Quick Takes

Early voting numbers down as Kentuckians prepare to vote on Tuesday

By: - May 15, 2023 9:25 pm

Residents cast votes at Dunn Elementary School Nov. 5, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by by John Sommers II/Getty Images)

More than 70,000 Kentuckians participated in no-excuse early voting last week.

Unofficial results from the State Board of Elections show the total number of absentee and early voters is almost 89,000.

No-excuse in-person early voting was held across the state Thursday, Friday and Saturday last week. Excused early voting was held earlier this month.

Of the roughly 70,000 early voters, almost 42,000 were Republican voters. Almost 31,000 were Democrats.

The state board also reported that more than 18,000 mail-in absentee ballots were requested. So far, more than 12,600 have been returned.

The total of excused in-person early voters was almost 3,500.

In an interview with KET last week, Secretary of State Michael Adams said he revised his projected voter turnout from 15% to 10% of the state’s 3,468,537 registered voters.

“I was cautiously predicting about 15%, hoping it would be better,” Adams said. “Based on numbers I’ve seen today from absentee ballot portal requests that we got, plus people that came to the clerk’s office to vote early with an excuse, I’m thinking it’s more like 10(%). I’m very disappointed that the turnout, so far at least, has been so low.”

Overall turnout during the 2019 primary election was 19%.

Kentucky’s primaries are closed, meaning that only voters registered as a Republican or Democrat may vote. Independent voters may cast ballots in local general elections Tuesday.

Polls will be open Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time. Anyone in line at 6 p.m. will be allowed to vote. Absentee ballots must be returned to local county clerks by 6 p.m. Election Day.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our website. AP and Getty images may not be republished. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of any other photos and graphics.

McKenna Horsley
McKenna Horsley

McKenna Horsley covers state politics for the Kentucky Lantern. She previously worked for newspapers in Huntington, West Virginia, and Frankfort, Kentucky. She is from northeastern Kentucky.

Kentucky Lantern is part of States Newsroom, the nation’s largest state-focused nonprofit news organization.