Voting Guide


Due to the continued risk posed to the public health by COVID-19, the Kentucky State Board of Elections has approved emergency rules for the November 3, 2020 election that will allow any voter who is “of an age, or possessing of a health condition or vulnerability, or potentially in contact with a person of an age, or possessing of a health condition or vulnerability, that the voter believes subjects the voter, or other person, to an unacceptable risk of harm from contracting or transmitting the novel coronavirus” to vote by mail. Any registered voter may also vote early in person beginning on October 13.

Voters may request an absentee ballot online at govoteky.com or by requesting an application from their county clerk’s office.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is October 9.

The November 3 election will be the first time the state’s new voter ID law will be enforced. However, because some voters may have experienced hardship in obtaining a compliant ID due to COVID-19, voters may sign an affirmation and vote a regular ballot if:

  • They could not obtain a compliant ID due to government office closures resulting from COVID-19;

  • They could not obtain a compliant ID because the process of obtaining one would subject them to an unacceptable risk of contracting or transmitting the novel coronavirus; or

  • They could not obtain a copy of their ID for inclusion with their application for an absentee ballot.

Voter Registration Deadline: 29 days before Election Day



  • Democratic Presidential Primary Election and Primary Election Registration Deadline: May 26

  • Democratic Presidential Primary Election and Primary Election: June 23

  • General Election Registration Deadline: October 5

  • General Election: November 3

Students have a choice about where to register to vote.


Students attending college may register at their campus address or choose to remain registered or register at their permanent or home address.


You may only be registered and vote in one location.

Kentucky’s voter registration form asks for your full Social Security number. Residents can also register to vote online using their Kentucky-issued driver's license.

Each voter must present ID bearing the voter’s name and photograph, and issued by:

  • The United States or Commonwealth of Kentucky;

  • The U.S. Department of Defense, a branch of the uniformed services, Merchant Marines, or Kentucky National Guard;

  • A student ID issued by an institution of higher education in the United States; or

  • A municipality located in Kentucky.

Voters who do not have one of these forms of ID can sign an affirmation and present one of the following forms of ID:

  • Social Security card;

  • A card issued by a Kentucky county bearing the voter’s name and approved by the State Board of Elections;

  • Any identification card bearing the voter’s name and photograph;

  • A food stamp identification card, electronic benefit transfer card, or supplemental nutrition assistance card issued by Kentucky and bearing the voter’s name; or

  • A credit card or debit card bearing the voter’s name.

Make a plan. Look up your voting site and hours at: https://vrsws.sos.ky.gov/vic

By Mail

You may vote absentee by mail for the following reasons:

  • You are a student attending school outside the county where you are registered;

  • Advanced age, disability, illness or medical emergency;

  • You are a member of the armed forces or the dependent of a member of the armed forces;

  • You are a Kentucky citizen residing outside of the United States;

  • You are incarcerated but not yet convicted of a felony; or

  • You work outside the county and are unable to vote all the hours the polling place is open.


Absentee ballots may only be obtained by contacting the County Clerk’s office either in person, by mail, by email, by phone, or by fax. Applications are not available online.

A list of the County Clerks is available here: http://elect.ky.gov/contactcountyclerks.

The deadline for applying for a mailed absentee ballot is seven days before Election Day.

Your completed absentee ballot must be returned by the close of polls on Election Day.


Early In-Person

A voting machine at the county clerk’s office is available during the last 12 (or more) working days before the election for certain qualified voters. If you do not qualify for a paper absentee ballot and meet one of the following conditions, you may vote early in person:

  • You are a student attending school outside the county of your voter registration who will be absent from the county on Election Day;

  • You will be out of the county on Election Day;

  • You are advanced in age, disabled, or ill;

  • You are a member of the armed forces or the dependent of a member of the armed forces;

  • You are a pregnant woman in your third trimester;

  • You are a member or an employee of the county board of elections, deputy clerk, alternate precinct officer or appointed to a precinct other than that in which you are registered;

  • You are military personnel who will be confined to a base within the county on Election Day and learn of that confinement within seven or fewer days of the election; or

  • You or your spouse has surgery scheduled that will require hospitalization on Election Day.


Election Day

Voting sites will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Election Day. If you are in line by the closing time, then you have a right to vote.

Registering to Vote Does Not Affect Your:

Federal Financial Aid

Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell Grants, Perkins or Stafford loans, or your dependency status for FAFSA.

Status as a Dependent on Your Parents’ Taxes

Being registered to vote at a different address from your parents does not prevent them from claiming you as a dependent on their taxes.

Tuition Status

Being deemed out-of-state for tuition purposes does not prevent you from choosing to register to vote in your campus community.


Will registering to vote in Kentucky affect my driver’s license or car registration?

Yes. Registering to vote in Kentucky establishes residency in the state, which requires you to register any vehicles in Kentucky.

Fair Elections Center and Campus Vote Project intend the information contained herein is used only as a general guide. This document should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a licensed North Carolina legal professional.
Last updated March 2019