KY’s gubernatorial race heat ups, but the deadline to register to vote is nearly here

In possibly the most watched election of the fall, Kentucky’s candidates for governor are running short of time to win over voters, and the window for residents who still need to register to vote or update their personal information will close soon, as well.

Those wishing to cast a ballot in the commonwealth are required to register 29 days prior to the election. In this case, that deadline is at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10 local time in order to vote Tuesday, Nov. 7.

The governor’s race has already proven to be the most expensive in the country this year, per a new analysis of ad spending by the firm AdImpact.

In recent days, incumbent Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear has faced ad spend attempts to tie him to President Joe Biden, while Republican challenger and Attorney General Daniel Cameron continues to see scrutiny of his position on exceptions to Kentucky’s near total abortion ban.

Kentuckians will also elect other constitutional officers, including attorney general and secretary of state.

For voters who need to double check they are correctly registered, update personal information or register to vote in Kentucky for the first time, we’ve rounded up this handy guide to ensure you are ready to visit the polls this November.

Who is eligible to vote in the November election in Kentucky?

To vote in Kentucky, you must meet the following criteria:

  • A U.S. citizen

  • A current resident of the state

  • At least 18 years old

  • Not a convicted felon, or a convicted felon with whose right to vote has been restored

  • Not judged “incompetent” by a state court

  • Do not claim the right to vote outside the state

You can find more information about voter eligibility in the Bluegrass State and elsewhere through the federal portal at vote.gov/register/ky/.

How do I register to vote in Kentucky?

Eligible Kentuckians can register online by submitting the required information. That includes your full social security number, date of birth, legal name, desired party affiliation and home address.

Once you submit through the portal, you will receive confirmation from your county clerk when your registration is complete. You may also be able to register in person at your clerk’s office.

You can also register to vote by mail, and those applications must be postmarked by Oct. 10, as well.

How do I check if I am already registered to vote in Kentucky?

Those who want to check their registration status can visit the Kentucky State Board of Election’s portal at vrsws.sos.ky.gov/vic/ or govote.ky.gov and enter their first and last name, along with their birthday. You can also enter the last four digits of your social security number.

The portal provides your registration information, including your home address, party affiliation, precinct location and more. You can also check the status of your absentee ballot using this tool.

You do not need to register to vote for each individual election in Kentucky, and voters who cast their ballot should remain active on the state’s rolls.

The deadline has passed. Is it too late for me to vote in the 2023 election?

Yes, Kentucky does not allow same-day registration during the early voting period or on Election Day. Those who are not registered cannot vote absentee.

If you think you may be eligible to vote, visit your polling place and speak with a worker or contact your county clerk.

Voter registration in Kentucky

September data from the Kentucky State Board of Elections shows more than 3.4 million voters registered across the commonwealth.

Republicans (1,600,280) outpace Democrats (1,526,292) after shifting registrations allowed the GOP to gain a plurality in June 2022.

In February, the state purged more than 127,000 individuals from voter rolls in accordance with federal requirements. Those who are purged typically have moved out of state, died or become otherwise ineligible to cast a ballot.

Do you have a question about the 2023 election in Kentucky for our service journalism team? We’d like to hear from you. Fill out our Know Your Kentucky form or email ask@herald-leader.com.