How To Vote By Mail in Kentucky & Indiana
Written by Cooper and Friedman on September 22, 2020
As November 3rd, 2020 looms near, many are looking for options to safely and effectively place their vote for the upcoming local and presidential elections amid the coronavirus pandemic. Whether you’re looking to skip the crowds and vote early or submit your ballot by mail, here’s everything you need to know.
Those registered to vote in the state of Kentucky can request an absentee ballot online at www.govoteky.com through October 9th, 2020. Absentee ballots due to a medical emergency can be requested from October 10th – November 3rd, 2020 via your local county clerk’s office.
Kentucky’s criteria to vote by mail includes the following 7 accepted reasons:
- Those who are unable to go to the polls on election day due to age, disability or illness (this has been amended to include concern about contracting or spreading COVID-19)*
- Students who temporarily reside outside the county in which he or she is registered.
- Voters who temporarily reside outside the state but who are still eligible to vote in the state.
- Those incarcerated and charged with a crime but have yet to be convicted.
- Those whose employment location requires them to be absent from the county all hours and all days absentee voting by machine is conducted.
- Military personnel confined to a military base on election day.
- Those who are participants of the Office of the Secretary of State’s address confidentiality program.
*This year, every Kentuckian is permitted to vote by mail out of concern for COVID-19, and must simply select option 1 if doing so.
Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Election Day November 3rd, 2020 and received by November 6th, 2020 in order to be valid.
Make sure you sign both the inner and outer envelope and make sure you seal both envelopes. Failure to properly sign or seal the ballot will result in it not being counted.
If you request an absentee ballot, you have to vote by mail and cannot vote in person unless you do not receive your requested ballot by October 28th, 2020.
Every county in the state of Kentucky will have secure drop-boxes where ballots may be submitted until 6 p.m. on November 3rd, 2020. These locations will be determined by your county clerks.
In-person early voting will begin on October 13th, 2020. Any registered voter in the state of Kentucky can vote early for any reason. Early voting will be available every workday between October 13th, 2020 and Election Day, as well as
every Saturday for at least four hours. These locations will also be determined by your county clerks.
Indiana is one of the few states currently requiring an accepted excuse not related to COVID-19 in order to vote by mail. All other voters are expected to vote in person. Applications for mail-in voting can be downloaded online at in.gov/sos/elections and must be received by October 22nd, 2020.
Applications can be submitted online at indianavoters.com or sent to the local county office by mail, email or hand-delivery. Email submissions can be sent to a local county official or the Indiana Election Division at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Indiana’s accepted criteria for absentee voting is as follows:
- Anyone who has a specific, reasonable expectation that they will be absent from the county on Election Day during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open (6 am until 6 pm).
- Those with a disability.
- Individuals who are at least 65 years of age.
- Those with official election duties outside of their voting precinct.
- Individuals who are scheduled to work at their regular place of employment during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
- Those who will be confined due to illness or injury or who will be caring for an individual confined due to illness or injury during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
- Individuals who are prevented from voting because of a religious discipline or religious holiday during the entire 12 hours that the polls are open.
- Those who are participants in the state’s address confidentiality program.
- Individuals who are a member of the military or are a public safety officer.
- Those who are a “serious sex offender” as defined in Indiana Code 35-42-4-14(a).
- Individuals who are prevented from voting due to the unavailability of transportation to the polls.
In order to be valid, mail-in ballots must be received by no later than noon November 3rd, 2020 regardless of when they are postmarked.
To vote by mail in Indiana, a voter must be able to personally mark their own ballot and sign their name to the completed ballot security envelope.
On Election Day, a voter who requested an absentee ballot but never received it may complete an affidavit at their polling location and vote a regular ballot. A voter may also surrender their absentee ballot to the Inspector, who can
then issue a regular ballot.
Absentee in-person early voting begins October 6th, 2020 and continues through November 2nd, 2020. Visit indianavoters.com to view your county’s dates, times and locations.
It should be noted that the deadline to register to vote in both Indiana and Kentucky is October 5th, 2020.
The Cooper & Friedman law firm has been serving the needs of clients in Louisville and the surrounding areas since 1991. We offer free consultations to discuss your case and determine how we can help you. Please contact us at 502-459-7555 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced attorneys.