Polls are open 6:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. (Local time)
The deadline to register to vote for the Primary election is April 23, 2012. The deadline to register to vote for the General Election is October 9, 2012.
If you would like to download and print a Voter Information Guide, please click Voter Information Guide.
Registering to Vote
Who can register to vote?
To register you must:
- be a U.S. Citizen and a Kentucky resident for at least 28 days before election day;
- be at least 18 years old by the date of the next general election (if you will be 18 by the November general election, you are eligible to vote in the prior May primary election);
- not be a convicted felon or, if convicted of a felony offense, you must have had your civil rights restored. Contact your local parole office to obtain an application for restoration of civil rights;
- not have been judged "mentally incompetent" in a court of law and have voting rights removed; and
- not claim the right to vote anywhere outside Kentucky.
Where do I register to vote?
You can register at one of the following locations:
- County clerk's office
- Driver's license office, if you are applying for or renewing your driver's license
- Food Stamp
- WIC, and state-funded offices serving those with disabilities, if you are a client of these offices
- Armed forces recruitment offices, if you are a prospective member of the armed forces
- High schools, if you are a student or staff member
- Kentucky mail - in Voter Registration Card
The completed voter registration card must be mailed or returned at least 28 days prior to the election.
What if I don’t have a residential address?
Your residence for voter registration purposes is the place where your habitation is, and the place where, when you leave, you have the intention of returning. See KRS 116.035. In other words, wherever you sleep and live can be your residence.
Must I choose a party when I register?
Kentucky has closed party primary elections. You must register as a Democrat or Republican to vote in that party's May primary election. If you choose a different party registration other than Democrat or Republican, you cannot vote in their respective primaries, but may vote in nonpartisan city and judicial primaries.
All eligible voters can vote in the November general election or special election.
What if I don’t want to register to vote in a political party?
You may choose to register to vote as a Republican, Democrat, or Other. If you check “Other”, please write in the name of your chosen entity. You may choose, Constitution, Green, Libertarian, Reform, Socialist Workers, independent status, or something else of your choice.
If you choose “Other”, you are eligible to vote only for nonpartisan offices in any primary election. You may, however, vote for any candidate of your choice in all general and special elections.
What if I am a convicted felon?
If you are a convicted felon you may regain the right to register to vote if you submit a Restoration of Civil Rights Form and receive an executive pardon from the Governor. Once you receive an executive pardon you will receive a certificate that you can present to the county clerk along with a completed voter registration card so that you may register to vote. Visit Department of Corrections for more information.
Is my voter registration open to the public?
Yes, any citizen may inspect or make copies of any registration record, pursuant to KRS 116.095. However, your social security number will not be disclosed.
How do I know where to vote on election day?
You will receive a notice in the mail from the county clerk with your precinct name and voting location address. The polls are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., local time. All those in line by 6 p.m. will be able to vote. If you have any questions concerning where to vote, call your county clerk or visit the Voter Information Center.
Updating Your Voter Registration
May I change my political party affiliation?
You may change your political party affiliation at any time on or before December 31 to remain eligible to vote in the following primary election. You simply need to fill out a new voter registration card and return it to your county clerk by the December 31 deadline.
Am I eligible to vote in an election if I move?
To be eligible to vote refer to the appropriate situation below:
- You move within the county. Notify the county clerk of your new address or update your driver's license. The county clerk will tell you the location of your new voting precinct. If you do not do this before election day, you must go to the voting precinct of your new address to vote and update your voter registration address.
- You move outside the county more than 28 days before election day: Update your voter registration address with the new county clerk or renew your driver's license in the new county at least 29 days before the election. If you do not notify the county clerk in either your old county or your new county of residence 29 days prior to an election, you are not eligible to vote in either county.
- You move outside the county less than 28 days before the election: You may vote in your previous county of residence for this election, but must register to vote in your new county of residence for future elections.
- You temporarily reside outside of Kentucky, but are eligible to vote in Kentucky. You may vote by absentee ballot. Please see section regarding absentee ballots.
Is it necessary for me to notify the county clerk when I change my name?
Yes, it is very important that the county clerk has the most up-to-date information on you as possible. There are three ways for you to update your voter registration when you change your name: renew or update your driver's license; notify the county clerk by writing or visiting their office; or by filling out a new voter registration card.
What if I am unable to get to the polls on election day?
You may request an absentee ballot application from your county clerk's office in person, by mail, by phone, or by fax. The deadline for applying for a mailed absentee ballot is seven days before an election. You must fulfill one of these qualifications in order to request a mailed absentee ballot:
- Due to 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 military personnel confined to a military base on election day
- You temporarily reside overseas but are still eligible to vote in Kentucky
- You are a student attending school outside the county of your voter registration
- You temporarily live outside the state but are still eligible to vote in Kentucky
- You are incarcerated in jail and have been charged but not convicted of a felony
- You work outside the county and are unable to either vote on the absentee voting machine in the county clerk's office or in your polling place on election day
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 an absentee ballot on a voting machine in the County Clerk's office.
- You will be out of the county on election day
- 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 a member of the armed forces who will be confined to base within the county on election day and learn of that confinement within 7 days or less of the election
- You are a student attending school outside the county of your voter registration who will be absent from the county on election day
- You or your spouse who has surgery scheduled that will require hospitalization on election day
If you have a medical emergency, you or your spouse may apply for a medical emergency absentee ballot within 14 days or less of an election.
How do I find out who the candidates are and the offices they are seeking?
A sample ballot will be published by the county clerk in the local newspaper at least 7 days before election day. You may also call the county clerk's office and inquire about the elections to be held in your county. The local or state Republican or Democrat party headquarters will also be able to supply you with this information, as well as the Kentucky State Board of Elections' website, www.elect.ky.gov.
Do I have to produce Identification to vote?
All voters must produce identification or be known by a precinct officer prior to voting. KRS117.227 and 31 KAR 4:010 provide the types of ID that can be used by the voter such as: Personal acquaintance of precinct officer, Driver’s license, Social Security card, credit card, or another form of ID containing both picture and signature.
How do I operate the voting machine?
You may request instructions on how to use the voting machine from the precinct election officials assigned to your precinct on election day. You may also request a sample ballot to review while waiting to vote.
What if I have special needs at the polls?
Under the new Help America Vote Act (HAVA), all states are required to have a voting machine in each polling place that allows anyone with a disability to cast a ballot free of outside assistance. Nevertheless, voters who ask for voting assistance due to physical disability, blindness or an inability to read English may request voting assistance at the polls on election day. Physical disability and blindness are the only two reasons a voter may apply to the county board of elections for permanent voting assistance. A person may receive assistance from someone of their choice or the two election officers at the polls. A person may not be assisted by their employer, the employer's agent, a union officer or agent of that voter's union.
Can I vote by Provisional Ballot?
A provisional ballot is to be used only in federal elections to cast a ballot for federal offices by an individual who resides in the voting precinct and falls under one of the circumstances below:
- A voter whose name does not appear on the roster and whose registration status cannot be determined by the precinct officer
- A voter whose name does not appear on the roster and who has been verified as ineligible to vote
- A voter who does not have identification
- A voter who 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 the polling hours
- A voter who has been challenged by all four precinct election officers
If you vote a provisional ballot, you can determine if your vote counted by using the Provisional Voter Information search feature located on the State Board of Election’s web site or by calling your local county clerk of the county in which you cast the ballot.
How do I report instances of election fraud?
If you believe that your right to vote has been violated, please contact one of the following:
- Precinct Election Officers
- County Clerk/Board of Elections
- State Board of Elections (502)573-7100
- Attorney General's Election Fraud Hotline (800)328-8683
Visit Voter's Rights and Responsibilities for a detail of your rights.
Having a Voter Registration Drive
Does the County Clerk have any brochures to help answer questions concerning registering to vote or voting?
The Kentucky State Board of Elections has a tri-fold brochure called a Checklist for Voter Registration Drives to provide you assistance in having a voter registration drive. This brochure is free and available by contacting the county clerk's office or by printing a copy of the Checklist for Voter Registration Drive.
State Board of Elections
140 Walnut Street
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Phone: (502) 573-7100
FAX: (502) 573-4369 or (502)696-1952
Registry of Election Finance
140 Walnut Street
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: (502) 573-2226
FAX: (502) 573-5622
Secretary of State
700 Capitol Avenue
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: (502) 564-3490
FAX: (502) 564-4075
(TYY/TTD) (502) 564-3490