En español | Kentucky’s Nov. 8 general election will decide races for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the state’s General Assembly and several state high courts. The state's primary was May 17.
- Absentee voting: This option is available only to registered voters who meet certain criteria, including residents temporarily living out of state or voters who are unable to vote in person because of an illness or disability.
- Early in-person voting: All registered voters can vote early and in person on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday before the election.
- In-person voting on Election Day: The state’s general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time.
What's new this year?
A new redistricting plan has changed certain boundaries of some state legislative and U.S. congressional districts and may affect which candidates appear on your ballot.
What races are on the ballot and who's running?
- U.S. Senate: incumbent Rand Paul (R), Charles Booker (D)
- U.S. House: all 6 seats
- State Senate: 19 out of 38 seats
- State House: all 100 seats
For details and sample ballots, reach out to your county clerk’s office.
How do I register to vote?
- Online: Visit the state’s online voter registration portal.
- By mail: Print out a copy of the registration application and submit it to your county clerk’s office (the quicker option) or the State Board of Elections, which will then forward your application to your county clerk’s office. Postage is required.
- In person: Visit your county clerk’s office. Or you can register when applying for or renewing your driver’s license or when visiting one of Kentucky’s social service agencies, such as agencies serving those with disabilities or the Department for Community Based Services.
The registration deadline is 4 p.m. local time on Tuesday, Oct. 11. If you are mailing your registration application, it must be postmarked by Oct. 11.
To check your current registration status, sign in to the state’s voter information center.
How can I get a mail-in or absentee ballot? Are there important deadlines?
Only Kentucky voters who meet certain criteria can request a mail-in absentee ballot. If you are temporarily out of state or unable to vote in person due to work, age, disability or illness, or if you're serving as an election worker, you may qualify. You can get a request form:
- Online: Visit the state’s voter information portal, starting 45 days before the election, or Saturday, Sept. 24.
- By phone: Call your county clerk’s office to make an absentee ballot request.
- In person: Visit your county clerk’s office to ask for a request form.
The deadline to request an absentee ballot is 14 days before the election, which would mean Tuesday, Oct. 25. But if you’re in the military or living overseas, the deadline is seven days prior to the election, or Tuesday, Nov. 1.
Mail your completed ballot, with proper postage, to your county clerk’s office, or deposit it in a secure drop box. Drop box locations are provided with the polling locations for your county. Completed absentee ballots must be received by your county clerk by 6 p.m. local time on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Can I track my absentee ballot?
Yes, the status of your absentee ballot can be tracked through the voter information portal at govote.ky.gov.
Can I vote early in person if I qualified for a mail-in absentee ballot?
Yes, you can if you would prefer to vote in person and not mail or drop off a completed ballot. Excused in-person absentee voting, as it’s called, is available Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Oct. 26, 27 and 28, and Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 31, Nov. 1 and 2. This voting typically takes place at your county clerk’s office, but you should contact your clerk’s office to verify this.
Can I vote early in person if I didn't qualify for an absentee ballot?
Yes, early voting for all registered voters, also referred to as in-person no-excuse absentee voting, is available the Thursday, Friday and Saturday before the election, or Nov. 3, 4 and 5. The State Board of Elections website lists polling location information for each county, including in-person no-excuse absentee locations and hours. Or contact your county clerk’s office to see when and where you can cast your ballot before Election Day.
When is Election Day? When are polls open?
The state’s general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time. If you’re in line by 6 p.m., you’ll be allowed to vote. Find your polling location on the State Board of Elections website. Or contact your county clerk’s office for polling site details.
Do I need identification to vote?
A photo ID that includes your name is required. Acceptable forms of identification include a Kentucky driver’s license, U.S. passport or other photo ID issued by the federal, state or local government, the military, or a school such as a college or university.
The state created a video about changes to its voting laws, including information about which IDs are acceptable. Watch this video to learn more.
Editor’s note: This guide was updated on July 29, 2022, with information about the general election. The guide was first published on Aug. 18, 2020.