FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — During Gov. Andy Beshear's Friday press conference, Gov. Beshear and Secretary of State Michael Adams outlined Kentucky's voting plan for the general election in 2020. Kentuckians will have four ways of casting a ballot: absentee voting by mail, early voting, election day voting and voter identification.
"I believe that this plan, which was based on a formal proposal by Secretary Adams that I have now signed into an executive order, creates I believe the most options to vote that we have seen in an election," Gov. Beshear said.
Absentee ballot by mail
Kentuckians concerned with contracting or spreading COVID-19 by voting in-person can instead request a ballot by mail. There will be an online portal that will allow Kentuckians to request their mail ballot.
"The portal to request that ballot is going to be open within seven days," Gov. Beshear noted. "So by Friday of next week, you will already be able to request your absentee ballot that should be mailed to your home."
Mail ballots can be requested through the portal up until Oct. 9. Mail ballots must be postmarked by Election Day (Nov. 3) and received by Nov. 6. Drop boxes will be available for Kentuckians to return their mail ballots if they are concerned about postal delays. County clerks will determine the locations of the drop boxes.
Beginning Oct. 13, three weeks before the election, every work day between Oct. 13 and Election Day, and every Saturday for at least four hours, every county clerk will provide a location for safe in-person voting.
"For those that want to vote in-person, it makes it safer," Gov. Beshear said of early voting. "You can pick your time, we can significantly decrease the density, and for those that want to vote in-person, we highly encourage you to do it in that three week period before Election Day. I think it will also help Election Day go smoother."
Early voting is not absentee voting – anyone can vote early for any reason.
Election Day voting
Kentuckians will be able to vote in-person on Election Day. County election officials will decide election sites. The State Board of Elections, Secretary of State Adams and Gov. Beshear will approve each plan. Every county will have at least one voting super-center, where everyone from the county can go to vote, regardless of his or her precinct.
Kentuckians who were unable to get a driver’s licenses or photo ID due to the pandemic because their clerk’s office was closed, or because they were afraid of exposing themselves to COVID-19, can sign a document explaining this concern and cast their ballot.
"I believe this was definitely putting practicality, the situation we're in and the health of Kentucky people above anything else," Gov. Beshear said.