FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 24, 2020) – Secretary of State Michael Adams is proud to offer details of his agreement with Governor Andy Beshear on the methods of voting to be used in the June 23 primary election.
“This plan fulfills my promise to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat,” said Adams. “Through expanding absentee voting – with appropriate safeguards – limiting the number of polling sites, and adopting in-person voting methods that limit personal contact, we prevent Mother Nature from disenfranchising Kentucky voters, while we also protect the lives of both our voters and our poll workers.”
“This plan is not vote-by-mail, West Coast-style,” Adams continued. “This plan has ballot integrity built in, and for the first time in a decade cleans up our voter rolls, a signal accomplishment.”
Here are the plan’s key points:
1. The “medical emergency” basis under current law for absentee voting will include “a reasonable fear of infection or transmission during a state of public health emergency declared by the Governor,” and the current requirement for a “medical emergency” absentee voter to notarize an application to vote absentee will be waived.
2. In-person early voting will be made available by June 8 and run through June 23. Voting practices will be conducted consistent with Centers for Disease Control guidance, with materials available for proper sanitization. Expanding the number of election days will help county clerks keep polling lines manageable. Voting methods will limit direct contact between individuals.
3. County clerks are permitted to significantly reduce the number of sites for in-person voting on election day, June 23, and are encouraged to use vote centers and to consolidate precincts. Voting practices will be conducted consistent with Centers for Disease Control guidance, with materials available for proper sanitization, and will limit direct contact between individuals.
4. The state will notify each registered voter by mail of the options to vote absentee.
5. The state will establish a secure online portal for the request of an absentee ballot by a registered voter, which will require the voter to prove identity with personally identifiable information. Voters may also use traditional methods to request an absentee ballot. Expanding the ease of obtaining a mail-in ballot will increase voter convenience and help county clerks keep polling lines manageable.
6. The state will establish a process for tracking absentee ballots requested, sent, and received.
7. Processing and counting of ballots may begin as soon as June 1, with counting to be completed by June 30. No results will be announced before 6:00 p.m. on June 23.
8. County clerks will match the signature on an absentee ballot envelope to the voter’s signature of record. Voters whose signatures do not match will be provided an opportunity to cure the mismatch.
9. In order to more expeditiously clean up its voter rolls, the state will proactively contact registered voters who have moved out-of-state in an effort to obtain permission to remove them from the rolls.
Secretary Adams reminds voters that the new Photo ID law will not yet be in effect for the June 23 elections.
The Secretary of State’s Office will release more details soon. A copy of the Secretary’s recommendation to Governor Beshear is attached.
Follow the Secretary of State on Twitter: @kysecstate and Facebook: facebook.com/kysecstate for timely updates.