FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — In 2021, most of Kentucky got a break from politics. But that time off will soon run out as the May 17th primary election approaches.
And this election is an important one because it's the first time Kentucky's voting reforms will be in place for a statewide election.
"Voting has never been more accessible in Kentucky or more secure in Kentucky," said Secretary of State Michael Adams. "I'm really proud of that."
What options do voters have?
Voters have the option to vote in person on election day. If that doesn't work, all voters can vote early in person.
On May 12-14th, any qualified voter can cast a no-excuse in-person absentee ballot.
If that doesn't work, there's another option for some qualified voters. There are six days for excused in-person absentee voting at local County Clerk's Offices. Voters who have health, work, or temporary residency excuse can apply with their clerk's office to vote this way.
Certain voters can also apply to receive an absentee ballot through the mail.
Regardless of which option you choose, Adams encourages people to just vote. Normally, mid-term elections have smaller turnouts than presidential year elections even though the stakes may be bigger.
"The truth is the votes that you cast in a mid-term election year - when you elect your city government, your county government - that's really more important to your daily life and your quality of life than who the president is," said Adams. "A lot more important."
So, Adams says go vote and he wants to reassure people that Kentucky's elections are safe and secure. There are some groups and people spreading unfounded claims of voter fraud in Kentucky and Adams says those claims are simply untrue. His office even has an official rumor control page to debunk false claims.
"We take the urban legends about our elections being hacked and stolen and so forth, and we disprove every one of those points," said Adams.
Adams says to ensure public confidence in Kentucky's elections, he's made it harder to cheat. Among some of the security changes, Kentucky has required a photo ID to vote. It has also implemented ballot tracking, so people can track their absentee ballots. The state has also moved to paper ballots.
"If they vote on a piece of paper, they know it's real - when they watch it go in the machine and count the vote the way they intended the vote to be cast," said Adams. "We also added video surveillance on election equipment outside of the voting hours, so voters can be confident we're watching all these things."