early voting

Facebook/Russellville Parks and Rec Dept.

As the general election nears, many Kentuckians are choosing to cast their ballots by early in-person voting that began Oct. 13, and runs through Nov. 2. 

There’s one location for early voting in Logan County, the Old National Guard Armory in Russellville that’s now a recreation center owned by the city.

Logan County Clerk Scottie Harper said he has plenty of poll workers who are  keeping things running smoothly.

“I have two clerks signing people in. We have two ballot judges," said Harper. "We have floaters, which are cleaning spaces. We have a machine judge. And then I’ve got 25 privacy booths, which means I can vote 25 people simultaneously.”

Aaron Payne

  Christian County Clerk Mike Kem in western Kentucky has already seen COVID-19 enter his doors — three of his employees are currently isolated with the virus. 

Since his office is in charge of coordinating local elections in his county, he says that up-close experience with the virus has emphasized to him the importance of having people vote early in person this election. Simply put, if more people vote early, fewer people are likely to crowd in line on Election Day and risk COVID-19 exposure.

Colin Jackson

Tuesday is the first day of early voting in-person voting in Kentucky.

Warren County residents showed up steadily starting Tuesday morning at the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center—or SKyPAC—to cast their ballots ahead of the November general election.

Chasity Rodgers voted along with some older family members earlier in the day, then came back in the afternoon to bring her neighbor. She said she hasn't missed an election so far.

Ryan Van Velzer

Kentuckians lined up at polling places across the state on Tuesday, the first day of early-in person voting.

All voters are eligible to cast ballots early in their home counties, though the number of polling locations has been reduced amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In Louisville, a steady stream of masked, mostly Black voters flowed through the large parking lot of the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, one of four early voting locations in Jefferson County.

As of 11 a.m. most voting stations were full at another one of Louisville’s polling places, the Kentucky Exposition Center, though there remained no lines and no waits to gain access.

Henderson County Clerk

Kentucky voters who requested an absentee ballot for the November election can return them by mail or in secure drop boxes.

Henderson County has one drop box inside the county courthouse and is installing a second one outside.

County Clerk Renesa Abner said the drop box outside the courthouse will be under constant surveillance and it gives voters a chance to deliver their ballot 24/7.

"Part of that installation will be that it’s bolted down in the concrete, so it would be extremely difficult to, you know, take that away," said Abner. "Also our courthouse houses our sheriff’s department. Their office is on the same floor entrance as that drop box, so I feel very safe having it outside.”

Rhonda J. Miller

The deadline is Oct. 9 for Kentucky voters to request an absentee ballot for the Nov. 3 general election.

Barren County is seeing a smooth process with absentee ballots and the state has approved the county's plan for early in-person voting and election day voting.

Barren County Clerk Helena Chase Birdwell said as of Oct. 8, the county had issued 3,943 absentee ballots, which can be mailed back or deposited in a secure drop box.

A Pandemic Voter’s Guide For Kentucky

Sep 30, 2020
Creative Commons

The coronavirus pandemic has forced elections officials to expand options for voters in November’s general election. This means you will have more ways to vote, including mail-in ballots and early in-person voting. But it also means many people have questions about how to vote. Here are answers to some common questions about voter registration, voting by mail, and early voting in person.


Counties across Kentucky are making plans for early in-person voting that begins Oct. 13. 

Election officials are required  to follow federal guidelines for social distancing and other safety precautions to keep voters safe during the pandemic.

Preparations for early voting are moving forward in Pulaski County, where Election Coordinator Mark Vaught said one location has already been determined. 

WKU Public Radio

Kentucky election officials are encouraging voters to cast their ballots early—either by mail, or at in-person polling places that will open in mid-October. Legislators heard from election officials Thursday during a meeting of the interim Joint Committee on State Government held at the state fair.

The state has expanded voting options during the November general election and will allow people worried about catching or transmitting coronavirus to vote by mail in order to reduce crowds on Election Day.

Jared Dearing, executive director of the State Board of Elections, encouraged Kentuckians who are going to vote by mail to request their ballots now and mail them in quickly.


A bill to allow no-excuse early voting in Kentucky is dead for this year.  Legislation proposed by Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes cleared the House, but never came up for a vote in the Senate. 

The legislation was aimed at boosting voter turnout in Kentucky.  Currently, voters must have a qualifying reason to vote early.  Grimes was the leading supporter of the bill.  She expressed frustration that the measure won’t be passed this year.

"I've traveled the state and people feel it's something that we should already have," Grimes stated.  "Much like online voter registration, it's something they expect."

The Kentucky County Clerk’s Association opposed the bill.  Warren County Clerk Lynette Yates said the group feels expanded early voting would be a burden for county clerks with small staffs.

Kentucky to Explore Early Voting

Dec 20, 2012

Kentucky's secretary of state is planning to explore whether the state should permit early voting.

Alison Lundergan Grimes said in a news release she plans to hold meetings statewide next year to discuss whether Kentucky should change its election laws to allow early and unexcused absentee voting.

Grimes says 32 states and the District of Columbia allow such types of voting.

The dates of the meetings will be released in January.