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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The novel coronavirus is forcing Kentucky counties to change how voters will be able to safely cast ballots in the upcoming June primary.

In order to help county clerks plan accordingly, the Kentucky Board of Elections issued emergency regulations regarding the date of the primary, absentee voting and in-person voting. Many counties will have slight variations as to how and where people can vote, but a major push across the commonwealth is for voters to cast absentee ballots and avoid the polls on June 23.

VOTER REGISTRATION

Whether you plan to vote in-person or by mail, Kentuckians must register to vote by May 26. People can still mail their registration to the State Board of Elections. First, the registration form will have to be printed off or obtained from the county clerk’s office. Reach out to your county to see how the clerk’s office is handling how to safely provide registration forms.

Another option is to register online by clicking here. People can register for the first time or check their profiles to see if anything needs to be updated.

ABSENTEE VOTING

It is critical that a person’s address is correct with the State Board of Elections, because the board is getting ready to send everyone in the commonwealth a postcard regarding absentee voting. If your home address is incorrect or outdated, the postcard will not be forwarded.

To avoid large crowds and prevent the spread of COVID-19 to voters and poll workers, people can vote by mail. The majority of standard restrictions for voting absentee have been removed to allow more people to vote this way.

In order to vote absentee, a voter will have to register first. The postcard will inform people how to register either online, by mail or in-person at a drop-off location. And the information will be county-specific.

Once a clerk’s office receives a person’s absentee request, the personal information and address will first be validated. Then a ballot will be mailed to that person.

That ballot should then be mailed back to the clerk’s office. No one will have to pay for postage to mail a ballot, because it will already be covered. The county clerk’s office will verify ballots by your signature.

Ballots can also be placed in designated drop-off boxes. The locations and how many boxes will be decided by each county.

IN-PERSON VOTING SITES

The State Board of Elections is requiring all counties to reduce the number of in-person voting sites, with the expectation that there will be at least one polling place. Most counties are opting for only one centrally, conveniently located voting site, which has to be approved by the board.

There must be ample space for free parking, a plan for getting people in and out with the least amount of cross over, and plenty of room to space out lines, ballots, voting machines, voters, and poll workers.

For example, Oldham County’s only polling site for the entire county will be at Oldham County High School in Buckner. The Bullitt County Clerk’s Office chose the Paroquet Spring Conference Center in Shepherdsville for its in-person voting site. And Jefferson County settled on the Kentucky Exposition Center.

Counties will also developing specific plans for in-person absentee voting for certain days, times, or by appointment only.

To find out where your in-person voting location will be, click here. The State Board of Elections’ website can also direct you to more specific election information regarding your own county.

The following links provide more information for the three counties mentioned in this story:

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