Students’ Guide to Voting in 2020

If you will be 18 by Election Day, Nov. 3, you can register to vote. The deadline to register is Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. 

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Dylan Stern

Staff artist Dylan Stern explains how to register to vote and cast a ballot in this year’s elections.

Students who will turn 18 prior to Nov. 3 can register to vote at GoVoteKY.com. Those who have already registered to vote can confirm their registration and update their address on the same site.

There are two ways to cast a ballot: by absentee ballot or in person. Whether voting in-person or absentee, voters can get a sample ballot and learn more about the candidates at vote411.org.

Absentee Voting

By executive order, any Kentuckians concerned about COVID-19 can choose to vote absentee; that is, to fill out a ballot at home and mail it in.

To vote by mail, absentee ballots can be requested at GoVoteKY.com. The deadline to request is Oct. 9 at 11:59 p.m. After that date, absentee ballots can only be requested from the County Clerk for medical emergencies.

When the ballot arrives, voters should be sure to fill it out carefully because ballots that aren’t completed properly can be rejected. Sign and seal both the inner and the outer envelopes as directed.

Completed ballots can either be mailed in or can be placed in a secure dropbox. Mailed ballots have to be postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by Nov. 6.

Lexington’s dropbox locations are:

  • Tates Creek Branch Library, 3628 Walden Dr.
  • Northside Branch Library, 1733 Russell Cave Rd.
  • Beaumont Branch Library, 3080 Fieldstone Way
  • Lexington Senior Center, 195 Life Lane (behind Southland Christian Church on Richmond Road)
  • BCTC Leestown Campus, 164 Opportunity Way
  • County Clerk Office, 162 E. Main St.

Voting In-Person

Students who don’t want to vote absentee can vote early or on Election Day.

Starting Oct. 13, polls will be open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Election Day, Nov. 3, polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Unlike in other election years, registered voters can vote at any of the following locations:

  • Tates Creek Branch Library, 3628 Walden Dr.
  • Northside Branch Library, 1733 Russell Cave Rd.
  • Beaumont Branch Library, 3080 Fieldstone Way
  • Dunbar Center, 545 N. Upper St.
  • Lexington Senior Center, 195 Life Lane
  • BCTC Leestown Campus, 164 Opportunity Way

Voters are required to bring a photo ID. Those without IDs will have to sign a document explaining why they were unable to get a photo ID or driver’s license because of the pandemic.

Getting the Results

Because about 33 percent of voters are expected to vote absentee this year, final election results will not be available on Election Day. Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins recommends getting election information from government websites like govoteky.com or fayettecountyclerk.com to avoid misleading content.