Whitesburg KY

Some Letcher Countians have already voted in primary races

Although the primary election in Kentucky isn’t until May 20, a few voters have already cast their ballot in Letcher County and elsewhere in the state.

As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, 10 Letcher County residents had voted on an in-house voting machine in the office of Letcher County Clerk Winston Meade.

The in-house voting machine, which is identical to those that will be used here on Election Day, was put in place for those who can’t make it to the polls on May 20.

Under state law, Kentucky’s county clerks must allow inhouse absentee voting at least twelve working days before Election Day.

Voters might also be eligible to apply for a mail-in absentee ballot. Those applications are available from Meade’s office and must be received during office hours by May 13. After receiving an approved application, county clerks will mail a ballot to the respective voters, and voters will have until 6 p.m. local time on Election Day to return their ballots to the county clerk.

Meade’s office said 120 applications for absentee ballots have been sent out, and that 62 of those were returned by Tuesday.

There are a variety of reasons why a voter might request to cast an absentee ballot, including:

• Advanced age, disability, or illness

• Military personnel, their dependents, and overseas citizens

• Students who temporarily reside outside the county

• Other voters who temporarily reside outside of Kentucky, such as a vacationer

• Voters incarcerated but not yet convicted

• Voters whose employment takes them out of the county all hours the polling place is open

• Voters who will be out of the county on Election Day

• Military personnel confined to base who learn of it within seven days or less of an election

• Voters who have surgery scheduled that will require hospitalization on Election Day, and the voter’s spouse

• Pregnant women in third trimester

• Election officials

Voters are restricted as to whether they can use in-house absentee voting or mail-in ballots according to their reason for casting an absentee ballot.

Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson also reminded voters that with the start of in-house absentee voting, electioneering laws are now in effect for the building in which the absentee voting is located. Electioneering is prohibited inside in-house absentee voting locations during the hours in which absentee voting is being conducted. Electioneering materials shall not be affixed to the interior or exterior of any in-house absentee voting location during that time as well.

“Kentucky law provides Kentucky voters with a number of opportunities to cast a ballot,” said Grayson, the Chief Election Officer of the Commonwealth. “I hope that all citizens will plan for Election Day accordingly, and if they need to cast an absentee ballot, will take the appropriate steps to do so.”

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