A procrastinator’s guide to voting in the May 16 primary election in Kentucky
Turnout across Kentucky for the 2023 primary races – including a high-profile race for the Republican nomination for governor – has proved lethargic thus far.
Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams reports fewer than 73,000 registered voters cast a ballot during the state’s three-day early voting period, which concluded Saturday.
In addition, requests for absentee ballots declined about 40%, Adams said, citing unofficial data.
There’s still time to cast your ballot if you have not already. We’ve rounded up this last-minute voting guide with what you need to know to before you head to the polls.
When are polls open on Election Day in Kentucky?
Tuesday, May 16, polls will open across the commonwealth from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time.
All voters in line by 6 p.m. should be allowed to cast a ballot.
How do I find my polling place in Kentucky?
On Election Day, voters are required to visit their assigned precinct.
If you’ve moved or are unsure where to go, you can use the state’s voter record search tool to locate your polling place. You will be required to enter your first and last name, as well as your date of birth.
You can find other options and more details on finding your polling location with our helpful guide.
Who can vote in the primary election?
As Kentucky is a closed primary state, those who registered with a major party as of Dec. 31, 2022, can cast a ballot in that party’s primary.
Voters who are not registered as a Republican or a Democrat may still be able to vote in special elections if there is one on their ballot.
We’ve rounded up some information on who can participate in the primary this year in this guide, including eligibility for 17-year-olds.
Can I still vote early?
No. All in-person early voting has concluded in Kentucky as of Saturday.
Adams reports that during early voting, nearly 42,000 registered Republicans cast a ballot, more than 30,700 registered Democrats visited the polls and 166 Independent voters also got to participate. Those figures are based on unofficial counts.
Do I need an ID to vote in Kentucky?
Yes. Kentucky requires registered voters to present a valid photo identification at their polling place.
A wide variety of IDs are accepted, and you can find a list of them here, through the nonpartisan League of Women Voters.
If you do not have a valid ID, you can ask your poll worker about options available to you, including voter affirmation forms.
Can I vote if I am not registered?
No. Kentucky does not offer same-day registration on Election Day or during early voting. Books closed statewide April 17.
If you arrive at your polling place and run into trouble with your registration, ask a poll worker what options might be available to you.
Can I still return my mail-in ballot?
Yes, and you need to get it in by 6 p.m. local time Tuesday if you want it to be counted.
You can return your voted mail-in ballot in person to your county clerk’s office or use your county’s secure ballot drop box. You can find your drop-box location using this listing, which is sorted by county.
What is on my primary ballot? Where can I find candidate information?
Need to get caught up on the races? We’ve got you covered. You can find information about looking up sample ballots with this guide.
If you are looking for information on candidates and races, you can check out the Herald-Leader’s Kentucky Voter Guide, which includes comprehensive coverage.
What’s the forecast look like for Election Day?
If you’re a Fayette County voter headed to the polls, be aware there is a chance of thunderstorms Tuesday, according to The Weather Channel.
As of Monday afternoon, there was a 90% chance of rain forecast for Tuesday, with the possibility of gusty winds and small hail. The high is 72 degrees with a low of 51 degrees.
Where can I find race results Tuesday night?
The Herald-Leader is proud to deliver comprehensive coverage of the 2023 primaries in Kentucky. You can follow along at Kentucky.com or our social media accounts, including Kentucky.com on Facebook and @heraldleader on Twitter.
You can find our ongoing and Election Day politics coverage on Twitter @BGPolitics.
Results are expected statewide Tuesday evening following the close of polls.
Do you have a question about the 2023 election in Kentucky for our service journalism team? We’d like to hear from you. Fill out our Know Your Kentucky form or email email@example.com.