p.m., prevailing time on election day
- Occupy the voting booth up to two minutes if others are waiting in line
- Have your ballot count if it is cast legally and timely
- Vote in an accessible voting place
- Receive assistance in voting if you are blind, have a physical disability, or have an inability to read English. (The person assisting you can be a someone you choose or the two precinct election judges, except that the voter’s employer, an agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of the voter’s union shall not assist a voter)
- Request and have an immediate hearing before the county board of elections on election day if your eligibility to vote is questioned. Any decision of the county board of elections may be immediately appealed to a circuit judge
- Skip races if your ballot has multiple issues. You are not required to vote in every race. Blank sections on your ballot will not affect any of the other votes you have cast
Vote a provisional ballot if:
- Voter name does not appear on the precinct roster and whose registration status cannot be determined by the precinct officer
- Voter name does not appear on the precinct roster and who has been verified as ineligible to vote
- Voter does not have identification
- Voter is voting as a result of a Federal or State Court Order or any Order under state law in effect 10 days prior to election day which extends polling hours
- Voter has been challenged by all four precinct election officers
- Check the Provisional Voter Information link to determine if your provisional ballot was counted or not counted
As a Kentucky voter, you have the responsibility to:
- Register to vote at least 29 days before the election
- Respect the privacy and voting rights of others
- Follow instructions concerning election procedures
- Follow all federal and state voting laws
- Review your ballot before casting it to ensure it is complete and correct
- Treat election workers and other voters with courtesy and respect
- Be informed about the candidates and issues on the ballot
- Keep your voter registration and address records current
Under state or federal law, it is a crime for a voter to willfully and knowingly:
- Impersonate another person in order to vote or attempt to vote
- Vote or attempt to vote under a false name
- Vote or attempt to vote more than once in the same election
- Influence or attempt to influence a voter’s voting decision through the use of force, threat, menace, intimidation, bribery, reward, or offer of reward
If you are a registered voter who is facing a medical emergency, including illness such as COVID-19, within fourteen days of an election, you can access an absentee ballot even though the absentee ballot online request portal will be closed. Do this by having your spouse, parent, or child pick up and drop off an absentee ballot application for you at the County Clerk’s office. If you don’t have a spouse, parent, or children, the application can also be requested by a sibling, niece, nephew, or other designee. These absentee ballot applications must be notarized. Once your county clerk has verified your application, they will issue you an absentee ballot, which must be received via mail or drop box by 6 p.m. local time on Election Day.