Quick Takes

Kentucky’s primary election is Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know before you go to the polls

By: - May 15, 2023 5:10 am
A low angle view of a long line of people waitng to vote in the elections.

Kentucky’s primary election is Tuesday, May 16. (Getty Images)

The primary election in Kentucky is Tuesday, May 16. Statewide, voters will choose party nominees for the general election. 

On Tuesday polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time. Kentucky is split between Eastern and Central Daylight time zones. 

Most voters’ ballots will only have elections for constitutional officers: governor, attorney general, secretary of state, agriculture commissioner, treasurer and auditor

No one has officially filed for the office of lieutenant governor as Kentucky gubernatorial candidates must select a running mate to join their ticket. Those selections must be made by the second Tuesday in August. 

A state Senate seat will be decided by voters in Bath, Clark, Menifee, Montgomery and part of Fayette counties. The special election, which has three candidates, will fill an unexpired term in District 28. The seat became open after Dr. Ralph Alvarado, a Republican, became Tennessee’s health commissioner. 

Any voter who is in line by 6 p.m. will be allowed to cast a ballot. Kentucky does not have same-day registration. But if you registered to vote 29 days before the election and your name is not on the precinct roster, you may request a provisional ballot.

Proof of identification is required to vote in Kentucky. Accepted forms are a drivers license, college ID, military ID or another ID issued by the state or a county or city that has the voter’s name and photograph. More details about voters’ rights can be found on the State Board of Elections website.

Mail-in absentee ballots must be received by the local county clerk before 6 p.m. on Election Day. 

Voters may report suspected election law violations and voting irregularities to the Attorney General’s Office via its Election Fraud Hotline. The hotline will be staffed on Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The number is 1-800-328-VOTE, or 1-800-328-8683. The number of complaints logged by the hotline will be posted on the office’s website

For details about your local polling place, including an address, visit the State Board of Elections website and select your county. More information can be found at govote.ky.gov. 

Live election results will be available online from the State Board of Elections. 

To view a sample ballot, visit the Secretary of State’s website.

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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.