Voting in Kentucky
Voter Registration In Kentucky
Who Can Register In Kentucky
To register to vote in Kentucky, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be a resident of Kentucky for at least 28 days prior to the election
- Be at least 18 years old, or turning 18 by the next general election
- Not have been declared “non-compos mentis” or “mentally incompetent” by a court of law
- Not have been convicted of a felony, or have been convicted but have had your rights restored
- Not claim the right to vote outside Kentucky
You must register to vote at least 29 days before the election you wish to vote in.
Kentucky Election Day Registration
Kentucky does not offer Election Day registration, so be sure to submit your voter registration before the deadline.
You can pre-register to vote in Kentucky when you turn 17.
Voting Rights Restoration
Kentucky does remove voting rights for people with felony convictions. Kentucky automatically restores the right to vote upon completion of sentence for some offenses. Those who do not meet the criteria for automatic restoration may apply for restoration.
If you have a past conviction, learn more about your eligibility to vote.
Voting In Kentucky
Where To Vote In Kentucky
Vote-by-mail & Absentee
Voters can only vote absentee/by mail in Kentucky with an approved excuse. Approved excuses include:
- A resident of Kentucky who is a covered voter as defined in KRS 117A.010
- A student who temporarily resides outside the county of his or her residence
- Incarcerated in jail and charged with a crime, but has not been convicted of the crime
- Changing or has changed his or her place of residence to a different state while the registration books are closed in the new state of residence before an election of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, in which case the voter shall be permitted to cast a mail-in absentee ballot for electors for President and Vice President of the United States only
- Temporarily residing outside the state but still eligible to vote in this state
- Prevented from voting in person at the polls on election day and from casting an in-person absentee ballot on all days in-person absentee voting is conducted because his or her employment location requires him or her to be absent from the county of his or her residence all hours and all days in-person absentee voting is conducted
- A participant in the Secretary of State's crime victim address confidentiality protection program as authorized by KRS 14.312
- Not able to appear at the polls on election day or the days in-person absentee voting is conducted on the account of age, disability, or illness, and who has not been declared mentally disabled by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Early Voting In Kentucky
Kentucky offers early voting. Early voting begins 21 days before Election Day and ends the day before Election Day.
Primary Elections In Kentucky
Kentucky has closed primaries. Voters registered with a particular party may only vote in that party's primary. 17-year-olds can vote in the primary election if they will be 18 by the corresponding general election.
Voter ID In Kentucky
Voter ID Requirements
Photo ID is required to vote in Kentucky. Valid forms of ID include:
- The United States or the Commonwealth of Kentucky;
- 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 city government, county government, urban-county government, charter county government, consolidated local government, or unified local government, which is located within this state.
The ID must include the voter’s name and photo.
If you do not have an approved form of ID, a voter’s identity can still be confirmed by personal acquaintance with an election official, but now the election official must sign an affirmation. Additionally, Kentucky provides a free state-issued ID card for individuals who are at least 18 and do not have a valid driver’s license. In addition, voters who cannot obtain a photo ID can sign a “Reasonable Impediment Declaration” (stating reason for inability to obtain photo ID) and present one of the following non-photo IDs:
- Social Security Card;
- Any ID issued by a county in KY that’s been approved by the State Board of Elections and shows voter’s name);
- Any ID card with both the voter’s photograph and name;
- Any food stamp ID card, electronic benefit transfer card, or supplemental nutrition assistance card issued by KY that shows voter’s name; or
- A credit or debit card that shows the voter's name.
Additional Kentucky Resources
Your State Election Official
Kentucky Secretary of State
Michael G. Adams
Phone number: 502.564.3490