Secretary of State
Absentee Voting is Open for the Primary Election
Frankfort, KY – Voters across Kentucky are already casting ballots for this year’s May 17th primary election. While not all Kentuckians can head to the polls before Election Day, Kentucky law does provide opportunities for some voters to cast absentee ballots before the May 17, 2011 primary election.
“It is very important that everyone votes in this upcoming election. Kentucky law provides voters with a number of opportunities to cast a ballot,” stated Kentucky Secretary of State Elaine N. Walker, the Chief Election Officer of the Commonwealth. “I hope that all citizens will plan for Election Day accordingly, and if they cannot make it to the polls on Election Day that they still vote absentee. There simply is no unimportant election.”
Many County Clerks’ offices across the Commonwealth have already begun in-person absentee voting, where voters actually vote on voting machines similar to those used on Election Day. All County Clerks’ offices must allow in-house absentee voting at least twelve working days before Election Day. The actual start date for in person absentee is left to County Clerks and their office hours. Voters will have until May 16, 2011 to cast an in-person absentee ballot.
Voters might also be eligible to apply for a mail-in absentee ballot. Applications for mail-in absentee ballots are available from voters’ respective County Clerks’ offices and must be received during office hours in those offices by May 10, 2011. After receiving an approved application, county clerks will mail a ballot to the respective voters, and voters will have until 6:00 p.m. local time on Election Day to return their ballots to the county clerk. All mail-in absentee ballots must be returned by mail to the county clerk and must be received by 6:00 p.m. local time.
There are a variety of reasons why a voter might request to cast an absentee ballot, including:
• Advanced age, disability, or illness
• Military personnel, their dependents, and overseas citizens
• Students who temporarily reside outside the county
• Other voters who temporarily reside outside of Kentucky, such as a vacationer
• Voters incarcerated but not yet convicted
• Voters whose employment takes them out of the county during all hours the polling place is open
• Voters who will be out of the county on Election Day
• Military personnel confined to base who learn of it within seven days or less of an election
• Voters who have surgery scheduled that will require hospitalization on Election Day, and the voter’s spouse
• Pregnant women in third trimester
• Precinct Election Officials
Voters are restricted as to whether they can use in-person absentee voting or mail-in ballots according to their reason for casting an absentee ballot.
Secretary Walker also reminded voters that with the start of in-person absentee voting, electioneering laws are now in effect for the building in which the absentee voting is located. Electioneering is prohibited inside in-person absentee voting locations during the hours in which absentee voting is being conducted. Electioneering materials shall not be affixed to the interior or exterior of any in-person absentee voting location during that time as well. For more specific rules about electioneering, citizens are urged to contact their local board of elections or the State Board of Elections.
To learn more information about absentee voting or to use the Voter Information Center, a service that will confirm voter registration and provide pertinent election information to registered voters, please visit: www.vote.ky.gov.
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