This year there should be no excuse for not voting. In order to minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19, voters are being given greater latitude and opportunity to exercise their rights to vote this year. Throughout the state over a quarter of a million absentee ballots have already been requested through the portal set up by the State Board of Elections. If you want to vote in-person that is available for you starting this week as well. Here are the options available to exercise your constitutional right to cast a vote in the upcoming election.
Absentee ballot by mail
Kentuckians concerned with contracting or spreading COVID-19 can request a ballot by mail. The online portal to request an absentee ballot closed on October 09th. However, medical emergency absentee ballots can continue to be requested from October 10th through November 3rd via traditional means. Mail ballots must be postmarked by Election Day, Nov. 3, and received by Nov. 6. Some voters may be concerned about using the postal service to handle their ballot. If they are concerned about postal delays or if a voter just doesn’t want to mail in their absentee ballot through the postal service, Drop boxes will be available for Kentuckians to return their mail ballots. County clerks will determine these locations. Just like in the primary election earlier this year the drop box location is just outside the County Clerk’s office in the old courthouse in McKee. More than 658,000 registered voters in Kentucky requested an absentee ballot by the Oct. 9 deadline for for the upcoming Nov. 3 general election
County Clerk Moore indicated that so far there have been several hundred absentee ballots requested in the county.
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. This will be upstairs in the old courthouse in McKee. Early voting is not absentee voting – anyone can vote early for any reason.
Recently, the Jackson County Fiscal Court approved the purchase of new voting machines that will provide a paper ballot trail for the purposes of auditing or recounting the votes if necessary.
Election Day voting
County election officials have designated election sites on Election Day. Clerk Moore reports that six (6) precincts will be open on election day for in-person voting in Jackson County. The six locations that will be open on election day include: 1) Bond, 2) Annville, 3) Gray Hawk, 4) Sand Gap Fire Department, 5) Clover Bottom, and 6) the old McKee Courthouse.
County Clerk Moore stressed, “It is important to note that registered voters in Jackson County can vote at any of the six (6) precinct locations that will be open on election day. Once a person casts their vote at a specific location they will then be ineligible to vote at another location.”
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.