Kentucky State Summary

October 23, 2014

Kentucky is improving accessibility at polling places and the training of poll workers, but it should also implement vote centers and expand opportunities to vote before Election Day.


States should adopt online voter registration (“OLVR”).

No online voter registration. However, a new law allows qualified military and overseas voters to register to vote and update their registration information online.


Interstate exchanges of voter information should be expanded.

Kentucky is a member of the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck (IVRC), but not of the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).


States should seamlessly integrate voter data acquired through DMVs with their statewide voter registration lists.

Transmission of data between DMVs and election administrators is almost entirely paperless, but still requires a “wet ink” signature on paper for new voter registrants.


Schools should be used as polling places; to address any related security concerns, Election Day should be an in-service day.

Kentucky does not have statutory language regarding use of schools as polling places, but does for public buildings in general.


States should consider establishing vote centers to achieve economies of scale in polling place management while also facilitating voting at convenient locations.

Kentucky has neither considered nor adopted legislation establishing vote centers.


Jurisdictions should develop models and tools to assist them in effectively allocating resources across polling places.

No statewide rule in place. However, we encourage jurisdictions to use the tools made available by the Commission. In 2012, voters waited an average of eight minutes in line.


Jurisdictions should transition to electronic pollbooks.

No jurisdictions in Kentucky use electronic pollbooks.


Jurisdictions should recruit public and private sector employees, as well as high school and college students, to become poll workers.

In Kentucky, only one 17-year-old may serve in each precinct. This could limit the scope of available high school youths to volunteer or work as poll workers. However, Kentucky law allows any employee selected to serve as an election officer to take a day off from work for training or working at the polls. This is a laudable provision of state law. We encourage election officials to establish robust programs to recruit public and private sector employees to take advantage of this provision.


States should institute poll worker training standards.

Kentucky has some statutory language prescribing training for poll workers; its Secretary of State’s website provides a precinct election officer guide, but no training videos.


Election authorities should establish advisory groups for voters with disabilities and for those with limited English proficiency.

No statewide statutory policy in place. We encourage Kentucky to adopt this recommendation of the Commission.


States and localities must adopt comprehensive management practices to assure accessible polling places.

Kentucky uses a DOJ-issued accessibility checklist, includes a section on “disability awareness guidance” in its precinct election officers’ guide, and has produced in-depth videos exclusively on creating accessible polling places.


States should survey and audit polling places to determine their accessibility.

Kentucky requires polling places to meet accessibility standards, but does not have statewide, statutory polling place survey or audit requirements in place.


Jurisdictions should provide bilingual poll workers to any polling place with a significant number of voters who do not speak English.

Kentucky (not covered by Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act) makes no statutory provision of bilingual poll workers; neither does the Secretary of State’s website.


Jurisdictions should test all election materials for plain language and usability.

No statewide statutory policy in place to test for plain language and usability.


States should expand opportunities to vote before Election Day.

Kentucky does not allow for any early voting options.


States should provide ballots and registration materials to military and overseas voters via their websites.

A link to the Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) is provided directly on Kentucky’s website, as is a link to the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Kentucky’s site has a detailed FAQ section and an “online wizard” to help military and overseas voters.


The standard-setting and certification process for voting machines must be reformed.

N/A; a federal question.


Audits of voting equipment must be conducted after each election as part of a comprehensive audit program, and data concerning machine performance must be publicly disclosed in a common data format.

Kentucky requires post-election audits of voting machine equipment and mandates significant public disclosure of the audit results. However, Kentucky deploys some voting systems that do not produce a voter-verifiable paper record and, therefore, a manual audit is not fully possible.


Local jurisdictions should gather and report voting-related transaction data for the purpose of improving the voter experience.

Kentucky captures registration and turnout by subcategories, but could do more by way of data on wait times, frequent problems at polling places, etc.

READ: Did We Fix That? 2014 Kentucky State Summary

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