Kentucky absentee and mail ballot guide
Kentucky absentee ballot overview
Absentee ballots and mail ballots are the same thing, and the process for getting one is straight forward.
- Request your ballot by the deadline
- Receive your in ballot in the mail
- Return your ballot by the deadline
Kentucky absentee deadlines
- Earliest day to apply: January 1
- Request deadline (online): N/A
- Request deadline (by mail): Received 7 days before Election Day
- Request deadline (in person): 7 days before Election Day
- Deadline to return your ballot (by mail): Received by Election Day
- Deadline to return your ballot (in person): Received by Election Day
Kentucky absentee ballot rules
You can vote by mail in Kentucky if:
- you are advanced in age, disabled, or ill
- you are a military personnel or their dependent, or an overseas citizen
- you are a student who temporarily resides outside the county
- you are a voter who temporarily resides outside of Kentucky and who maintains eligibility to vote in Kentucky, such as a “snowbird”
- you are incarcerated, but not yet convicted of a crime
- you are employed outside of the county all hours the polling place is open.
You can vote in person at your County Clerk's office before Election Day if:
- you will be out of the county on election day
- you are advanced in age, disabled, or ill
- you are a military personnel, their dependent, or an overseas citizen
- you are a military personnel confined to base and learn of your confinement within seven days or less of an election
- you are a student or resident who temporarily resides outside of the county
- you are a voter or the spouse of a voter who has surgery scheduled that will require hospitalization on Election Day
- you are a pregnant woman in third trimester
- you are a precinct election officer appointed to serve in precinct other than his own, an alternate precinct election officer, County Board of Elections members or staff, Deputy county clerk, or State Board of Elections staff
Kentucky online ballot request (recommended)
- Visit the Kentucky absentee ballot website.
- Fill out all of the required information.
- Hit save or submit when you are done.
- The deadline to apply online is: N/A.
Kentucky in-person ballot request
- Visit your local election office.
- Ask the clerk to give you an absentee ballot application.
- Fill out all of the required fields.
- Sign and date your application.
- The deadline to apply in person is: 7 days before Election Day.
After you receive your ballot
- Carefully read and follow the instructions, and fill out all required fields.
- Sign and date the outside envelope.
- Mail or hand-deliver your ballot to your local election office. You can also hand-deliver your ballot to a state-provided dropbox. Please check with your local election office if your county has a dropbox. You can use our Find Out Where To Vote tool to find an official dropbox.
- If you mail your ballot, it must be received by Election Day.
- If you hand-deliver your ballot, it must be received by Election Day.
- If you miss the deadline – or forget to sign the outside envelope – your vote will not be counted.
Kentucky absentee ballot ID requirements
- ID required when requesting a mail-in ballot: You must include a photocopy of a government issued ID, such as a Kentucky driver's license. If you don't have a government issued ID, you can indicate this and provide a photocopy of a document that shows your name and address, such as a recent utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or any government document that shows your name and home address.
- ID required when returning a mail-in ballot: Your signature on the return envelope will be compared to the signature on your voter registration card to ensure they match. If you forget to sign the return envelope, your ballot might be rejected.
Local election office
Contact your local election office if you have questions.
Statewide election office
This is the statewide agency that is ultimately responsible for Kentucky elections. You can contact them with questions, but your local election office will probably respond faster.
State Board of Elections 140 Walnut Street Frankfort, KY 40601‐3240
- Kentucky online voter registration
- Kentucky online absentee ballot request
- Kentucky voter status lookup
- Kentucky absentee ballot tracker
- Kentucky provisional ballot tracker
- Kentucky polling place locator