Voting information

By Brandon Smith

Election Day is nearly upon us I am sure many of you are as ready for November 8 as I am. Kentucky will join the nation that day in selecting our new president, and I encourage you to exercise your right to vote and participate not only in the presidential selection but the “down ballot,” or lower office races, as well.

Many of you may have questions about the electoral process or about your ballot or voting location. The Secretary of State’s office (502-573-7100) and your local county clerk should be able to answer your questions, but in the meantime, here is some information that may come in handy regarding the election.

According to the Secretary of State, who oversees elections, you may vote via mail-in absentee if you meet one or more of the following requirements: advanced in age, disabled, or ill; military personnel, their dependents, or overseas citizens (for more information, please contact the Secretary of State’s office); a student who temporarily resides outside the county; a voter who temporarily resides outside of Kentucky and who maintains eligibility to vote in Kentucky, such as a “snowbird;” incarcerated, but not yet convicted of a crime; or employed outside of the county all hours the polling place is open. November 1 is the last day to request a mail-in absentee ballot, which you can request via phone or in person at your county clerk’s office. The absentee ballot must be received in the county clerk’s office by 6 p.m. local time on Election Day for the ballot to be counted.

You may also cast an in-person absentee ballot. You must meet one of the following criteria to do so: you will be out of the county on election day; you are military, their dependents, or an overseas citizen (please contact the Secretary of State’s office for more information); you are 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 your third trimester; or you are the following: precinct election officer appointed to serve in precinct other than his own; alternate precinct officer; county Board of Elections’ member; county Board of Elections’ staff; deputy county clerk; or State Board of Elections’ staff.

On Election Day, polls will open at 6 a.m. local time and close at 6 p.m. local time. As long as you are in line by 6 p.m. local time on Election Day, you must be allowed to vote. Please remember to bring a form of identification. If you are not sure where your polling location is, you can visit or call your county clerk’s office to obtain a sample ballot and your voting location.

County Clerks of the 30th District’s phone numbers are:

· Perry County: (606) 436-4614

· Bell County: (606) 337-6143

· Breathitt County: (606) 666-5768

· Johnson County: (606) 789-2557

· Leslie County: (606) 672-2193

· Magoffin County: (606) 349-2216

Additionally, if you believe that the election process has been violated, please contact any of the following: Precinct Election Officers, County Clerk/Board of Elections, State Board of Elections (502) 573-7100, or the Attorney General’s Election Fraud Hotline (800) 328-8683.

See you at the polls on November 8!

If you have any questions or comments about these issues or any other public policy issue, please call me toll-free at 1-800-372-7181 or email me at [email protected] You can also review the Legislature’s work online at

Senator Brandon Smith (R-Hazard) represents the 30th District including Bell, Breathitt, Johnson, Leslie, Magoffin, and Perry Counties. He is the Vice-Chair of the Natural Resources and Energy Committee and the Transportation Committee; and a member of Appropriations and Revenue Committee. He is a member of the Federal Environmental Reg. Impact Assessment Task Force Special Committee.

By Brandon Smith

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