How to Vote in Kentucky's 2023 Elections

Posted on 05/18/23 by Jessica Ravitz, Natalie Missakian

En español | Kentucky allows all registered voters to cast their ballots early during a three-day early voting window, but an excuse is needed to vote by mail.

Kentuckians will cast ballots for governor and lieutenant governor in 2023. The primary was Tuesday, May 16 and the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 7. 

  • 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 from Thursday, Nov. 2 through Saturday, Nov. 4.
  • Voting at the polls: Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Bring a photo ID. You can still vote without one, but it requires additional paperwork.

A 2022 law added six days of early in-person voting for those with an eligible excuse to vote absentee. This is in addition to the three days of early voting offered to all registered voters under a 2021 law.

A redistricting plan changed certain boundaries of some state legislative and U.S. congressional districts and may affect which candidates appear on your ballot. A legal battle over the redrawn maps is ongoing.

Kentucky Residents Cast Ballots For 2020 U.S. Presidential Election

The deadline to register to vote in the general election is Tuesday, Oct. 10

Register online, by mail or in person:

  • In person: Visit your county clerk’s office during business hours. 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.

Online registrations must be received by 4 p.m. local time. Mailed registrations must be postmarked by the deadline.

Note that the State Board of Elections purged inactive voters from the voter rolls in February 2023. To check your registration status, sign in to the state’s voter information center.

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:

The deadline to request a mail-in absentee ballot is Oct. 24. Requests must be received by 11:59 p.m. local time. 

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 the close of polls on Election Day.

Yes, the status of your absentee ballot can be tracked through the voter information portal at

Yes. Kentucky offers six days of excused in-person absentee voting in addition to the three days of early voting available to all registered voters.

Excused in-person absentee voting is available from Wednesday Oct. 25 through Wednesday, Nov. 1. You must cast your vote during normal business hours.

Contact your county clerk’s office for details.

Yes, early voting for all registered voters — also known as in-person no-excuse absentee voting — is available from Thursday Nov. 2 through Saturday Nov. 4.

Check the State Board of Elections website or contact your county clerk’s office for more information.

Find your polling location on the State Board of Elections website. Check with your county clerk’s office to confirm voting hours. If you were in line before the polls closed, you’ll still be allowed 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.

If you don't have a photo ID, you can fill out additional paperwork explaining your reason for being unable to get a photo ID. You may then show another acceptable form of ID at the polls to vote. You can also have an election officer attest to your identity. Watch this video to learn more.

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on May 18, 2023. The guide was first published on Aug. 18, 2020.

This story is provided by AARP Kentucky. Visit the AARP Kentucky page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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