CHAPTER 116 Voter Registration

116.005. Preservation by county clerk of certain voting records. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (Enact. Acts 1986, ch. 470, § 2, effective July 15, 1986) was repealed by Acts 1988, ch. 341, § 50, effective July 15, 1988.

116.010. State board of elections — Membership — Appointment — Qualification — Vacancies. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (1596a-1: amend. Acts 1956 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 5, § 1; 1962, ch. 106, Art. II, § 2) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69. For present law, see KRS 117.015 .

116.013. “Voter” defined.

Unless the context otherwise requires, the word “voter” means any name contained in any registration list.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 1.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. In General.

A person is a “voter” only if he is qualified under Ky. Const., § 145 and is registered. Coffey v. Anderson, 371 S.W.2d 624, 1963 Ky. LEXIS 103 ( Ky. 1963 ) (decided under prior law).

2. Legality of Voter.

Former section defined a “voter” as any name contained in any registration, whether the voter was an illegal or legal one. Moore v. Tiller, 409 S.W.2d 813, 1966 Ky. LEXIS 74 ( Ky. 1966 ) (decided under prior law).

116.015. Board of Election Commissioners and Board of Registration and Purgation redesignated as Board of Elections. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (Enact. Acts 1962, ch. 106, Art. II, § 1) was repealed by Acts 1966, ch. 255, § 283.

116.020. Secretary of board — Records — Compensation and expenses of board. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (1596a-1, 1596a-13) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69. For present law, see KRS 117.025 .

116.025. Eligibility to vote.

  1. Every person who is a resident of this state and the precinct in which he or she offers to vote on or before the day preceding the closing of the registration books for any primary, general, or special election, who possesses on the day of any election the qualifications set forth in Section 145 of the Constitution, exclusive of the durational residency requirements, who is not disqualified under that section or under any other statute, and who is registered as provided in this chapter, may vote for all officers to be elected by the people and on all public questions submitted for determination at that election, in the precinct in which he or she is qualified to vote. Any person who shall have been convicted of any election law offense which is a felony shall not be permitted to vote until his or her civil rights have been restored by executive pardon.
  2. Any person charged with or indicted for a crime, whether or not in custody for same, who has not yet been convicted of the offense and who is not otherwise ineligible to vote, may vote for all offices to be elected by the people and on all public questions submitted for determination at that election, in the precinct in which he or she is qualified to vote.
  3. A registered voter who changes his or her place of residence from one (1) precinct to another within the same county while the registration books are closed shall be permitted to update the voting records and to vote in the present election at the appropriate precinct for the current address as set forth in KRS 116.085(3).
  4. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, any registered voter who changes his or her place of residence from one (1) precinct to another within the same county prior to the closing of the registration books and who fails to transfer his or her registration with the county clerk prior to the date the registration books are closed shall be permitted to vote in the present election at the appropriate precinct for the current address as set forth in KRS 116.085(2).
  5. Any registered voter who changes his or her place of residence to a different county while the registration books are closed shall be permitted to vote at the appropriate precinct for his or her former residence in the present election and shall thereafter transfer his or her voter registration.
  6. Any registered voter who changes his or her place of residence to a different county and fails to register to vote in the county of current residence prior to the date the registration books are closed shall not be eligible to vote in the present election in the county of current residence or the county of former residence.
  7. Any registered voter who changes his or her place of registration to a different state while the registration books are closed in the new state of residence before a presidential election shall be permitted to cast an absentee ballot for President and Vice President only, notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, by mail or at the county clerk’s office of the former residence or other place designated by the county board of elections and approved by the State Board of Elections.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 2; 1982, ch. 360, § 36, effective July 15, 1982; 1988, ch. 341, § 20, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 48, § 2, effective July 13, 1990; 1994, ch. 393, § 4, effective January 1, 1995; 2002, ch. 63, § 1, effective July 15, 2002; 2006, ch. 107, § 2, effective March 30, 2006.

Legislative Research Commission Note.

(7/15/94). In Attorney General Opinion 94-42, it was concluded that 1994 Ky. Acts ch. 393, which amended this statute “will take effect on January 1, 1995, the date the National Voter Registration Act will take effect with respect to Kentucky.”

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Annexation Election.

KRS 81A.420(2)(b) and (c) does not define what constitutes a “qualified voter” in any respect, and cannot be used to disenfranchise a voter who is eligible under the terms of the general voter eligibility statute. Louisville Shopping Center, Inc. v. St. Matthews, 635 S.W.2d 307, 1982 Ky. LEXIS 266 ( Ky. 1982 ).

Under the clear wording of KRS 81A.420(2)(b) and (c) the 75 percent is to be determined by the number of “qualified voters,” which are those who are registered and eligible under subsection (1) of this section. Louisville Shopping Center, Inc. v. St. Matthews, 635 S.W.2d 307, 1982 Ky. LEXIS 266 ( Ky. 1982 ).

The phrase “qualified voter,” standing by itself, in the context of the annexation statutes, cannot be elevated to a disqualification under any other statute as provided in subsection (1) of this section. Louisville Shopping Center, Inc. v. St. Matthews, 635 S.W.2d 307, 1982 Ky. LEXIS 266 ( Ky. 1982 ).

2. Registration Mandatory.

Under law requiring presentation of registration certificate before voting, election officers could not have dispensed with such requirement even where they knew that voter was qualified. Taylor v. Betts, 141 Ky. 138 , 132 S.W. 162, 1910 Ky. LEXIS 409 ( Ky. 1910 ) (decided under prior law).

A registration law must have made registration a prerequisite to the right to vote upon public questions, at a regular election, as well as for public officers. Perkins v. Lucas, 197 Ky. 1 , 246 S.W. 150, 1922 Ky. LEXIS 633 ( Ky. 1 922), overruled in part, D & W Auto Supply v. Department of Revenue, 602 S.W.2d 420, 1980 Ky. LEXIS 243 ( Ky. 1980 ), overruled on other grounds, D & W Auto Supply v. Department of Revenue, 602 S.W.2d 420, 1980 Ky. LEXIS 243 ( Ky. 1980 ) (decided under prior law).

3. Age.

Mother’s evidence as to age of son prevailed over age shown by school census. Prewitt v. Wilson, 242 Ky. 231 , 46 S.W.2d 90, 1932 Ky. LEXIS 255 ( Ky. 1932 ) (decided under prior law).

4. Conviction of Crime.

A jury verdict which found a person guilty of a felony was not sufficient alone to disfranchise him; there must have been a final judgment of conviction. Prewitt v. Wilson, 242 Ky. 231 , 46 S.W.2d 90, 1932 Ky. LEXIS 255 ( Ky. 1932 ) (decided under prior law).

5. Evidence of Eligibility.

Whether a person was a legal voter at the time he voted must have been determined from the facts as to his age and the length of time of his residence, and not from the bare statement of opinion by witnesses that he had been a “legal voter.” Hume v. Grant, 165 Ky. 723 , 178 S.W. 1028, 1915 Ky. LEXIS 582 ( Ky. 1915 ) (decided under prior law).

Cited:

Sims v. Atwell, 556 S.W.2d 929, 1977 Ky. App. LEXIS 826 (Ky. Ct. App. 1977).

Opinions of Attorney General.

Persons in jail who have been convicted of misdemeanors may register to vote by mail and may vote by absentee ballot. OAG 75-135 .

There are no statutory provisions for taking persons from jail either to register or vote or for election officials to go to the jail with registration forms or election ballots. OAG 75-135 .

A registered voter who moves from one precinct in the county to another more than 30 days before the election but fails to notify the county clerk of his change of residence until after the registration books have closed cannot vote in his new precinct, although he may attempt to vote in his old precinct, assuming his name has not been purged and remains on the registration list when sent to the precinct. OAG 75-622 .

Persons incarcerated in jail but not yet convicted of any crime are entitled to register to vote, and after they have been duly registered and presumably qualified to vote they may then make application for an absentee ballot. OAG 76-202 .

People who were registered as 17-year-olds, but who would be 18 by the November general election will not be eligible to vote in a special local option election to be held the preceding March. OAG 79-41 .

A city annexing a university area could not strengthen the voting requirements since the voting qualifications are controlled by the Constitution and state statutes. OAG 82-157 .

Only those persons who can qualify to vote may register to vote, which excludes any person who has been convicted of a felony and incarcerated in prison; as a consequence, if the recipients of certain requested voter registration applications are to be convicted felons incarcerated in prison, the county court clerk can legally refuse to comply with the request since the applicants would not be entitled to register and vote. OAG 83-411 .

Even though a voter’s registration form may be illegally filled in, insofar as party preference is concerned, when it is submitted to the clerk with the required information contained therein, the clerk would be required to accept it as a valid registration and the voter in question would be considered legally registered and entitled to vote. OAG 85-131 .

A person whose party affiliation was designated on the registration card without his knowledge or consent could only vote and seek office in the succeeding party primary as a member of that party and would be disqualified as to the other party primary. OAG 85-131 .

Party affiliation is of no consequence insofar as one’s voting rights are concerned at the November election. OAG 85-131 .

A person is qualified to vote provided he meets the constitutional qualifications enumerated under Ky. Const., § 145 as modified by the Supreme Court of the United States and as reflected in this section and the registration requirement found in KRS 116.045 . OAG 85-131 .

Research References and Practice Aids

Cross-References.

Absentee ballots for persons in jail, KRS 117.085 .

Northern Kentucky Law Review.

2008 Criminal Law Issue: Article: Barred From the Polls: Felony Disenfranchisement in the Bluegrass, see 35 N. Ky. L. Rev. 371 (2008).

116.030. Meetings of board — Quorum — Chairman. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (1596a-1, 1596a-13: amend. Acts 1956 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 5, § 2) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69. For present law, see KRS 117.015 .

116.035. Determination of voter’s residence.

The following rules, so far as applicable, shall be observed in determining the residence of a person offering to vote:

  1. A voter’s residence shall be deemed to be at the place where his or her habitation is, and to which, when absent, he or she has the intention of returning;
  2. A voter shall not lose his or her residence by absence for temporary purposes merely; nor shall he or she obtain a residence by being in a county or precinct for such temporary purposes, without the intention of making that county or precinct his or her home;
  3. A voter shall lose his or her residence by removal to another state or county with intention to make his or her permanent residence there, or by removal to and residence in another state, with intention to reside there an indefinite time, or by voting there, even though he or she may have had the intention to return to this state at some future period;
  4. The place where the family of a married person resides shall generally be considered his or her residence, unless the family so resides for a temporary purpose. If his family is permanently in one (1) place, and he or she transacts business in another, the former shall be the residence.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 3; 2002, ch. 63, § 2, effective July 15, 2002.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. In General.

A person had no right to select a voting place for himself other than his legal home and place of residence. Penny v. McRoberts, 163 Ky. 313 , 173 S.W. 786, 1915 Ky. LEXIS 223 ( Ky. 1915 ) (decided under prior law).

When a person resided at a certain place upon property owned by him, and was called upon and performed all the duties of a citizen in that place, and when he was away from home had the intention of returning to that place, the fact that he had customarily voted in another place did not give him the right to vote at such other place. Penny v. McRoberts, 163 Ky. 313 , 173 S.W. 786, 1915 Ky. LEXIS 223 ( Ky. 1915 ) (decided under prior law).

A voter cannot select for himself a voting place other than the place the law constitutes his legal residence. If he actually lives in one district, he cannot vote in another, unless his living in the former district is merely for a temporary purpose. Matney v. Elswick, 242 Ky. 183 , 45 S.W.2d 1046, 1932 Ky. LEXIS 240 ( Ky. 1932 ) (decided under prior law).

2. Domicile.

In law, every person has a domicile. In some instances it may be different from his actual abode. Until he has changed it, which is a combination of act and intention, it continues to be his domicile in law. Erwin v. Benton, 120 Ky. 536 , 87 S.W. 291, 27 Ky. L. Rptr. 909 , 1905 Ky. LEXIS 131 ( Ky. 1905 ) (decided under prior law).

Where husband abandoned wife, and she then moved to a different precinct and rented a farm there, she thus acquired a new domicile, although husband returned to her at her new domicile less than 60 days before election. Whitaker v. Stephens, 242 Ky. 164 , 45 S.W.2d 1045, 1932 Ky. LEXIS 239 ( Ky. 1932 ) (decided under prior law).

3. Legal Residence.

Where woman had been employed as domestic servant in precinct for over three years, and made her home with her employer, the mere fact that she intended to return to her family home if she ever lost her employment did not deprive her of legal residence in the precinct. Penny v. McRoberts, 163 Ky. 313 , 173 S.W. 786, 1915 Ky. LEXIS 223 ( Ky. 1915 ) (decided under prior law).

Where man and daughter had maintained home and place of business for several years in one district, their legal residence was there, notwithstanding that man owned a house and a business property in another district. Matney v. Elswick, 242 Ky. 183 , 45 S.W.2d 1046, 1932 Ky. LEXIS 240 ( Ky. 1932 ) (decided under prior law).

Elderly woman had legal residence at home of married daughter where she resided most of the time, although she spent some time with other children. Prewitt v. Wilson, 242 Ky. 231 , 46 S.W.2d 90, 1932 Ky. LEXIS 255 ( Ky. 1932 ) (decided under prior law).

Married college student who actually had resided in college town for more than a year, except for two short visits to Chicago, was a resident of Kentucky, although in conversations he had referred to Chicago as his home, and had expressed the intention to preach in a foreign country when he had finished college. Commonwealth v. Jewell, 248 Ky. 630 , 59 S.W.2d 565, 1933 Ky. LEXIS 290 ( Ky. 1933 ) (decided under prior law).

The fact that a citizen voted in a certain district in the previous year would not, of itself, have prevented him from voting in another district, provided his residence was then in the district where he attempted to vote, and had been there for the required length of time. Branham v. Branham, 276 Ky. 767 , 125 S.W.2d 225, 1939 Ky. LEXIS 577 ( Ky. 1939 ) (decided under prior law).

Voter who owned realty and a few household goods and kept a garden in a district, but worked and spent most of her time in another district, was not entitled to vote in the first district. Branham v. Branham, 276 Ky. 767 , 125 S.W.2d 225, 1939 Ky. LEXIS 577 ( Ky. 1939 ) (decided under prior law).

4. Intent.

Though a voter may have had a home or owned property in a certain district, yet, if he left there and took up an actual residence elsewhere with the intention of remaining there indefinitely, he became a legal voter at the place where he lived, and could not vote at his former home. Matney v. Elswick, 242 Ky. 183 , 45 S.W.2d 1046, 1932 Ky. LEXIS 240 ( Ky. 1932 ) (decided under prior law).

A mere floating intention to establish a residence at some future time without any present means of determining or approximating such time was not sufficient. Thompson v. Emmert, 242 Ky. 415 , 46 S.W.2d 502, 1932 Ky. LEXIS 279 ( Ky. 1932 ) (decided under prior law).

A person who took up an actual residence in a voting district with the intention of remaining there indefinitely became a legal voter, although he may have retained ownership of land in district where he formerly lived and may have intended to return there at some indefinite future time. Collins v. Casebolt, 276 Ky. 787 , 125 S.W.2d 737, 1939 Ky. LEXIS 599 ( Ky. 1939 ) (decided under prior law).

5. Change of Residence.

Married man who moved his family to another state, with intention to remain there permanently, lost his Kentucky residence although he later changed his mind and returned to his original county. Edwards v. Logan, 114 Ky. 312 , 70 S.W. 852, 75 S.W. 257, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 1099 , 25 Ky. L. Rptr. 435 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 164 ( Ky. 1902 ) (decided under prior law).

Where tenant family left county with intention of obtaining employment and establishing residence in another county, but were unable to obtain employment and after moving around for a month finally returned to the original county and rented another piece of land there, their original residence in such county was lost by their removal with intention not to return. Woods v. Blair, 222 Ky. 201 , 300 S.W. 597, 1927 Ky. LEXIS 892 ( Ky. 1927 ) (decided under prior law).

Voter who left the district, married a nonresident, left him without getting a divorce, and returned to the district less than six (6) months before election, was not eligible to vote in the district. Branham v. Branham, 276 Ky. 767 , 125 S.W.2d 225, 1939 Ky. LEXIS 577 ( Ky. 1939 ) (decided under prior law).

In proceedings to contest a school board election, where the evidence established that three (3) challenged voters, who had voted for the contestee, had formerly lived and were registered voters in the district, but that about a year and a half prior to the election they had moved to another district with no intention of returning to their former home at any definite time and whose absence from their former district was not for temporary purposes, the said voters were not residents of the district within the meaning of this section. Gambrell v. Parker, 261 S.W.2d 447, 1953 Ky. LEXIS 1024 ( Ky. 1953 ) (decided under prior law).

Person who moved into a residence outside of division of school district and lived therein for three years was not a resident of the division of the school district although he had always theretofore lived in division, was registered there and expressed an intention to retain his residence therein. Moore v. Tiller, 409 S.W.2d 813, 1966 Ky. LEXIS 74 ( Ky. 1966 ) (decided under prior law).

6. Temporary Absence.

Where man left his home and established a home elsewhere, not for the purpose of performing a particular service or of doing a particular job for another, or engaging in business for a limited time, but with the purpose of engaging in business or obtaining employment for an indefinite period, and remained away for several years, and did not return except for the purpose of voting, it could not be said that he was absent for a temporary purpose. Matney v. Elswick, 242 Ky. 183 , 45 S.W.2d 1046, 1932 Ky. LEXIS 240 ( Ky. 1932 ) (decided under prior law).

If a voter actually lived in one district, he could not vote in another, unless his living in the former district was merely for a temporary purpose. Matney v. Elswick, 242 Ky. 183 , 45 S.W.2d 1046, 1932 Ky. LEXIS 240 ( Ky. 1932 ) (decided under prior law).

Where wife and husband lived outside voting district and returned to district to home of husband’s mother only when he was out of work they were temporarily absent from their home outside district and not from district and thus they could not vote in the district. Matney v. Elswick, 242 Ky. 183 , 45 S.W.2d 1046, 1932 Ky. LEXIS 240 ( Ky. 1932 ) (decided under prior law).

Where wife and son of a married man had lived with him for three years in a certain precinct, the fact that they had never voted there and that they had left some of their household goods in the precinct in which they had formerly lived, and intended to return to their former place of residence at some indefinite time in the future, was not sufficient to establish that their absence from the latter precinct was merely for a temporary purpose. Matney v. Elswick, 242 Ky. 183 , 45 S.W.2d 1046, 1932 Ky. LEXIS 240 ( Ky. 1932 ) (decided under prior law).

In cases involving questions of residence, the facts must control, and not what the voter says about being absent for a temporary purpose. Matney v. Elswick, 242 Ky. 183 , 45 S.W.2d 1046, 1932 Ky. LEXIS 240 ( Ky. 1932 ) (decided under prior law).

Temporary removal of man and wife from district where they had a farm and home, for purpose of placing children in school in another district, did not deprive them of their original residence. Thompson v. Emmert, 242 Ky. 415 , 46 S.W.2d 502, 1932 Ky. LEXIS 279 ( Ky. 1932 ) (decided under prior law).

If an absence depended upon the completion of some temporary task, or upon the discharge of some duty of a temporary nature, the time fixed for a return to the domicile was sufficiently definite. Thompson v. Emmert, 242 Ky. 415 , 46 S.W.2d 502, 1932 Ky. LEXIS 279 ( Ky. 1932 ) (decided under prior law).

Where person left farm owned by him and moved to another district with intention to remain there as long as he could secure employment, he could not claim that his absence was for “temporary purposes.” Collins v. Casebolt, 276 Ky. 787 , 125 S.W.2d 737, 1939 Ky. LEXIS 599 ( Ky. 1939 ) (decided under prior law).

7. Absence for Purpose of Employment.

A single man who left his home in Kentucky and went to Indiana to work, with the stated intention of returning to his home in Kentucky, and who did return to his home after a few months, did not lose his Kentucky residence. Edwards v. Logan, 114 Ky. 312 , 70 S.W. 852, 75 S.W. 257, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 1099 , 25 Ky. L. Rptr. 435 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 164 ( Ky. 1902 ) (decided under prior law).

Fact that school teacher taught school for many years in another county did not deprive her of residence in the county where she had a house in which she resided during vacations, and which she had always regarded as her home. Penny v. McRoberts, 163 Ky. 313 , 173 S.W. 786, 1915 Ky. LEXIS 223 ( Ky. 1915 ) (decided under prior law).

Nurse who was in precinct temporarily for purpose of nursing an invalid, and who intended to return to her home when her services were no longer required, was not a resident of the precinct. Penny v. McRoberts, 163 Ky. 313 , 173 S.W. 786, 1915 Ky. LEXIS 223 ( Ky. 1915 ) (decided under prior law).

Absence of voter from state for period of six months, during which he visited his son and was temporarily employed, did not deprive him of his residence when he returned to his home where his wife and children had remained, and resumed his habitation there. Penny v. McRoberts, 163 Ky. 313 , 173 S.W. 786, 1915 Ky. LEXIS 223 ( Ky. 1915 ) (decided under prior law).

Absence from precinct for work during summer was a temporary absence not depriving voter of residence. Prewitt v. Wilson, 242 Ky. 231 , 46 S.W.2d 90, 1932 Ky. LEXIS 255 ( Ky. 1932 ) (decided under prior law).

Temporary removal for purpose of making a crop on a rented farm, with intention to return to home when crop was harvested, did not deprive voter of residence, although home was burned during absence and had not been rebuilt at time of election. Thompson v. Emmert, 242 Ky. 415 , 46 S.W.2d 502, 1932 Ky. LEXIS 279 ( Ky. 1932 ) (decided under prior law).

8. Evidence.

Testimony of voter as to his intention in establishing residence was sufficient in absence of other proof. Penny v. McRoberts, 163 Ky. 313 , 173 S.W. 786, 1915 Ky. LEXIS 223 ( Ky. 1915 ) (decided under prior law).

An affidavit filed by voter in a police court investigation stating that he was a resident of a certain district was not sufficient to overcome his testimony in election contest, supported by other evidence, that he was a resident of another district. Thompson v. Emmert, 242 Ky. 415 , 46 S.W.2d 502, 1932 Ky. LEXIS 279 ( Ky. 1932 ) (decided under prior law).

Testimony that voter had always “claimed” her home to be with her mother in a certain school subdistrict was not sufficient, alone, to establish her residence there for voting purposes. Branham v. Branham, 276 Ky. 767 , 125 S.W.2d 225, 1939 Ky. LEXIS 577 ( Ky. 1939 ) (decided under prior law).

The fact that a person’s name was on the registration records of a certain county was not conclusive evidence that he was a resident of that county, for the purpose of determining the venue of an action against him. Williams v. Sanders, 293 Ky. 216 , 168 S.W.2d 552, 1942 Ky. LEXIS 9 ( Ky. 1942 ) (decided under prior law).

While state and county officials could require proof of domicile, each registration applicant should have been asked the same questions regardless of occupation; the questions should have reasonably related to proof of domicile; nothing could be presumed or implied from the fact that a registration applicant was a student; and the state and county officials could not impose additional or special criteria for proof of domicile upon university students. Bright v. Baesler, 336 F. Supp. 527, 1971 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10169 (E.D. Ky. 1971 ) (decided under prior law).

9. Precinct.

The fact that a voter had illegally voted in a precinct other than that of his residence would not deprive him of the right to vote at subsequent elections in the precinct of his residence. Penny v. McRoberts, 163 Ky. 313 , 173 S.W. 786, 1915 Ky. LEXIS 223 ( Ky. 1915 ) (decided under prior law).

The mere ownership of property in a voting precinct gave no right to vote in that precinct. Penny v. McRoberts, 163 Ky. 313 , 173 S.W. 786, 1915 Ky. LEXIS 223 ( Ky. 1915 ) (decided under prior law).

A voter may vote only in the precinct in which he resides, but if the boundary lines of a precinct are not definitely fixed or ascertainable so there is doubt as to which precinct the voter lives in, he may select which precinct he will vote in and his vote will be accepted there, but once having made the selection he must abide by it. Stice v. Parsley, 217 Ky. 653 , 290 S.W. 471, 1926 Ky. LEXIS 109 ( Ky. 1926 ) (decided under prior law).

Where location of boundary line was in doubt, and certain voters living near boundary had always voted in one precinct, they would be permitted to continue to vote there. Thompson v. Emmert, 242 Ky. 415 , 46 S.W.2d 502, 1932 Ky. LEXIS 279 ( Ky. 1932 ) (decided under prior law).

Cited:

Noble v. Meagher, 686 S.W.2d 458, 1985 Ky. LEXIS 207 ( Ky. 1985 ).

Opinions of Attorney General.

A person who, along with his family, moved from Kentucky to Ohio where he was gainfully employed under a civil service program could not claim Kentucky as his legal residence for the purpose of registering and voting. OAG 75-469 .

Where a candidate for the office of magistrate had been domiciled temporarily outside the magisterial district while a new home was being built within the confines of the district, the candidate would be qualified, as far as residency is concerned, to hold the office of magistrate. OAG 77-182 .

No individual can change his voting precinct to one other than the one in which he actually resides, and the fact that he may own property elsewhere is of no significance in determining legal residence. OAG 79-41 .

A person is eligible to run for a county board of education in the district in which he or she normally resides even though he or she has been temporarily forced to live outside the district by virtue of a casualty loss and repairs to the normal domicile. OAG 80-274 .

Where the husband of a woman seeking the office of property valuation administrator has leased a home in an adjoining county to meet residence requirements of his employment as policeman, the woman still meets county residence requirements under Ky. Const., § 100, even where she spends one-half of her time at her husband’s residence, since she continues to hold herself out as resident of county in which she resides, remains a registered voter of that county, and her children remained enrolled in the county schools; thus, she did not, under this section, lose her residence due to temporary absences since she had no intention of permanently leaving. OAG 81-105 .

116.037. Designation of precincts in area ceded or leased to the government of the United States.

In each county having within its boundaries a geographical area which has been ceded or leased to the government of the United States, the county clerk shall designate the precincts to which voters claiming Kentucky residence for voting purposes shall be assigned. If the ceded or leased territory extends beyond a single county, the county clerk in each county encompassing a part of the territory shall assign voters to the appropriate precincts. In making the assignments of absentee voters in any county that contains all or portions of more than one (1) congressional or state legislative district, any advantage shall be given to the district containing the largest territory.

History. Enact. Acts 1990, ch. 48, § 12, effective July 13, 1990.

116.040. County board of election commissioners — Membership — Qualification — Vacancies. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (1596a-2: amend. Acts 1956 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 5, § 2A; 1962, ch. 183) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69. For present law, see KRS 117.035 .

116.045. Voter registration, transfer, or change of party affiliation — Availability of forms.

  1. Any person may register as a voter during the period registration is open if he or she possesses, or will possess on the day of the next regular election, the qualifications set forth in KRS 116.025 .
  2. The county clerk shall cause all registration to be closed the fourth Tuesday preceding through the first Monday following any primary or general election, and the twenty-eight (28) days prior to and seven (7) days following any special election. If the last day of registration falls on a state or federal holiday, the period runs until the end of the next day which is not a Saturday or Sunday nor a state or federal holiday. During the period that registration is closed, the county clerk may accept and process registrations. Any voter who registers during the period that registration is closed, except for any registered voter who transfers his or her registration pursuant to KRS 116.085(2) or (3), shall not be permitted to vote in the upcoming election.
  3. In all counties, the county clerk shall receive registrations, transfers, or changes of party affiliation at branch offices at any place in the county during those periods that the registration books are open except for those transfers pursuant to KRS 116.085(2) or 116.085(3). However, notice in the manner provided by KRS Chapter 424 shall be given at least three (3), but not more than fourteen (14), days in advance of the time and place of any branch registration, and ten (10) days’ written notice shall be given to the county executive committee of each major political party in the county in which the branch registration is to be held.
  4. Any person may register to vote or may change his or her party affiliation in any of the following ways:
    1. In person;
    2. By mail;
    3. By means of the federal post card application, if the person is a resident of Kentucky and a member of the Armed Forces, or a dependent of members of the Armed Forces, or overseas citizen;
    4. By mail-in application form prescribed by the Federal Election Commission pursuant to the National Voter Registration Act of 1993; or
    5. By other methods of registration, or reregistration, approved by the State Board of Elections, including the use of voluntary interested groups and political parties, under the proper supervision and directions of the county clerk, which may include door to door canvassing.
  5. Upon receipt of the form prescribed by the State Board of Elections or the Federal Election Commission pursuant to the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, properly filled out and signed by the applicant, the county clerk shall register the applicant.
  6. Any individual or group shall have access to a reasonable number of voter registration forms including the mail-in application form prescribed by the Federal Election Commission pursuant to the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 in the county clerk’s office. The individual or group shall act under the proper supervision and directions of the county clerk and shall return these completed forms to the county clerk for official registration by the county clerk.
  7. No later than December 31, 1994, the Transportation Cabinet shall equip all driver’s license agencies to comply with the provisions of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. The Secretary of State shall provide assistance and interpretation to the Transportation Cabinet in determining the requirements of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.
  8. The county clerk shall enter the specific party identification of the voter with a political party, political organization, or political group as defined in KRS 118.015 , or independent status, as indicated by the voter on the voter registration form, into the statewide voter registration system. The State Board of Elections shall promulgate regulations under KRS Chapter 13A to provide for tracking of the registration of voters identifying with political organizations and political groups as defined in KRS 118.015 , and voters of independent status.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 4; 1976, ch. 30, § 1; 1980, ch. 136, § 1, effective July 15, 1980; 1980, ch. 188, § 99, effective July 15, 1980; 1982, ch. 394, § 4, effective July 15, 1982; 1988, ch. 42, § 2, effective July 15, 1988; 1988, ch. 341, § 21, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 48, § 3, effective July 13, 1990; 1994, ch. 393, § 5, effective January 1, 1995; 1996, ch. 195, § 2, effective July 15, 1996; 2002, ch. 63, § 3, effective July 15, 2002.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Nature of Registration Laws.

The provisions of registration laws must be uniform, reasonable and impartial, and must not deny or abridge the constitutional right of suffrage, nor unnecessarily impede that right. Perkins v. Lucas, 197 Ky. 1 , 246 S.W. 150, 1922 Ky. LEXIS 633 ( Ky. 1 922), overruled in part, D & W Auto Supply v. Department of Revenue, 602 S.W.2d 420, 1980 Ky. LEXIS 243 ( Ky. 1980 ), overruled on other grounds, D & W Auto Supply v. Department of Revenue, 602 S.W.2d 420, 1980 Ky. LEXIS 243 ( Ky. 1980 ) (decided under prior law).

A registration law must give the voter a reasonable opportunity to register. Perkins v. Lucas, 197 Ky. 1 , 246 S.W. 150, 1922 Ky. LEXIS 633 ( Ky. 1 922), overruled in part, D & W Auto Supply v. Department of Revenue, 602 S.W.2d 420, 1980 Ky. LEXIS 243 ( Ky. 1980 ), overruled on other grounds, D & W Auto Supply v. Department of Revenue, 602 S.W.2d 420, 1980 Ky. LEXIS 243 ( Ky. 1980 ) (decided under prior law).

Ky. Const., § 147 authorized laws making registration a prerequisite to the right to vote. The only restriction was that the legislature could not impose any qualification for the privilege of registering that was not imposed by Ky. Const., § 145 for the privilege of voting. Perkins v. Lucas, 197 Ky. 1 , 246 S.W. 150, 1922 Ky. LEXIS 633 ( Ky. 1 922). See Yates v. Collins, 118 Ky. 682 , 82 S.W. 282, 26 Ky. L. Rptr. 558 , 26 Ky. L. Rptr. 930 , 1904 Ky. LEXIS 89 (Ky. Ct. App. 1904); Early v. Rains, 121 Ky. 439 , 106 Mo. App. 684, 89 S.W. 289, 28 Ky. L. Rptr. 415 , 1905 Ky. LEXIS 224 ( Ky. 1905 ) (decided under prior law).

A registration law was valid if it fairly and reasonably secured to qualified citizens the privilege of voting. Poston v. Daily, 210 Ky. 649 , 276 S.W. 554, 1925 Ky. LEXIS 746 ( Ky. 1925 ) (decided under prior law).

Registration was the method of proof by a public record for ascertaining and identifying the electors residing in each precinct who were qualified to cast votes in the election each year. It was a part of the machinery of elections. Board of Registration Comm'rs v. Campbell, 251 Ky. 597 , 65 S.W.2d 713, 1933 Ky. LEXIS 925 ( Ky. 1933 ) (decided under prior law).

2. Duties of Registration Officials.

When ascertaining the qualifications, the identity, and determining the right of an elector to register or change his registration, the duties of the registration officials were mandatory and could not be delegated to others. Board of Registration Comm'rs v. Campbell, 251 Ky. 597 , 65 S.W.2d 713, 1933 Ky. LEXIS 925 ( Ky. 1933 ) (decided under prior law).

3. Domicile.

While state and county officials could require proof of domicile, each registration applicant should have been asked the same questions regardless of occupation; the questions should have reasonably related to proof of domicile; nothing could be presumed or implied from the fact that a registration applicant was a student; and state and county officials could not impose additional or special criteria for proof of domicile upon university students. Bright v. Baesler, 336 F. Supp. 527, 1971 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10169 (E.D. Ky. 1971 ) (decided under prior law).

4. Time of Registration.

Under law which provided for one registration day in October of each year, and required a special registration before a special election to enable persons not previously registered to register for the special election, failure of county judge to make provision for special registration preceding local option election invalidated election. Early v. Rains, 121 Ky. 439 , 106 Mo. App. 684, 89 S.W. 289, 28 Ky. L. Rptr. 415 , 1905 Ky. LEXIS 224 ( Ky. 1905 ). See De Haven v. Bowmer, 125 Ky. 800 , 102 S.W. 306, 31 Ky. L. Rptr. 416 , 1907 Ky. LEXIS 336 ( Ky. 1907 ) (decided under prior law).

The provisions of the law as to the time and place of registration were mandatory. Taylor v. Betts, 141 Ky. 138 , 132 S.W. 162, 1910 Ky. LEXIS 409 ( Ky. 1910 ) (decided under prior law).

Law providing only one registration day each year was unconstitutional, because it did not make adequate provision for voting at special elections, or for those persons unable to attend on the registration day. Perkins v. Lucas, 197 Ky. 1 , 246 S.W. 150, 1922 Ky. LEXIS 633 ( Ky. 1 922). See Early v. Rains, 121 Ky. 439 , 106 Mo. App. 684, 89 S.W. 289, 28 Ky. L. Rptr. 415 , 1905 Ky. LEXIS 224 ( Ky. 1905 ) (decided under prior law).

The law did not require that registration books be closed 59 days, under former law prior to special elections, such as local option elections. Fletcher v. Hampton, 275 Ky. 250 , 121 S.W.2d 33, 1938 Ky. LEXIS 402 ( Ky. 1938 ) (decided under prior law).

Voters may have registered on the day of a special election, such as a local option election, and voted in that election, if the election was not held within the former 59-day period preceding a primary or general election. Bauer v. Wakefield, 299 Ky. 42 , 184 S.W.2d 222, 1944 Ky. LEXIS 1017 ( Ky. 1944 ) (decided under prior law).

5. Absentee Registration.

Section permitting voters to register by absentee application or by appearing at a designated office or branch office authorized any legal voter to register by absentee application and such section was not intended to apply merely to those persons who would be absent voters. Board of Registration Comm'rs v. Hallahan, 485 S.W.2d 759, 1972 Ky. LEXIS 142 ( Ky. 1972 ) (decided under prior law).

Cited:

Board of Elections v. Board of Education, 635 S.W.2d 324, 1982 Ky. App. LEXIS 221 (Ky. Ct. App. 1982).

Opinions of Attorney General.

An individual can come into Kentucky, take up residence in a particular precinct and immediately register to vote if he will satisfy, on the day of the next regular election, the 30-day residential requirement found in KRS 116.025 . OAG 74-640 .

A registered voter who moves from one precinct in the county to another more than 30 days before the election but fails to notify the county clerk of his change of residence until after the registration books have closed cannot vote in his new precinct, although he may attempt to vote in his old precinct, assuming his name has not been purged and remains on the registration list when sent to the precinct. OAG 75-622 .

Although the county clerk is vested with reasonable discretion in determining whether or not registration forms are distributed to responsible individuals and organizations, the clerk cannot arbitrarily refuse, without good reason, any individual or group access to a reasonable number of blank registration forms. OAG 76-742 .

Registration forms can be accepted for registration purposes only during the period that the registration books are legally open, but distribution of blank forms is not restricted to a particular time or period during the year. OAG 76-742 .

Nothing under this section governs or restricts the manner of distributing the blank registration forms after they have been obtained from the clerk’s office pursuant to subsection (6) of this section, but the method of registration, outside of the clerk’s office or branch offices, must be approved by the State board as provided in subsection (4)(d) of this section. OAG 78-570 .

A change of political affiliation by a qualified voter is of no legal consequence with respect to his right to participate in any special or general election, which simply means that though a voter may be disqualified in the May primary from voting, he is not disqualified from participating in any special election. OAG 79-79 .

The provisions of this section and KRS 116.055 are not in conflict with each other with respect to the time at which a voter may change party affiliation without being disfranchised in the primary or general election, since this section provides for qualifications which a voter possesses or will possess on the day of the next regular election and KRS 116.055 governs voting in a primary election, which is not an election under the Kentucky Constitution but is merely a nominating procedure for the major parties. OAG 81-113 .

The authorization provided in this section for local distribution by the county clerk of blank voter registration cards to any individual or groups of individuals, would include the right of an individual who is running for political office to obtain a reasonable number of the registration cards, with the number to be determined by the clerk. OAG 81-255 .

Only those persons who can qualify to vote may register to vote, which excludes any person who has been convicted of a felony and incarcerated in prison; as a consequence, if the recipients of certain requested voter registration applications are to be convicted felons incarcerated in prison, the county court clerk can legally refuse to comply with the request since the applicants would not be entitled to register and vote. OAG 83-411 .

A person is qualified to vote provided he meets the constitutional qualifications enumerated under Const., § 145 as modified by the Supreme Court of the United States and as reflected in KRS 116.025 and the registration requirement found in this section. OAG 85-131 .

A voter is not registered until the county clerk actually makes the entry in the voter registration roll. If the petitioner’s registration had not been recorded by the clerk when the petition was signed, the signature cannot be counted. OAG 92-132 .

Acts 1994, Ch. 393, legislation enacting the requirements of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 will take effect on January 1, 1995, the date the National Voter Registration Act will take effect with respect to Kentucky. OAG 94-42 .

116.0452. Standards for timely receipt of voter registration application — Removal of names from registration books — Confidentiality of registration location.

  1. For the purpose of determining whether a voter registration application is received during the period in which registration books are open under KRS 116.045(2), an application shall be deemed timely received:
    1. In the case of registration with a motor vehicle driver’s license application, if the valid voter registration form of the applicant is accepted by the Transportation Cabinet before the registration books are closed;
    2. In the case of registration by mail, if the valid voter registration form of the applicant is legibly postmarked before the registration books are closed;
    3. In the case of registration with a voter registration agency, if the valid voter registration form of the applicant is accepted at the voter registration agency before the registration books are closed; and
    4. In any other case, if the valid voter registration form of the applicant is received by the appropriate county clerk, no later than 4 p.m. local time, before the registration books are closed.
  2. The county clerk shall send notice to each applicant of the disposition of the application.
  3. The name of a registered voter shall not be removed from the registration books except:
    1. Upon request of the voter;
    2. As provided by KRS 116.113 , upon notice of death, declaration of incompetency, or conviction of a felony; or
    3. Upon failure to respond to a confirmation mailing sent pursuant to KRS 116.112(3) and failure to vote or appear to vote and, if necessary, correct the registration record of the voter’s address in an election during the period beginning on the date of the notice and ending on the day after the date of the second general election for Federal office that occurs after the date of the notice.
  4. The identity of the voter registration agency or Transportation Cabinet office through which any particular voter is registered shall not be disclosed to the public.

History. Enact. Acts 1994, ch. 393, § 3, effective January 1, 1995; 1996, ch. 195, § 3, effective July 15, 1996; 2002, ch. 63, § 4, effective July 15, 2002; 2016 ch. 62, § 3, effective July 15, 2016; 2020 ch. 51, § 34, effective March 27, 2020.

116.0455. Voter registration through motor vehicle driver’s license application.

    1. Each motor vehicle driver’s license application, including any renewal application, submitted to the appropriate motor vehicle authority shall serve as an application for voter registration unless the applicant fails to sign the voter registration application. (1) (a) Each motor vehicle driver’s license application, including any renewal application, submitted to the appropriate motor vehicle authority shall serve as an application for voter registration unless the applicant fails to sign the voter registration application.
    2. An application for voter registration submitted under paragraph (a) of this subsection shall be considered as updating any previous voter registration by the applicant.
  1. No information relating to the failure of an applicant for a motor vehicle driver’s license to sign a voter registration application may be used for any purpose other than voter registration.
    1. The Transportation Cabinet shall include a voter registration application form as part of an application for a motor vehicle driver’s license. (3) (a) The Transportation Cabinet shall include a voter registration application form as part of an application for a motor vehicle driver’s license.
    2. The voter registration application portion of an application for a motor vehicle driver’s license shall comply with the requirements of Section 5 of Public Law 103-31, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.
  2. Any change of address form submitted for purposes of a motor vehicle driver’s license shall serve as notification of change of address for voter registration for the registrant involved unless the registrant states on the form that the change of address is not for voter registration purposes.
    1. A completed voter registration portion of an application for a motor vehicle driver’s license accepted by the Transportation Cabinet shall be transmitted to the county clerk of the county of the applicant’s voting residence not later than ten (10) days after the date of acceptance. (5) (a) A completed voter registration portion of an application for a motor vehicle driver’s license accepted by the Transportation Cabinet shall be transmitted to the county clerk of the county of the applicant’s voting residence not later than ten (10) days after the date of acceptance.
    2. If a voter registration application is accepted within five (5) days before the last day for registration to vote in an election, the application shall be transmitted to the county clerk of the county of the applicant’s voting residence not later than five (5) days after the date of acceptance.
  3. The Transportation Cabinet shall provide to the county clerk a declination statement signed by an applicant if the applicant has declined to register to vote.

History. Enact. Acts 1994, ch. 393, § 1, effective January 1, 1995; 2002, ch. 63, § 5, effective July 15, 2002; 2020 ch. 51, § 35, effective March 27, 2020.

Compiler’s Notes.

Section 5 of Public Law 103-31, the National Voter Registration Act referred to in subsection (3)(b) of this section is compiled as 42 USCS § 1973gg-3.

Legislative Research Commission Note.

(7/15/94). In Attorney General Opinion 94-42, it was concluded that 1994 Ky. Acts ch. 393, which enacted this statute “will take effect on January 1, 1995, the date the National Voter Registration Act will take effect with respect to Kentucky.”

Opinions of Attorney General.

Acts 1994, Ch. 393, legislation enacting the requirements of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 will take effect on January 1, 1995, the date the National Voter Registration Act will take effect with respect to Kentucky. OAG 94-42 .

116.046. Voter registration forms for high school students — Public education program.

  1. The county clerk shall provide voter registration forms to each principal or assistant principal of every public high school, each area vocational school, and upon request, private schools, who shall designate a person in each school who shall be responsible for informing students and school personnel of the availability of the registration forms and assist them in properly registering. The completed forms shall be returned to the county clerk, for official registration by the county clerk.
  2. Any person designated to assist in registration in subsection (1) of this section shall fulfill this responsibility in an impartial and fair manner and shall not recruit a registrant for any particular party.
  3. The State Board of Education shall implement programs of public education regarding elections, voting procedures, and election fraud, which shall include an audio-visual presentation for high school juniors and seniors. The State Board of Education, after consultation with the State Board of Elections, shall update the public education programs required by this section as relevant statutory changes occur, as different types of voting machines are used, or as more effective methods of presentation shall be developed.

History. Enact. Acts 1988, ch. 341, §§ 5, 6, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 48, § 4, effective July 13, 1990.

116.047. Forgery, alteration, destruction or failure to return completed registration form.

Any individual who forges or fraudulently alters a form completed by the prospective registrant, who willfully destroys a completed registration form or who willfully fails to return a completed form to the county clerk for official registration by the county clerk shall be subject to the penalties described for Class D felonies.

History. Enact. Acts 1976, ch. 30, § 2.

Research References and Practice Aids

Cross-References.

Class D felony, term of imprisonment, KRS 532.060 .

Class D felony, fines, KRS 534.030 .

116.048. Voter registration agencies.

  1. The following agencies are designated as voter registration agencies in accordance with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993:
    1. Agencies that provide benefits under public assistance under Title IV-A of the Federal Social Security Act, the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children, the Kentucky Medical Assistance Program, or the Food Stamps Program;
    2. Armed Forces recruitment offices;
    3. Other agencies as the Secretary of State shall determine to be providing public assistance; and
    4. Other agencies as the Secretary of State shall determine to be state-funded programs primarily engaged in providing services to persons with disabilities.
  2. A voter registration agency that provides service or assistance in conducting voter registration shall:
    1. Distribute with each application for its service or assistance, and with each recertification, renewal, or change of address form, the office’s own voter registration application form that complies with the requirements of Section 7 of Public Law 103-31, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993;
    2. Provide a form that includes:
      1. The question, “If you are not registered to vote where you live now, would you like to apply to register to vote here today?”;
      2. If the agency provides public assistance, the statement, “Applying to register or declining to register to vote will not affect the amount of assistance that you will be provided by this agency.”;
      3. Boxes for the applicant to check to indicate whether the applicant would like to register or declines to register to vote (failure to check either box being deemed to constitute a declination to register for purposes of paragraph (c) of this subsection), together with the statement in close proximity to the boxes and in prominent type, “IF YOU DO NOT CHECK EITHER BOX, YOU WILL BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE DECIDED NOT TO REGISTER TO VOTE AT THIS TIME.”;
      4. The statement, “If you would like help in filling out the voter registration application form, we will help you. The decision whether to seek or accept help is yours. You may fill out the application form in private.”; and
      5. The statement, “If you believe that someone has interfered with your right to register or to decline to register to vote, your right to privacy in deciding whether to register or in applying to register to vote, or your right to choose your own political party or other political preference, you may file a complaint with  _________ .”, the blank being filled by the name, address, and telephone number of the appropriate official to whom a complaint should be addressed; and
    3. Provide to each applicant who does not decline to register to vote the same degree of assistance with regard to the completion of the registration application form as is provided by the office with regard to the completion of its own forms, unless the applicant refuses assistance.
    1. At each voter registration agency, the following services shall be made available: (3) (a) At each voter registration agency, the following services shall be made available:
      1. Distribution of mail voter registration forms;
      2. Assistance to applicants in completing voter registration application forms, unless the applicant refuses assistance; and
      3. Acceptance of completed voter registration application forms for transmittal to the county clerk of the county of the applicant’s voting residence.
    2. If a voter registration agency designated under subsection (1)(d) of this section provides services to a person with a disability at the person’s home, the agency shall provide the services described in paragraph (a) of this subsection at the person’s home.
  3. A person who provides services described in subsection (3) of this section shall not:
    1. Seek to influence an applicant’s political preference or party registration;
    2. Display any material indicating the person’s political preference or party allegiance;
    3. Make any statement to an applicant or take any action the purpose or effect of which is to discourage the applicant from registering to vote; or
    4. Make any statement to an applicant or take any action the purpose or effect of which is to lead the applicant to believe that a decision to register or not to register to vote has any bearing on the availability of services or benefits.
  4. The State Board of Elections may designate requirements for record keeping and document retention it deems necessary to comply with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and the provisions of this chapter.
    1. A completed registration application accepted at a voter registration agency shall be transmitted to the county clerk of the county of the applicant’s voting residence or the State Board of Elections not later than ten (10) days after the date of acceptance. (6) (a) A completed registration application accepted at a voter registration agency shall be transmitted to the county clerk of the county of the applicant’s voting residence or the State Board of Elections not later than ten (10) days after the date of acceptance.
    2. If a registration application is accepted within five (5) days before the last day for registration to vote in an election, the application shall be transmitted to the county clerk of the county of the applicant’s voting residence or the State Board of Elections not later than five (5) days after the date of acceptance.

History. Enact. Acts 1994, ch. 393, § 2, effective January 1, 1995; 1998, ch. 100, § 5, effective July 15, 1998.

Legislative Research Commission Note.

(7/15/94). In Attorney General Opinion 94-42, it was concluded that 1994 Ky. Acts ch. 393, which enacted this statute “will take effect on January 1, 1995, the date the National Voter Registration Act will take effect with respect to Kentucky.”

Opinions of Attorney General.

Acts 1994, Ch. 393, legislation enacting the requirements of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 will take effect on January 1, 1995, the date the National Voter Registration Act will take effect with respect to Kentucky. OAG 94-42 .

116.049. Voter registration card. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (Enact. Acts 1976, ch. 30, § 3; 1980, ch. 117, § 1, effective July 15, 1980) was repealed by Acts 1990, ch. 48, § 95, effective July 13, 1990.

116.050. Secretary of county board — Records — Quorum — Chairman — Notice of meetings. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (1596a-2) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69. For present law, see KRS 117.035 .

116.055. Qualifications for voting in a primary.

  1. Before a person shall be qualified to vote in a primary, he or she:
    1. Shall possess all the qualifications required of voters in a regular election;
    2. Shall have been a registered member of the party in whose primary he or she seeks to vote on December 31 immediately preceding the primary; and
    3. Shall have remained continuously registered as a member of that party in whose primary he or she seeks to vote between December 31 immediately preceding the primary and the date set for the primary.
  2. In the case of a new registration made after December 31 immediately preceding the primary, a voter shall have registered and remained continuously registered as a member of the party in whose primary he or she seeks to vote from the date of registration until the date set for the primary.
  3. Any voter who withdraws his or her registration after December 31 immediately preceding the primary, and reregisters as a voter with a different party affiliation, during those periods that the registration books are open immediately preceding the primary, shall not be eligible to vote in the upcoming primary.
  4. No person shall be allowed to vote for any party candidates or slates of candidates other than that of the party of which he or she is a registered member.
  5. The qualifications shall be determined as of the date of the primary, without regard to the qualifications or disqualifications as they may exist at the succeeding regular election, except that minors seventeen (17) years of age who will become eighteen (18) years of age on or before the day of the regular election shall be entitled to vote in the primary if otherwise qualified. However, any registered voter, whether registered as a member of a party, political organization, political group, or as an independent, shall be qualified to vote in a primary for candidates listed in all nonpartisan races.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 5; 1976, ch. 54, § 20, effective March 10, 1976; 1988, ch. 341, § 22, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 48, § 5, effective July 13, 1990; 1992, ch. 288, § 34, effective July 14, 1992; 1998, ch. 243, § 1, effective April 1, 1998; 2008, ch. 129, § 2, effective July 15, 2008; 2010, ch. 176, § 1, effective July 15, 2010; 2019 ch. 112, § 1, effective June 27, 2019.

Compiler’s Notes.

Section 14 of Acts 1998, ch. 243, stated: “The provisions of Section 1 of this Act shall be applied prospectively from the effective date of this Act. A voter who has changed political party affiliations on his voting registration record during the period beginning November 12, 1996, and ending at the close of business on the effective date of this Act shall be permitted to vote in the May, 1998 primary election for the political party with which the voter is affiliated on the effective date of this Act. A person who is not registered to vote on the effective date of this Act who completes a voter registration application during the period beginning with the effective date of this Act and ending at the close of business on April 27, 1998, shall be eligible to vote in the primary election to be held on May 26, 1998, if the person has registered as a member of a political party and has remained registered as a member of the same political party in whose primary election he seeks to vote since completing his voter registration applications.”

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. In General.

The provisions of the constitution relating to elections do not restrict the Legislature in fixing the qualifications of voters in primary elections. Black v. Spillman, 185 Ky. 201 , 215 S.W. 28, 1919 Ky. LEXIS 269 ( Ky. 1919 ) (decided under prior law).

2. Constitutionality.

This section is constitutional in that it does not violate voters’ equal protection rights and is a proper means for the commonwealth to protect against “party raiding.” Richardson v. State Bd. of Elections, 697 F. Supp. 295, 1988 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15697 (W.D. Ky. 1988 ) (decided under prior law).

3. Application.

Former similar section dealt only with qualifications of voters at a primary election and had no application for the purpose of attacking the qualifications of electors who filed affidavits supporting the notification and declaration of a candidate for a place on a primary ballot. Brown v. Read, 311 Ky. 104 , 223 S.W.2d 592, 1949 Ky. LEXIS 1074 ( Ky. 1949 ) (decided under prior law).

4. Crossover Voting.

Where a registered Republican, acting as a Democratic precinct clerk, voted in a Democratic primary for county-judge executive, such vote was fraudulent. Sims v. Atwell, 556 S.W.2d 929, 1977 Ky. App. LEXIS 826 (Ky. Ct. App. 1977) (decided under prior law).

5. Residency Requirement.

Where five persons who were not residents of a precinct voted therein in a primary election, but each was a county resident who would have been entitled to vote if a transfer of registration had been requested, the votes, though illegal, were not tainted with fraud. Sims v. Atwell, 556 S.W.2d 929, 1977 Ky. App. LEXIS 826 (Ky. Ct. App. 1977) (decided under prior law).

6. Voter Age.

The clear legislative intent of former similar section was to permit a person (otherwise qualified) to vote in the primary if he would reach the regular voting age by the time of the regular election. Jefferson County Board of Election Com. v. Russell, 323 S.W.2d 864, 1959 Ky. LEXIS 347 ( Ky. 1959 ) (decided under prior law).

The basic age for voters in primaries is now 18. Jefferson County Board of Election Com. v. Russell, 323 S.W.2d 864, 1959 Ky. LEXIS 347 ( Ky. 1959 ) (decision prior to 1964 amendment).

7. Unqualified Voters.

Primary election will not be held void, although large number of unqualified persons voted, if such persons can be identified and it can be shown for whom they voted. Partin v. Jones, 250 Ky. 632 , 63 S.W.2d 790, 1933 Ky. LEXIS 749 ( Ky. 1933 ) (decided under prior law).

8. Registration as Party Member.

Registration by a voter as a member of a party is conclusive of his right to vote in the primary of that party. Heitzman v. Voiers, 155 Ky. 39 , 159 S.W. 625, 1913 Ky. LEXIS 189 ( Ky. 1913 ) (decided under prior law).

9. Change of Party.

Voter who was registered as a member of one party at time of last preceding general election cannot, by changing his registration before the primary, vote in the primary of another party. A voter who registers for the first time after a general election cannot, by changing his registration before the primary, vote in the primary of a party other than the one with which he affiliated when first registering. Glenn v. Gnau, 251 Ky. 3 , 64 S.W.2d 168, 1933 Ky. LEXIS 795 ( Ky. 1933 ) (decided under prior law).

10. Compulsory Revelation.

Where a penalty is provided for illegal voting, the voter may not be compelled to testify how he voted if he claims immunity. Heitzman v. Voiers, 155 Ky. 39 , 159 S.W. 625, 1913 Ky. LEXIS 189 ( Ky. 1913 ) (decided under prior law).

A legal voter in a primary may be compelled to testify how he voted. Glenn v. Gnau, 251 Ky. 3 , 64 S.W.2d 168, 1933 Ky. LEXIS 795 ( Ky. 1933 ) (decided under prior law).

11. Address.

Where streets of town were irregularly laid out and some had duplicating names, many voters did not live on a street, and most of houses were not numbered, so that designation of street address was in many cases impossible, failure to enter street address on registration records would not invalidate registrations. Stewart v. Wurts, 143 Ky. 39 , 135 S.W. 434, 1911 Ky. LEXIS 332 ( Ky. 1911 ) (decided under prior law).

12. Validity of Vote.

Failure of election officers to indicate on registration record the names of those who had voted would not invalidate the vote, such requirement being only directory. Ferguson v. Gregory, 216 Ky. 382 , 287 S.W. 952, 1926 Ky. LEXIS 935 ( Ky. 1926 ) (decided under prior law).

Cited:

Morris v. Jefferson County Clerk, 729 S.W.2d 444, 1987 Ky. LEXIS 214 ( Ky. 1987 ).

Opinions of Attorney General.

A person convicted of a felony and pardoned November 20, after which he re-registered as a voter and member of the Republican party, would be qualified to file a notification declaration paper for the May 27 primary as a candidate for sheriff under the Republican party pursuant to this section. OAG 75-21 .

Since this section requires that a voter, to be qualified to vote in a party primary, must have been registered as a member of that party at the time of the preceding general election, a voter registered as an independent may not qualify to vote in a May party primary by changing his registration unless such change is made before the preceding November election; this type of restriction has been held constitutional by the United States Supreme Court in a number of cases, including Rosario v. Rockefeller, 410 U.S. 752, 93 S. Ct. 1245, 36 L. Ed. 2d 1, 1973 U.S. LEXIS 92 (1973), rehearing denied, Rosario v. Rockefeller, 411 U.S. 959, 93 S. Ct. 1920, 36 L. Ed. 2d 419 (1973). OAG 75-271 .

Voter registered as an independent could not change his party affiliation to Republican or Democrat in February so as to qualify to vote in the May primary and thereby become eligible to be a candidate in the May primary under KRS 118.125 , which requires candidates to be qualified to vote under this section. OAG 76-78 .

Any voter who was a registered member of one of the two major political parties and was so registered as of the 1975 November election was eligible to vote in the succeeding primary of his party in May 1976, but a voter who changed his party affiliation after the November election would be disqualified from voting in the primary for candidates of either party. OAG 76-293 .

A registered Democrat who decides to run for office as an independent in the fall election may vote as a Democrat in the spring primary election prior to the next fall election so long as he was registered as a Democrat in the fall election preceding the spring primary and provided he remains registered as a Democrat through the spring primary. OAG 81-55 .

The provisions of KRS 116.045 and this section are not in conflict with each other with respect to the time at which a voter may change party affiliation without being disfranchised in the primary or general election, since KRS 116.045 provides for qualifications which a voter possesses or will possess on the day of the next regular election and this section governs voting in a primary election, which is not an election under the Kentucky Constitution but rather merely a nominating procedure for the major parties. OAG 81-113 .

Where one of the electors executing an affidavit on behalf of a candidate changed his party affiliation subsequent to the last November election, he is disqualified as a qualified elector for the primary election, since he must not only have been affiliated with the candidate’s party at the last November election but must also remain so affiliated under this section; thus, the candidate in question should withdraw his filing papers and execute one that complies with the statutory requirement since his papers are defective, but he may, upon notification under KRS 118.165 correct such error not later than 72 hours after the filing deadline; otherwise his name shall not be placed on the ballot. OAG 81-126 .

Where an individual changed his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican subsequent to the 1984 November election, he was disqualified from becoming a candidate in the May primary for either party; he could, however, change his registration back to that of Democrat and be qualified to seek nomination as a member of that party, or he could run as an independent. OAG 85-42 .

A candidate is eligible to run in the 1993 primary if he changed his party affiliation after the November 1992 election, and then switched back to his original party affiliation before filing to run in the primary. OAG 93-8 .

116.060. Compensation of county election commissioners. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (1596a-14) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69. For present law, see KRS 117.035 .

116.065. Verification of applications. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

Each application for registration, change of affiliation, transfer of registration or absentee ballot, as absentee ballots are provided for by KRS 117.085 shall be verified by a written declaration by the applicant that it is made under the penalties of perjury.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 6; 1982, ch. 360, § 37, effective July 15, 1982; 1992, ch. 296, § 1, effective July 14, 1992; 2019 ch. 112, § 3, effective June 27, 2019.

116.065. Verification of applications. [Effective July 15, 2020]

Each application for registration, change of affiliation, transfer of registration, federal provisional ballot, or absentee ballot or federal provisional absentee ballot, as absentee ballots and federal provisional absentee ballots are provided for by KRS 117.077 , KRS 117.085 , and KRS 117.229 shall be verified by a written declaration by the applicant that it is made under the penalties of perjury.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 6; 1982, ch. 360, § 37, effective July 15, 1982; 1992, ch. 296, § 1, effective July 14, 1992; 2019 ch. 112, § 3, effective June 27, 2019; 2020 ch. 89, § 3, effective July 15, 2020.

116.070. Regular election officers — Appointment — Term. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (1596a-3) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69. For present law, see KRS 117.045 .

116.075. Registration application form — Report to state board. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 7; 1982, ch. 394, § 5, effective July 15, 1982) was repealed by Acts 1990, ch. 48, § 95, effective July 13, 1990.

116.080. Qualifications of regular election officers — Removals — Vacancies. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (1596a-3) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69. For present law, see KRS 117.045 .

116.085. Transfer of registration — Change of residence — Name change.

  1. When a voter changes his place of residence to another location within the county, the clerk shall, upon application of the voter in person, by mail, or through the Transportation Cabinet, transfer the voter’s registration record to the proper precinct.
  2. When a registered voter changes his place of residence from one (1) precinct to another within the same county before the registration books are closed and fails to transfer his registration with the county clerk prior to the date the registration books are closed, the voter shall be permitted to update the voting records and to vote in the present election at the appropriate precinct for the current address upon affirmation of his current address and signing the precinct list as set forth in KRS 117.225 . Before being permitted to vote, the voter shall also confirm his identity as required in KRS 117.227 and complete the affidavit which is required to be completed by a voter whose right to vote has been challenged. The subscribed oaths shall be delivered to the county clerk and investigated in accordance with KRS 117.245 .
  3. When a registered voter changes his place of residence from one (1) precinct to another precinct within the same county after the registration books close, the voter shall be permitted to vote in the present election at the appropriate precinct for the current address upon affirmation of his current address and signing the precinct list as set forth in KRS 117.225 . Before being permitted to vote, the voter shall confirm his identity as required by KRS 117.227 and complete the affidavit which is required to be completed by a voter whose right to vote is challenged. The subscribed oaths shall be delivered to the county clerk and investigated in accordance with KRS 117.245 .
  4. When the boundaries of a precinct are changed by law, placing a registered voter in a new or different precinct, the clerk shall automatically transfer the voter’s registration record to the proper precinct and mail the voter a notice of the change.
  5. A voter who has changed his name may indicate the change at the precinct on election day by completing the form provided for this purpose by the State Board of Elections. The form shall be returned by the precinct officer to the county clerk who shall make the necessary change on the voter’s registration record.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 8; 1990, ch. 48, § 6, effective July 13, 1990; 1994, ch. 393, § 6, effective January 1, 1995; 2020 ch. 51, § 36, effective March 27, 2020.

Legislative Research Commission Note.

(7/15/94). In Attorney General Opinion 94-42, it was concluded that 1994 Ky. Acts ch. 393, which amended this statute “will take effect on January 1, 1995, the date the National Voter Registration Act will take effect with respect to Kentucky.”

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Annexation of Area.

Where area is annexed to first-class city voters who were registered voters of the county were entitled to have their registration transferred to the city without the necessity of re-registering. Board of Registration Comm'rs v. Warren, 313 Ky. 491 , 232 S.W.2d 345, 1950 Ky. LEXIS 903 ( Ky. 1950 ) (decided under prior law).

2. Records.

Pending the period of delay necessarily incident to the transfer of registration from one precinct to another, the registration records of the voters so transferring may be kept in a suspended file. Board of Registration Comm'rs v. Campbell, 251 Ky. 597 , 65 S.W.2d 713, 1933 Ky. LEXIS 925 ( Ky. 1933 ) (decided under prior law).

Cited:

Sims v. Atwell, 556 S.W.2d 929, 1977 Ky. App. LEXIS 826 (Ky. Ct. App. 1977).

Opinions of Attorney General.

The action taken by the Legislature in amending KRS 401.010 to delete “who is not a married woman” and enacting this section clearly indicates that it intended that a married woman may use the permissive statute to change her surname from that of her husband’s to her maiden name. OAG 74-902 .

A registered voter who moves from one precinct in the county to another more than 30 days before the election but fails to notify the county clerk of his change of residence until after the registration books have closed cannot vote in his new precinct, although he may attempt to vote in his old precinct, assuming his name has not been purged and remains on the registration list when sent to the precinct. OAG 75-622 .

A married woman may use her maiden name in registering to vote without going through any legal proceedings to change her name following marriage and be entitled to vote provided it is done in good faith and without fraudulent intent. OAG 77-239 .

Research References and Practice Aids

Treatises

Petrilli, Kentucky Family Law, Records and Proof of Ceremonial Marriage, § 9.1.

116.090. Primary election officers — Appointment of. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (1550-22) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69.

116.095. Access to registration records — Redaction of Social Security numbers.

The county clerk shall permit any citizen, at all reasonable hours, to inspect or make copies of any registration record, without any fee. He or she shall, upon request, furnish to any citizen a copy of the registration records, for which he or she may charge necessary duplicating costs not to exceed fifty cents ($0.50) per page. If a registered voter’s Social Security number is included on his or her registration information, the Social Security number shall be redacted by the county clerk before it is duplicated and furnished to the citizen requesting the copy and before it is inspected or duplicated by the citizen.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 9; 1990, ch. 48, § 7, effective July 13, 1990; 2016 ch. 62, § 2, effective July 15, 2016.

Opinions of Attorney General.

The restrictions contained in subsection (3) (i) of KRS 117.025 in no way affect or restrict the provisions of this section. OAG 75-174 .

This section clearly requires the clerk to permit any citizen to inspect or make copies of individual registration records on file in the clerk’s office or be furnished copies of such records for a fee, which will, of course, include the worker’s social security number and signature contained thereon as required by KRS 116.155 . OAG 75-174 .

The County Clerk’s reliance on KRS 61.878(1)(a) as the basis for denying access to the voter assistance forms identified in the request was, with the exception of the protection it extends to social security numbers appearing on those forms, misplaced. The County Clerk should copy the voter assistance forms to which the requester requested access and permit him to inspect those copies after redacting the social security numbers appearing thereon. OAG 03-ORD-34.

116.100. Enforcement of provisions as to appointment of primary election officers. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (1550-22) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69.

116.105. County clerk’s fees. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 10; 1976, ch. 30, § 4; 1980, ch. 117, § 2, effective July 15, 1980) was repealed by Acts 1988, ch. 341, § 50, effective July 15, 1988.

116.110. Bona fide candidate defined — Bona fides questioned. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (1550-22) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69.

116.112. Voter registration purge program — Inactive voter list.

  1. The State Board of Elections shall establish a voter registration purge program using the change-of-address information supplied by the United States Postal Service through its licensees or other sources to identify voters whose addresses may have changed.
  2. If it appears from information provided by the postal service or other sources that a voter has moved to a different address in the same county in which the voter is currently registered, the State Board of Elections shall provide to the county board of elections the information necessary to change the registration records to show the new address and the State Board of Elections shall send to the new address a notice of the change by forwardable mail on a form prescribed by the State Board of Elections and a postage prepaid, pre-addressed return form by which the voter may verify or correct the address information. If the county board of elections requests authorization from the State Board of Elections to send address confirmation notices as provided in this subsection, the State Board of Elections shall grant the request.
  3. If it appears from information provided by the postal service or other sources that a voter has moved to a different address not in the same county, the State Board of Elections shall send to the address from which the voter was last registered, by forwardable mail, a notice on a form prescribed by the State Board of Elections, with a postage prepaid and pre-addressed return card on which the voter may state his current address. If a county board of elections requests authorization from the state board to send address confirmation notices as provided in this subsection, the state board shall grant the request.
  4. The state or county boards of elections shall not remove the name of a voter from the registration records on the ground that the voter has changed his residence unless the voter:
    1. Confirms in writing that the voter has changed residence to a place outside the county; or
      1. Has failed to respond to the notice described in subsection (3) of this section; and (b) 1. Has failed to respond to the notice described in subsection (3) of this section; and
      2. Has not voted or appeared to vote and, if necessary, correct the registration records of the voter’s address in an election during the period beginning on the date of the notice and ending on the day after the date of the second general election for Federal office that occurs after the date of the notice.

        If a county board of elections requests authorization from the state board to conduct purges of voters in its county in accordance with the provisions of this subsection, the state board shall grant the request.

  5. The State Board of Elections shall establish an inactive list of all voters who fail to respond to the notice described in subsection (3) of this section and do not vote or appear to vote in an election during the period beginning on the date of the notice and ending on the day after the date of the second general election for Federal office that occurs after the date of the notice. If a county board of elections requests authorization from the state board to establish an inactive list of voters for its county, the state board shall grant the request.
  6. The State Board of Elections shall complete, not later than ninety (90) days prior to the date of a primary or general election, any program the purpose of which is to systematically remove the names of ineligible voters from the registration records.
  7. Voters placed on an inactive list are to be counted only for purposes of voting and not for purposes of establishing or modifying precincts, calculating the amount of reimbursement of county clerks by the State Board of Elections for certain election-related expenses, or reporting official statistics, except as provided by the Federal Election Commission’s regulations promulgated pursuant to the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.
    1. The State Board of Elections and county boards of elections shall maintain for at least two (2) years and shall make available for public inspection and, where available, photocopying at a reasonable cost, all records concerning the implementation of programs and activities conducted for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy and currency of the registration records, except to the extent that the records relate to the declination to register to vote or the identity of a voter registration agency through which any particular voter is registered. (8) (a) The State Board of Elections and county boards of elections shall maintain for at least two (2) years and shall make available for public inspection and, where available, photocopying at a reasonable cost, all records concerning the implementation of programs and activities conducted for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy and currency of the registration records, except to the extent that the records relate to the declination to register to vote or the identity of a voter registration agency through which any particular voter is registered.
    2. The records maintained pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection shall include lists of the names and addresses of all persons to whom notices described in subsection (3) are sent, and information concerning whether each person has responded to the notice as of the date that inspection of the records is made.

History. Enact. Acts 1988, ch. 341, § 7, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 48, § 8, effective July 13, 1990; 1994, ch. 393, § 7, effective January 1, 1995; 1996, ch. 195, § 1, effective July 15, 1996; 2002, ch. 63, § 6, effective July 15, 2002.

Legislative Research Commission Note.

(7/15/94). In Attorney General Opinion 94-42, it was concluded that 1994 Ky. Acts ch. 393, which amended this statute “will take effect on January 1, 1995, the date the National Voter Registration Act will take effect with respect to Kentucky.”

Opinions of Attorney General.

Acts 1994, Ch. 393, legislation enacting the requirements of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 will take effect on January 1, 1995, the date the National Voter Registration Act will take effect with respect to Kentucky. OAG 94-42 .

116.113. Removal of voter’s name by state board upon notice of death, declaration of incompetency, or conviction of felony — Notice to county clerk.

  1. Upon receipt of notification from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services or other reliable sources of the death of a person, the State Board of Elections shall within five (5) days cause the removal of the name of that person from the voter registration records it maintains, except that no voter’s name may be removed during the period of time the registration books are closed for any primary, general, or special election.
  2. Upon receipt of notification from the circuit clerk that a person has been declared incompetent, the State Board of Elections shall within five (5) days cause the removal of the name of that person from the voter registration records it maintains, except that no voter’s name may be removed during the period of time the registration books are closed for any primary, general, or special election.
  3. Upon receipt of notification from the Administrative Office of the Courts that a person has been convicted of a felony offense, the State Board of Elections shall within five (5) days cause the removal of the name of that person from the voter registration records it maintains, except that no voter’s name may be removed during the period of time the registration books are closed for any primary, general, or special election.
  4. Following the purge of a name from the records of the State Board of Elections, the state board shall notify the clerk of the county in which the voter lived of the action; and the county clerk shall within ten (10) days update the county voter registration files to reflect the necessary change. If a protest is filed by the voter, the county board shall hear it at its next regular monthly meeting. If the county board decides in favor of the protesting voter, the voter’s registration record shall be restored, including his voting record. If the protest is filed while the registration books are closed and the county board decides in favor of the protesting voter, the county board shall issue the voter an “Authorization to Vote” for the upcoming election and the voter’s record shall be restored when the registration books open following the election.

History. Enact. Acts 1988, ch. 341, § 8, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 48, § 9, effective July 13, 1990; 1998, ch. 426, § 99, effective July 15, 1998; 2002, ch. 63, § 7, effective July 15, 2002; 2005, ch. 99, § 116, effective June 20, 2005.

116.115. Purge of voter from county roster on notice from state board — Protest hearing. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 11) was repealed by Acts 1988, ch. 341, § 50, effective July 15, 1988.

116.120. Oath to be taken by election officers. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (1596a-4) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69.

116.124. County clerk to make available to county board of elections data on deceased residents furnished by cabinet for human resources. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (Enact. Acts 1984, ch. 333, § 1, effective July 13, 1984) was repealed by Acts 1988, ch. 341, § 50, effective July 15, 1988.

116.125. Purge on county board’s own knowledge — Procedure. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 12; 1978, ch. 381, § 1, effective June 17, 1978; 1984, ch. 333, § 2, effective July 13, 1984; 1988, ch. 341, § 23, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 48, § 10, effective July 13, 1990) was repealed by Acts 1994, ch. 393, § 11, effective January 1, 1995. For present law, see KRS 116.112 .

Legislative Research Commission Note.

(7/15/94). In Attorney General Opinion 94-42, it was concluded that 1994 Ky. Acts Ch. 393, which repealed this statute “will take effect on January 1, 1995, the date the National Voter Registration Act will take effect with respect to Kentucky.”

116.127. Purge in counties containing a city of the first class biennially — Procedure. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (Enact. Acts 1978, ch. 202, § 1, effective June 17, 1978; 1982, ch. 402, § 2, effective January 1, 1984) was repealed by Acts 1984, ch. 185, § 34, effective July 13, 1984.

116.130. Absence of election officer — Selection of substitute. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (1596a-4) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69. For present law, see KRS 117.045 .

116.135. Appeal from decision of county board.

Appeals from the decision of the county board of elections may be taken to the Circuit Court within ten (10) days following the final decision of the board.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 13.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Protest of Purge.

No person may appeal other than the challenged voter or the person who made the challenge. No notice of appeal need be given to party committees unless the party committee is the challenger. Notice to the board or officer appealed from is the only notice required. Board of Registration Comm'rs v. Campbell, 251 Ky. 597 , 65 S.W.2d 713, 1933 Ky. LEXIS 925 ( Ky. 1933 ) (decided under prior law).

The voter’s protest against cancellation of his registration must be in writing, and the board may require that it be sworn to. Board of Registration Comm'rs v. Campbell, 251 Ky. 597 , 65 S.W.2d 713, 1933 Ky. LEXIS 925 ( Ky. 1933 ) (decided under prior law).

If it does not appear from the investigation and report that the challenged voter was properly registered, and the voter does not appear at the hearing, the board must cancel the registration. Board of Registration Comm'rs v. Campbell, 251 Ky. 597 , 65 S.W.2d 713, 1933 Ky. LEXIS 925 ( Ky. 1933 ) (decided under prior law).

116.140. Pay of election officers. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (Enact. Acts 1950, ch. 123, § 21; 1956, ch. 100; 1968, ch. 19) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69.

116.145. Fee for registration.

The fee for registration of all voters shall be paid to the county clerk by the state in the amount of twenty-five cents ($0.25) for each person registered.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 14; 1976, ch. 247, § 11; 1978, ch. 202, § 2, effective June 17, 1978; 1984, ch. 185, § 5, effective July 13, 1984.

Research References and Practice Aids

2018-2020 Budget Reference.

See State/Executive Branch Budget, 2018 Ky. Acts ch. 169, Pt. I, A, 16, (1a) at 1295.

116.150. Pay claim of election officer good for taxes. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (1541-1) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69.

116.155. Forms for registration — Information required.

All forms pertaining to registration shall be prescribed and furnished by the State Board of Elections. The registration form shall include the voter’s name; date of birth; membership in a political party, political organization, or political group as defined in KRS 118.015 , or independent status; Social Security number, if any; mailing and residence addresses, if different; and such other information as the State Board of Elections may deem necessary. No person shall be denied the right to register because of the failure to include his Social Security number. All forms which require a voter’s signature shall provide for verification by the signer thereof.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 15; 1986, ch. 470, § 5, effective July 15, 1986; 1990, ch. 48, § 11, effective July 13, 1990; 1994, ch. 393, § 8, effective January 1, 1995; 2002, ch. 63, § 8, effective July 15, 2002.

Legislative Research Commission Note.

(7/15/94). In Attorney General Opinion 94-42, it was concluded that 1994 Ky. Acts ch. 393, which amended this statute “will take effect on January 1, 1995, the date the National Voter Registration Act will take effect with respect to Kentucky.”

NOTES TO DECISIONS

Cited:

Board of Elections v. Board of Education, 635 S.W.2d 324, 1982 Ky. App. LEXIS 221 (Ky. Ct. App. 1982).

Opinions of Attorney General.

KRS 116.095 clearly requires the clerk to permit any citizen to inspect or make copies of individual registration records on file in the clerk’s office or be furnished copies of such records for a fee, which will, of course, include the worker’s social security number and signature contained thereon as required by this section. OAG 75-174 .

A political party, in conducting a voter registration campaign, may not lawfully predesignate the prospective voter’s party affiliation by pre-stamping or otherwise completing the “party affiliation” block with the name of the political party conducting the registration effort, since the registration form required to be prepared by the State Board of Elections pursuant to this section and which contains among other things a place for party designation is to be filled in and signed by the person seeking to register for the purpose of voting. OAG 85-131 .

Even though a voter’s registration form may be illegally filled in, insofar as party preference is concerned, when it is submitted to the clerk with the required information contained therein, the clerk would be required to accept it as a valid registration and the voter in question would be considered legally registered and entitled to vote. OAG 85-131 .

A person whose party affiliation was designated on the registration card without his knowledge or consent could only vote and seek office in the succeeding party primary as a member of that party and would be disqualified as to the other party primary. OAG 85-131 .

116.160. Who to act when county sheriff is candidate or office is vacant. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (1451) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69.

116.165. Falsification of signature or verification.

Any person who falsely signs and verifies any form requiring verification shall be guilty of perjury and subject to the penalties therefor.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 16.

116.170. Duties and powers of persons acting in place of county sheriff. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (1438) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69.

116.180. Election precincts — Number of voters in — Procedure to require county judge to perform duties. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (1443, 1596c-4: amend. Acts 1948, ch. 141, § 1; 1952, ch. 135; 1964, ch. 46, § 2) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69.

116.190. Alteration or division of precincts. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (1444: amend. Acts 1948, ch. 141, § 2; 1966, ch. 239, § 124) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69. For present law, see KRS 117.055 .

116.192. Precinct changes following redistricting of 1972. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (Enact. Acts 1971 (Ex. Sess.), ch. 2, § 7; 1972, ch. 227, § 4; 1972 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 6, § 4) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69, effective December 1, 1972.

116.200. Roster of voters eligible to vote in city and school board elections — Information to be provided to county clerk.

    1. On or before January 1, 2011, each city clerk, except in consolidated local governments and urban-county governments, shall provide the clerk of the county or counties in which the city is located with a list of all properties within the city and a map of the city boundaries for the county clerk to maintain a roster of voters who are eligible to vote in city elections. A county clerk may accept the list of city properties in an electronic format and the city clerk may provide a copy of the city’s boundary map maintained by the Kentucky Commonwealth Office of Technology, Division of Enterprise Portfolios; and (1) (a) On or before January 1, 2011, each city clerk, except in consolidated local governments and urban-county governments, shall provide the clerk of the county or counties in which the city is located with a list of all properties within the city and a map of the city boundaries for the county clerk to maintain a roster of voters who are eligible to vote in city elections. A county clerk may accept the list of city properties in an electronic format and the city clerk may provide a copy of the city’s boundary map maintained by the Kentucky Commonwealth Office of Technology, Division of Enterprise Portfolios; and
    2. Documentation of any change to the boundaries of a city shall be reported to the county clerk in accordance with KRS 81A.470 and 81A.475 .
    1. On or before January 1, 2011, each school district board shall provide the clerk of the county in which the school district is located with maps and written descriptions of the boundaries of each school board district located in the county for the county clerk to maintain a roster of voters who are eligible to vote in school board elections. (2) (a) On or before January 1, 2011, each school district board shall provide the clerk of the county in which the school district is located with maps and written descriptions of the boundaries of each school board district located in the county for the county clerk to maintain a roster of voters who are eligible to vote in school board elections.
    2. Documentation of any change to a school district’s boundaries shall be reported to the county clerk within sixty (60) days of the change, or immediately if the change is within sixty (60) days of the August 1 deadline established in KRS 160.210(4)(d).
  1. Each county clerk shall code all registered voters in that county in such a manner that precinct election officers may determine the voter’s eligibility to vote in city and school board elections prior to each primary and regular election for city officers in that county, each regular election for school board members in that county, and each special election in which a ballot question is presented to the residents of a city or a school board district.
  2. Notwithstanding KRS 64.012 , the county clerk shall not charge a fee to a city or school district providing any information required by subsections (1)(a) and (2)(a) of this section.
  3. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a county clerk from requesting additional information from the city, school district board, or any other reliable source to ascertain whether a registered voter resides within a city or a school district boundary.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1994, ch. 394, § 1, effective July 15, 1994; 2010, ch. 10, § 1, effective July 15, 2010; 2012, ch. 69, § 13, effective July 12, 2012; 2018 ch. 78, § 8, effective July 14, 2018.

Penalties

116.990. Penalties. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (1550-22) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69.

116.995. Penalties.

Any person who willfully fails to perform any of his duties as set forth in this chapter shall be fined not less than fifty dollars ($50) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100) for each offense. Each day of refusal to serve and carry out the duties as prescribed by law shall constitute a separate offense.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 17.

Opinions of Attorney General.

The penalty provision, this section, would be applicable to those members of the board of elections who willfully failed to comply with the requirements of KRS 116.125 concerning notification of purged voters. OAG 80-80 .

CHAPTER 117 Regulation of Elections

117.005. Preservation by county clerk of certain voting records. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (Enact. Acts 1986, ch. 470, § 3, effective July 15, 1986) was repealed by Acts 1988, ch. 341, § 50, effective July 15, 1988.

117.010 to 117.590. Qualification, registration and purgation of voters. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

The following sections were repealed by Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 63, effective June 19, 1952:

117.010 Qualification of voters in regular and special elections; registration required. (1439, 1486b-29, 1486bb-2).

117.030 Poll tax; when payment condition precedent to voting in city election. (1441.)

117.040 Persons permitted to register. (1486b-29, 1486bb-2.)

117.050 Time and place of registration; when books to be closed; special provision for registration in city of third class not the county seat; change of party. (1486b-33, 1496-14: amend. Acts 1942, ch. 59, §§ 2, 3.)

117.060 Registrant to appear in person; challenge. (1486bb-5.)

117.070 Forms for registration. (1486bb-6.)

117.080 Forms to be made out and signed; preservation; lists of voters. (1486bb-6, 1496-13.)

117.090 Replacement of lost or destroyed forms; re-registration. (1486bb-11.)

117.100 Transferring registration. (1486bb-10: amend. Acts 1942, ch. 59, §§ 1, 3.)

117.110 Register and list of voters to be delivered to election clerk. (1486bb-7.)

117.120 Challenging voter regarding registration; voting record; registration only prima facie evidence of right to vote. (1486bb-8.)

117.130 Right to inspect and obtain copies of registration books. (1486bb-21.)

117.140 Fees allowed county clerk. (1486bb-22: amend. Acts 1946, ch. 44.)

117.150 Powers and liabilities of deputy county clerk. (1486bb-23.)

117.155 Registration in precinct, at primary election. (Enact. Acts 1946, ch. 147, § 2; Acts 1948, ch. 1.)

117.160 Definition of “city executive committee.” (1486b-28.)

117.170 Board of registration commissioners; powers; qualifications; compensation. (1486b-30, 1486b-31.)

117.180 Appointment of board members; term. (1486b-31.)

117.190 Removals; vacancies; incompatible offices. (1486b-31.)

117.200 Bond of board members. (1486b-32.)

117.210 Employes of board. (1486b-34: amend. Acts 1948, ch. 177, § 1.)

117.220 Oath may be administered by board and employes. (1486b-35.)

117.230 Tax for support of board; business records; fiscal year. (1486b-36, 1486b-52.)

117.240 Supplies; purchase of; officers not to be interested in contracts; no future charge to be created. (1486b-37, 1486b-38.)

117.250 Offices of board; office hours; registration supplies. (1486b-33.)

117.260 Method of registration. (1486b-41, 1486b-43.)

117.270 Copies of registration records; preservation and disposition; loss or destruction. (1486b-44, 1486b-47, 1486b-50, 1486b-52, 1496-13.)

117.280 Transfer of registration on change of precinct boundaries. (1486b-46.)

117.290 New registration required when name changed; transfer of registration on change of residence; utility companies to report changes of address of customers. (1486b-48, 1486b-50.)

117.300 Precinct registers to be delivered to election clerks. (1486b-45.)

117.310 Comparative signature books; comparison of voter’s signature with registration record; voting record. (1486b-45: amend. Acts 1944, ch. 88.)

117.320 Right to inspect and obtain copies of registration records. (1486b-52.)

117.330 Definition of “voter.” (1496-1.)

117.340 State Board of Registration and Purgation; membership; oath; bond. (1496-2: amend. Acts 1946, ch. 27, § 36.)

117.350 General duties of state board. (1496-3.)

117.360 Compensation of members of state board; supplies. (1496-4, 1496-6.)

117.370 Clerk of state board; filing and disposing of complaints. (1496-4.)

117.380 Suits against state board; appeals from its decisions. (1496-5.)

117.390 County boards of registration and purgation; appointment; qualifications; removal. (1496-9.)

117.400 Certificate of appointment and bond of county board members; officers. (1496-10.)

117.410 General duties of county boards. (1496-10.)

117.420 Compensation of county boards; time and place of meetings. (1496-10, 1496-11: amend. Acts 1946, ch. 91, § 1.)

117.425 Sessions of county board. (Enact. Acts 1946, ch. 91, § 3.)

117.430 Employes, supplies, purgation and process officers; payment. (1496-11.)

117.440 Direct purgation by county boards, in counties and in cities of first class. (1496-10, 1496-13.)

117.450 Purgation by county clerk outside cities of first class, on grounds of death, disqualification or failure to vote. (1486bb-12, subsec. (2) of 117.450 repealed by Acts 1946, ch. 54, § 1.)

117.460 Appointment of purgation officers for primary election outside cities of first class. (1486bb-13.)

117.470 Appointment of purgation officers for regular election outside cities of first class. (1486bb-13.)

117.480 Procedure for purgation by purgation officers; notice and hearing. (1486bb-13.)

117.490 Decision of purgation officers; board to act in case of disagreement. (1486bb-13.)

117.500 Purgation outside cities of first class by application to county court. (1486bb-15.)

117.510 Purgation by board of registration commissioners in cities of first class on grounds of death, disqualification, marriage or failure to vote. (1486-50.)

117.520 Purgation for primary election in cities of first class by house to house canvass. (1496-12.)

117.530 Purgation for regular election in cities of first class by house to house canvass. (1486b-50: amend. Acts 1948, ch. 153.)

117.540 Purgation for primary or regular election in cities of first class on application of citizen or party committee. (1486b-50, 1496-12.)

117.541 Precinct purgation and registration supplies, outside cities of first class. (Enact. Acts 1946, ch. 147, § 1.)

117.543 Purgation recommendation by precinct judges at primary election, outside cities of first class. (Enact. Acts 1946, ch. 147, § 3.)

117.543 Assistants to precinct judges, in purgation and registration.(Enact. Acts 1946, ch. 147, § 4.)

117.544 Purgation by county board, outside cities of first class; notice and hearing. (Enact. Acts 1946, ch. 147, § 5.)

117.545 Appeal from purgation under KRS 117.544. (Enact. Acts 1946, ch. 147, § 6.)

117.550 No purging to be done later than eight days before election. (1496-15.)

117.560 Appeals from decisions of purgation officers or boards. (1486b-51, 1486bb-13, 1486bb-14, 1486bb-15.)

117.570 Suspended lists. (1496-16.)

117.580 Record of canceled registrations. (1486b-49, 1486bb-16.)

117.590 Fees of county clerk in connection with purgation. (1486bb-22.)

Boards of Elections

117.015. State Board of Elections — Powers, duties, membership. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

  1. There shall be a State Board of Elections that is an independent agency of state government, which shall administer the election laws of the state and supervise registration and purgation of voters within the state. The board:
    1. May promulgate administrative regulations necessary to properly carry out its duties; and
    2. Shall promulgate administrative regulations establishing a procedure for elections officials to follow when an election has been suspended or delayed as described in KRS 39A.100 .
  2. The board shall consist of the following:
    1. The Secretary of State, who shall be an ex officio, nonvoting member, and who shall also serve as the chief election official for the Commonwealth;
    2. Two (2) members appointed by the Governor as provided in subsection (6) of this section;
    3. Six (6) voting members appointed by the Governor as provided in subsection (5) of this section; and
    4. An executive director appointed in accordance with KRS 117.025 , who may vote only to break a tie regarding selection of the chair of the board.
  3. A chair of the board, who is a then-current voting member of the board, shall be elected as chair of the board by a majority of the voting members who serve on the board. The chair shall preside at the meetings of the board and vote on matters before the board.
  4. The members shall serve for a term of four (4) years or until their successors are appointed. Members shall be at least twenty-five (25) years of age and qualified voters of this state. No appointed member shall be a candidate for public office or have been a candidate for public office for two (2) years prior to his or her appointment, except as provided in subsection (2)(b) of this section. No member of the board shall have been convicted of any election law offense.
  5. Two (2) members shall be appointed by the Governor from a separate list of at least five (5) names submitted by the state central executive committee of each of the two (2) political parties that polled the largest vote in the last preceding election for state officials. The list shall be submitted to the Governor by February 15 of 1992, and the appointments of the Governor shall be made by April 1 of the same year. Two (2) separate lists shall be submitted to the Governor by August 15 of 1990 and every four (4) years thereafter, and two (2) appointments shall be made from these lists by September 15 of each year in which the lists are received.
  6. Two (2) members shall be appointed by the Governor from a separate list of at least four (4) names submitted by the Kentucky County Clerk’s Association of each of the two (2) political parties that polled the largest vote in the last preceding regular election for state officials. Each of the two (2) members appointed under this subsection shall be former county clerks. The lists required under this subsection shall be submitted to the Governor by July 15, 2019, and every four (4) years thereafter. The appointments made by the Governor under this subsection shall be made by August 15, 2019, and every four (4) years thereafter.
  7. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as provided for original appointments, and the person appointed to fill the vacancy shall be of the same political party as his or her predecessor.
  8. The board shall meet as often as necessary to carry out its duties and shall keep a record of its acts, orders, findings, and proceedings. A majority of the board shall constitute a quorum.
  9. The members of the board shall be paid a reasonable sum to be fixed by the secretary of the Personnel Cabinet, with the approval of the secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet, and in addition, their expenses in attending board meetings. The compensation shall be paid out of the State Treasury upon requisition signed by the chair of the board and approved by the secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 18; 1982, ch. 457, § 1, effective July 15, 1982; 1988, ch. 341, § 24, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 293, § 1, effective July 13, 1990; 1998, ch. 154, § 74, effective July 15, 1998; 2005, ch. 91, § 2, effective June 20, 2005; 2019 ch. 23, § 2, effective March 19, 2019.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Constitutionality.

The power to appoint members of boards and agencies within the executive department of government is an essentially executive power which cannot be exercised by any member of the legislative department; accordingly, the provisions in this section by which the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tem of the Senate are authorized to make appointments to the State Board of Elections are an invalid unconstitutional incursion by the General Assembly, or in this case, its designees, into the separation of powers doctrine. Legislative Research Com. by Prather v. Brown, 664 S.W.2d 907, 1984 Ky. LEXIS 300 ( Ky. 1984 ) (decision prior to 1988 amendment).

2. Action Against Board.

An action by an announced candidate for the democratic party nomination as president against members of the State Board of Elections to have his name placed on the ballot in the Kentucky presidential primary was not barred by the Eleventh Amendment, inasmuch as the action was brought against individual defendants rather than the state and was prospective in the relief it sought. Kay v. Mills, 490 F. Supp. 844, 1980 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12818 (E.D. Ky. 1980 ).

3. Acts of De Facto Officers.

Acts done by board composed of members appointed by General Assembly, during period such members were recognized as officers by the public, were valid, such members being de facto officers. Pratt v. Breckinridge, 112 Ky. 1 , 65 S.W. 136, 23 Ky. L. Rptr. 1356 , 1901 Ky. LEXIS 286 ( Ky. 1 901); Pratt v. Breckinridge, 66 S.W. 405, 23 Ky. L. Rptr. 1858 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 463 ( Ky. 1902 ) (decided under prior law).

Opinions of Attorney General.

The use of a computer to perform the normal function of the county board with respect to the tabulation of votes by hand should be authorized by the State Board of Elections, since said board has the over-all supervision and administration of the election laws of the state; but if the plan was to have the county board tabulate the votes in the normal manner and, at the same time, supervise the feeding of the vote tally into the computer to determine, in effect, which method proves to be the quickest and most accurate, there should be no legal objection. OAG 75-229 .

In the absence of any specific statute concerning the length of time old registration records are to be retained by a local board, the state board of elections would be authorized to adopt a regulation fixing a time after which such records may be destroyed. OAG 76-64 .

Those members of the State Board of Elections who were appointed by members of the General Assembly, whose appointments the Supreme Court held to be invalid, continue to serve as de facto officers until they either resign or are removed individually or collectively; however, they are not entitled to receive any compensation for duties imposed upon and performed by them by virtue of the office, nor can they forcibly require the payment of such compensation. OAG 84-212 .

Upon review of this section and KRS 12.020 I 3. (b), as well as of KRS 18A.350 , 18A.355 , and 18A.360 (repealed), the incumbents of the Board of Elections are included under the language of KRS 18A.350 which defines employee as any officer or employee of the executive branch of government; therefore, it would appear that the members of the board of elections are eligible for annual increments, although it is entirely possible that this was not the intent of the legislature. OAG 90-25 .

Research References and Practice Aids

Kentucky Law Journal.

Snyder and Irland, The Separation of Governmental Powers Under the Constitution of Kentucky: A Legal and Historical Analysis of L.R.C. v. Brown, 73 Ky. L.J. 165 (1984-85).

117.015. State Board of Elections — Powers, duties, membership. [Effective July 15, 2020]

  1. There shall be a State Board of Elections that is an independent agency of state government, which shall administer the election laws of the state and supervise registration and purgation of voters within the state. The board:
    1. May promulgate administrative regulations necessary to properly carry out its duties; and
    2. Shall promulgate administrative regulations establishing a procedure for elections officials to follow when an election has been suspended or delayed as described in KRS 39A.100 .
  2. The board shall consist of the following:
    1. The Secretary of State, who shall be an ex officio, nonvoting member, and who shall also serve as the chief election official for the Commonwealth;
    2. Two (2) members appointed by the Governor as provided in subsection (6) of this section;
    3. Six (6) voting members appointed by the Governor as provided in subsection (5) of this section; and
    4. An executive director appointed in accordance with KRS 117.025 , who may vote only to break a tie regarding selection of the chair of the board.
  3. A chair of the board, who is a then-current voting member of the board, shall be elected as chair of the board by a majority of the voting members who serve on the board. The chair shall preside at the meetings of the board and vote on matters before the board.
  4. The members shall serve for a term of four (4) years or until their successors are appointed. Members shall be at least twenty-five (25) years of age and qualified voters of this state. No appointed member shall be a candidate for public office or have been a candidate for public office for two (2) years prior to his or her appointment, except as provided in subsection (2)(b) of this section. No member of the board shall have been convicted of any election law offense.
  5. Two (2) members shall be appointed by the Governor from a separate list of at least five (5) names submitted by the state central executive committee of each of the two (2) political parties that polled the largest vote in the last preceding election for state officials. The list shall be submitted to the Governor by February 15 of 1992, and the appointments of the Governor shall be made by April 1 of the same year. Two (2) separate lists shall be submitted to the Governor by August 15 of 1990 and every four (4) years thereafter, and two (2) appointments shall be made from these lists by September 15 of each year in which the lists are received.
  6. Two (2) members shall be appointed by the Governor from a separate list of at least four (4) names submitted by the Kentucky County Clerk’s Association of each of the two (2) political parties that polled the largest vote in the last preceding regular election for state officials. Each of the two (2) members appointed under this subsection shall be former county clerks and shall be voting members. The lists required under this subsection shall be submitted to the Governor by July 15, 2019, and every four (4) years thereafter. The appointments made by the Governor under this subsection shall be made by August 15, 2019, and every four (4) years thereafter.
  7. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as provided for original appointments, and the person appointed to fill the vacancy shall be of the same political party as his or her predecessor.
  8. The board shall meet as often as necessary to carry out its duties and shall keep a record of its acts, orders, findings, and proceedings. A majority of the board shall constitute a quorum.
  9. The members of the board shall be paid a reasonable sum to be fixed by the secretary of the Personnel Cabinet, with the approval of the secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet, and in addition, their expenses in attending board meetings. The compensation shall be paid out of the State Treasury upon requisition signed by the chair of the board and approved by the secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 18; 1982, ch. 457, § 1, effective July 15, 1982; 1988, ch. 341, § 24, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 293, § 1, effective July 13, 1990; 1998, ch. 154, § 74, effective July 15, 1998; 2005, ch. 91, § 2, effective June 20, 2005; 2019 ch. 23, § 2, effective March 19, 2019; 2020 ch. 88, § 3, effective July 15, 2020.

117.020. Declaration by state board of county’s status as a preclearance county.

The State Board of Elections may declare a county to be a preclearance county for election purposes when that county has a history of voter fraud, noncompliance with election laws, or voter complaints about the integrity of a particular election. In a county designated as a preclearance county, all decisions of the county board of elections shall be reported to the State Board of Elections for its review. The failure of a county board of elections of a preclearance county to submit its decisions to the State Board of Elections for its review shall constitute a prima facie case for appointment of an election manager under KRS 117.022 . The State Board of Elections may require a preclearance county to submit evidence or justification as required by the state board which is necessary to evaluate the county board’s decisions. A county designated as a preclearance county shall retain that designation until it is removed by the State Board of Elections.

History. Enact. Acts 1994, ch. 394, § 3, effective July 15, 1994.

117.022. Judicial declaration of existence of election crisis — Effect.

The Attorney General, the Secretary of State, and the State Board of Elections, by mutual agreement, may petition Franklin Circuit Court to declare that an election crisis exists in a county where there is evidence of sufficient malfeasance, nonfeasance, or criminal activity to jeopardize a free and equal election in that county and to authorize the State Board of Elections to assume responsibility for the management of the election in that county. If Franklin Circuit Court makes that declaration and grant of authority, the State Board of Elections shall appoint an election manager for that county to serve for the duration of the election cycle and the county clerk, county board of elections, precinct election officers, and any other person participating in the election process in that county shall be subject to the direction of the election manager.

History. Enact. Acts 1994, ch. 394, § 2, effective July 15, 1994.

117.025. Executive director and assistant director — Staff — Powers and duties.

  1. The State Board of Elections shall appoint an executive director, who shall be the chief administrative officer for the board. The board shall also appoint an assistant director, who shall be of a different political party than the director. The salaries of the director and the assistant director shall be set by the board.
  2. The State Board of Elections shall employ, on a bipartisan basis, a staff sufficient to carry out the duties assigned to the board, including legal counsel and a training officer to provide assistance to the county clerks and the county boards of elections in their training of precinct election officers.
  3. The board shall:
    1. Maintain a complete roster of all qualified registered voters within the state by county and precinct, and institute appropriate safeguards to ensure that there is no inappropriate use of the voter registration roster. State and local election officials, including the Secretary of State, employees of the Secretary, and members of the State Board of Elections and their staff, shall only use the voter registration roster for purposes relevant to their prescribed duties of election administration. The Secretary of State, and two (2) employees of the Secretary, who may be designated by the Secretary with explicit written authority and notification to the board, shall have electronic access to the information contained within the voter registration roster, but shall not correct, alter, or delete information from the voter registration roster, unless having obtained prior approval by a majority of the voting members of the board;
    2. For each primary, furnish each county clerk with a master list of all registered voters in the county, together with three (3) signature rosters of all registered voters in each precinct of the county according to party affiliation, and two (2) lists of all registered voters in each precinct of the county at least five (5) days prior to each primary;
    3. For each regular election, furnish each county clerk with a master list of all registered voters in the county, together with one (1) signature roster of all registered voters in each precinct of the county on which each voter’s party affiliation is identified, and two (2) lists of all registered voters in each precinct of the county at least five (5) days prior to each regular election;
    4. Maintain all information furnished to the board relating to the inclusion or deletion of names from the rosters for four (4) years;
    5. Furnish, at a reasonable price, the state central executive committee of each political party qualifying under KRS 118.015 monthly data of all additions, deletions and changes of registration in each precinct of each county and the state central executive committee shall furnish a county listing to each of the county executive committees of each political party;
    6. Purchase, lease or contract for the use of equipment necessary to properly carry out its duties under the provisions of this chapter and KRS Chapters 116 and 118;
    7. Secure information from any source which may assist the board in carrying out the purposes of this section;
    8. Furnish at a reasonable price any and all precinct lists to duly qualified candidates, political party committees or officials thereof, or any committee that advocates or opposes an amendment or public question. The State Board of Elections may also furnish the precinct lists to other persons at the board’s discretion, at a reasonable price to be determined by the board. The board shall not furnish precinct lists to persons who intend to use the lists for commercial use; and
    9. Be responsible for oversight of board personnel, including hiring, investigations, disciplinary actions, promotions, and other like actions subject to KRS Chapter 18A.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 19; 1982, ch. 457, § 2, effective July 15, 1982; 1984, ch. 185, § 6, effective July 13, 1984; 1984, ch. 333, § 3, effective July 13, 1984; 1990, ch. 48, § 13, effective July 13, 1990; 1994, ch. 394, § 5, effective July 15, 1994; 2019 ch. 23, § 3, effective March 19, 2019.

Notes to Unpublished Decisions

1. Furnishing of Lists of Voters

Unpublished decision: Where a publisher did not show that it would have suffered harm other than financial harm, and did not show a likelihood of success on the merits of its suit to obtain rosters of registered voters, the district court properly denied its motion for a preliminary injunction. Aristotle Publ'g v. Brown, 61 Fed. Appx. 186, 2003 U.S. App. LEXIS 5748 (6th Cir. Ky. 2003 ).

Opinions of Attorney General.

The restrictions contained in subsection (3)(h) of this section in no way affect or restrict the provisions of KRS 116.095 . OAG 75-174.

In the absence of any specific statute concerning the length of time old registration records are to be retained by a local board, the State Board of Elections would be authorized to adopt a regulation fixing a time after which such records may be destroyed. OAG 76-64 .

This section merely mandates that the State Board of Elections shall put into precinct list form all of the registered voters of the state and make those lists available to candidates and other persons; there are no restrictive words except to the effect that the precinct list shall not be used for commercial purposes. OAG 79-77 .

The phrase “ . . . . . employ, on a bipartisan basis . . . . . ” as used in subsection (2) of this section simply means that the board should employ its personnel on the basis of their qualifications, experience, etc., irrespective of the individual’s party affiliation, so long as both major parties are represented on the board’s staff, as is the case with the board itself. OAG 80-656 .

For a member of the State Board of Elections to either participate in the discussion of the applicants for the position of executive director or to cast a vote in filling the position, for which said member is a candidate, would create a common-law conflict of interest as being against public policy and self-serving. OAG 84-16 .

The decision of the Commonwealth Board of Elections to deny the request for copies of precinct lists and mailing labels in connection with mailing the letter in question was supported by the provisions of subdivision (1)(j) of KRS 61.878 and subdivision (3)(h) of this section. OAG 88-16 .

The County Clerk’s reliance on KRS 61.878(1)(a) as the basis for denying access to the voter assistance forms identified in the request was, with the exception of the protection it extends to social security numbers appearing on those forms, misplaced. The County Clerk should copy the voter assistance forms to which the requester requested access and permit him to inspect those copies after redacting the social security numbers appearing thereon. OAG 03-ORD-34.

117.027. State board to promulgate record-keeping requirements.

The State Board of Elections shall promulgate administrative regulations and procedures necessary to:

  1. Designate  which election records and materials shall be retained;
  2. Establish  the manner in which the records and materials shall be maintained;
  3. Establish  by whom the records shall be maintained; and
  4. Establish  the period of time the records shall be retained, but such records shall be  retained for not less than twenty-two (22) months.

History. Enact. Acts 1988, ch. 341, § 16, effective July 15, 1988.

117.030. Announcements and signs regarding importance of voting — Notice of illegal acts, penalties, and right to report administrative errors at polling places.

  1. The  State Board of Elections shall publish and broadcast announcements throughout  the state regarding the importance of voting in a free and conscientious manner,  procedures for registering to vote and voting, general election laws, and  penalties for vote buying and selling.
  2. The  State Board of Elections shall provide for the conspicuous placement of signs  at all precinct polling places, which shall state that vote buying and selling  are illegal and shall state the penalties for such acts.
  3. The  State Board of Elections shall provide for the conspicuous placement of signs  at all precinct polling places, which display the telephone number and mailing  address of the county board of elections, and which inform the voters of their  right to report any administrative or clerical errors they witness to the  county board of elections, either by phone or in writing within ten (10) days  after the election.

History. Enact. Acts 1988, ch. 341, § 5, effective July 15, 1988; 2001, ch. 132, § 1, effective June 21, 2001.

117.035. County board of elections — Membership — Appointed members — Meetings — Staff. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

  1. There shall be a county board of elections, which shall, at the direction and under the supervision of the State Board of Elections, administer the election laws and the registration and purgation of voters within the county.
    1. The board shall consist of the county clerk, the sheriff, and two (2) members appointed by the State Board of Elections not later than July 1 following the election of persons to statewide office, for a term of four (4) years and until their successors are appointed. (2) (a) The board shall consist of the county clerk, the sheriff, and two (2) members appointed by the State Board of Elections not later than July 1 following the election of persons to statewide office, for a term of four (4) years and until their successors are appointed.
    2. The sheriff shall not serve on the board during any year in which he or she is a candidate, but shall recommend to the board a temporary replacement to serve in his or her place. If the sheriff cannot serve because he or she is sick, injured, or otherwise incapacitated, he or she may recommend a temporary replacement to serve in his or her place until the sheriff may resume his or her duties or a vacancy in office is declared.
    3. The county clerk may, at his or her option, continue to serve on the board during a year in which he or she is a candidate. If the clerk elects not to serve, he or she shall recommend a temporary replacement to serve in his or her place. If the county clerk cannot serve because he or she is sick, injured, or otherwise incapacitated, he or she may recommend a temporary replacement to serve in his or her place until the county clerk may resume his or her duties or a vacancy in office is declared.
      1. Notwithstanding the provisions of KRS 61.080 , service on the board of elections shall be compatible with the holding of any other county or city office. (d) 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of KRS 61.080 , service on the board of elections shall be compatible with the holding of any other county or city office.
      2. The members shall be at least twenty-one (21) years of age, qualified voters in the county from which they are appointed, and shall not have been convicted of any election law offense.
      3. One (1) member shall be appointed from a list of five (5) names submitted by the county executive committee of each political party as defined in KRS 118.015 . If there are two (2) or more contending executive committees of the same political party in any county, the one recognized by the written certificate of the chair of the state central committee of the political party shall be the one authorized to submit the lists.
      4. If the State Board of Elections does not receive the list as required by subparagraph 3. of this paragraph for each political party for each county by the deadline established in paragraph (a) of this subsection or within one (1) month of a vacancy, then the chair of the state central committees for the political parties may submit lists of five (5) names of qualified residents from the remaining counties by August 1 following the election of persons to statewide office or within two (2) months of a vacancy.
      5. If the State Board of Elections does not receive a list from either the county executive committee under subparagraph 3. of this paragraph or the chair of the state executive committee under subparagraph 4. of this paragraph, then the State Board of Elections shall appoint a qualified resident from the county at its next regularly scheduled meeting in September following the election of persons to statewide office or within three (3) months of a vacancy.
      6. A member appointed by the State Board of Elections may be removed by the State Board of Elections for cause.
      7. A member appointed by the State Board of Elections may be removed by the State Board of Elections upon a request approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the full membership of the county executive committee that submitted the member’s name. The county executive shall provide conclusive evidence of the committee’s membership and evidence of the committee’s two-thirds (2/3) vote before the State Board of Elections removes any member appointed by the State Board of Elections.
      8. If an appointee is temporarily unable to act, a temporary appointee shall be named by the State Board of Elections. A temporary appointee shall serve until the original appointee notifies the State Board of Elections that he or she is able to resume his or her term.
      9. A member appointed by the State Board of Elections shall not serve on the board if he or she is a candidate for public office, and the member shall resign upon filing papers to become a candidate for public office or shall be removed from office by the State Board of Elections. A member who resigns or is removed because of his or her candidacy shall not resume his or her term following the completion of the candidacy.
      10. Vacancies and temporary vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as provided for original appointments, and the person appointed to fill the vacancy or temporary vacancy shall be of the same political party as his or her predecessor.
    4. Compensation and payment of actual expenses of members shall be set by the fiscal court either as an amount payable on an annual basis, or as an amount payable on a per diem basis of not less than fifteen dollars ($15) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100) for each day the board meets.
  2. A majority of the board shall constitute a quorum.   The county clerk shall serve as chair of the meetings and may vote. In case of a tie, the chair may cast an additional vote. Records shall be kept of all proceedings, and the records shall be public and kept at the office of the county clerk.
  3. The board shall meet as follows:
    1. During years in which a primary or regular election is scheduled, the board shall meet at least once every other month and may meet more frequently if necessary upon the call of the chair or upon written agreement of two (2) or more members of the board. The call shall provide notice as prescribed by KRS 61.823 .
    2. During years in which no primary or regular election is scheduled, the board shall meet at the call of the chair or upon written agreement of two (2) or more members of the board. The call shall provide notice as prescribed by KRS 61.823 .
    3. The board shall meet and stay in session on primary, regular election, and special election days to correct clerical errors and rule on questions regarding voter registration and may make to the election officers such certifications as may be necessary. On primary, regular election, and special election days, appeals may be made to a Circuit Judge, but a ruling of the board shall be reversed only upon a finding that it was arbitrary and capricious.
  4. The board may employ, on a bipartisan basis, a staff sufficient to carry out the duties assigned to the board.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 20; 1976 (Ex. Sess.), ch. 14, § 129, effective January 2, 1978; 1978, ch. 318, § 1, effective June 17, 1978; 1982, ch. 394, § 6, effective July 15, 1982; 1988, ch. 341, § 25, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 48, § 14, effective July 13, 1990; 1992, ch. 256, § 1, effective July 14, 1992; 1996, ch. 195, § 4, effective July 15, 1996; 2005, ch. 71, § 2, effective June 20, 2005; 2010, ch. 176, § 2, effective July 15, 2010; 2014, ch. 92, § 211, effective January 1, 2015; 2018 ch. 160, § 1, effective July 14, 2018.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Constitutionality.

Former law which provided that in counties containing a city of the second class the circuit clerk rather than the sheriff should be a member of the board of election commissioners, was unconstitutional as prohibited class legislation. Droege v. McInerney, 120 Ky. 796 , 87 S.W. 1085, 27 Ky. L. Rptr. 1137 , 1905 Ky. LEXIS 153 ( Ky. 1905 ) (decided under prior law).

2. List of County Executive Committee.

Pendency of proceedings before state central committee of party to settle controversy between contending county committees did not deprive courts of right to compel state board to perform duties. Russell v. Rhea, 269 Ky. 138 , 106 S.W.2d 148, 1937 Ky. LEXIS 565 ( Ky. 1937 ) (decided under prior law).

When a county executive committee entitled to designate a list of names does so, the state board has no right to ignore the list or to question the proceedings pursuant to which the list was selected. It must accept the list as valid. Howard v. Stevenson, 269 Ky. 491 , 107 S.W.2d 304, 1937 Ky. LEXIS 618 ( Ky. 1937 ) (decided under prior law).

The list of names must be designated by the county executive committee as a body. A designation by the chairman of the county committee is of no effect, although the chairman may act as the agent of the committee in certifying the list the committee has selected. Murray v. Gill, 269 Ky. 207 , 106 S.W.2d 634, 1937 Ky. LEXIS 575 ( Ky. 1937 ) (decided under prior law).

3. — Declaration of Irregularity.

Where county executive committee filed list of names with state board, and list was regular on its face, the state board had no right to declare the list illegal on the ground of irregularity in the proceedings of the county committee pursuant to which the list was selected, or to ignore the list and appoint some other person. Where that was done, the state board could be compelled to reconvene and make a new appointment from the list. Russell v. Rhea, 269 Ky. 138 , 106 S.W.2d 148, 1937 Ky. LEXIS 565 ( Ky. 1937 ) (decided under prior law).

4. — Filing.

Where one county committee files its list with the state board, and a rival committee files with the chairman of the state executive committee of the party, the latter is of no effect and the state board has no right to appoint from the latter list even though the committee making it is recognized as the proper committee by the state central committee. Russell v. Rhea, 269 Ky. 138 , 106 S.W.2d 148, 1937 Ky. LEXIS 565 ( Ky. 1937 ) (decided under prior law).

List of names designated by county executive committee must be filed with the state board of election commissioners; filing with chairman of state executive committee of party is of no effect. Russell v. Rhea, 269 Ky. 138 , 106 S.W.2d 148, 1937 Ky. LEXIS 565 ( Ky. 1937 ) (decided under prior law).

The state board may meet and make appointments at any time during August, and if a county committee fails to file a list of names before the state board meets, the board may make its own appointments, and is not required to recognize list submitted during August but after the day of meeting. O'Connell v. Duff, 276 Ky. 782 , 125 S.W.2d 718, 1939 Ky. LEXIS 590 ( Ky. 1939 ) (decided under prior law).

5. — Submission Without Authority.

Where list of names was certified by chairman of county committee without authority of committee, subsequent ratification of list by committee, after state board had adjourned, could not validate list. Murray v. Gill, 269 Ky. 207 , 106 S.W.2d 634, 1937 Ky. LEXIS 575 ( Ky. 1937 ) (decided under prior law).

Where chairman of county executive committee submitted list of names without authority from committee, and state board of election commissioners ignored list in appointing county election commissioner, the validity of the official acts of such commissioner cannot be attacked collaterally in election contest proceedings. Hardigree v. White, 275 Ky. 364 , 121 S.W.2d 919, 1938 Ky. LEXIS 435 ( Ky. 1938 ) (decided under prior law).

The State Board of Election commissioners could not be compelled to appoint a county election commissioner from a list certified by the chairman of the county executive committee of a party, where evidence justified denial of relief on ground that list was not made up and approved by a majority of the county committee or in accordance with the provisions of the statute. Routh v. Hughes, 300 Ky. 737 , 190 S.W.2d 351 ( Ky. 1945 ) (decided under prior law).

6. Voting.

Should the county board of election commissioners be unable to agree as to what instructions relative to the use of the voting machines as provided in KRS 125.100 (repealed) should be given the election officers by the commission, the sheriff should have the deciding vote. Grauman v. Jefferson County Fiscal Court, 294 Ky. 149 , 171 S.W.2d 36, 1943 Ky. LEXIS 402 ( Ky. 1943 ) (decided under prior law).

7. Social Security Contributions.

State is not liable for social security contributions on compensation clerk receives as substitute member of county board of election commissioners. Barnes v. Barnes, 241 S.W.2d 993, 1951 Ky. LEXIS 1034 ( Ky. 1951 ) (decided under prior law).

8. Holdover.

Former county Democratic election commissioner was not a holdover with sufficient title to office to permit him to institute ouster proceedings against his successor on the single ground that the successor lacked the qualifications to hold office, since the petitioner’s term expired when his successor was appointed, took the oath, and assumed office. Williamson v. Hughes, 303 Ky. 735 , 199 S.W.2d 125, 1947 Ky. LEXIS 540 ( Ky. 1947 ) (decided under prior law).

9. Precinct Committeemen.

Where Democratic party law provided that in counties containing more than one legislative district, chairmen of legislative districts should constitute county committee, precinct committeemen of such county could not compel appointment of election commissioner from names submitted by them, even though no names were submitted by chairmen of legislative districts, since precinct committeemen did not constitute “county executive committee” under party law. Smith v. Howard, 275 Ky. 165 , 120 S.W.2d 1040, 1938 Ky. LEXIS 387 ( Ky. 1938 ) (decided under prior law).

10. Meetings.

A called or special meeting of the board can be held only on notice to all the members, and any action taken by two members at a meeting of which the third had no notice, and did not attend, is void. Roberts v. Stumbo, 227 Ky. 334 , 12 S.W.2d 1110, 1928 Ky. LEXIS 511 ( Ky. 1928 ) (decided under prior law).

11. — Waiver of Notice.

Failure to give written notice of meeting to one of the county election commissioners was waived by subsequent approval by such commissioner, within statutory period, of election officers chosen at the meeting by the other commissioners. Hardigree v. White, 275 Ky. 364 , 121 S.W.2d 919, 1938 Ky. LEXIS 435 ( Ky. 1938 ) (decided under prior law).

12. Ministerial Officers.

The members of the board are ministerial officers. Potter v. Campbell, 155 Ky. 784 , 160 S.W. 763, 1913 Ky. LEXIS 360 ( Ky. 1913 ) (decided under prior law).

13. Disqualification of Sheriff.

The fact that the sheriff’s deputy was a candidate for an office did not disqualify the sheriff from serving on the board, and did not authorize the circuit clerk to act where the sheriff voluntarily refused to serve because of deputy’s candidacy. Potter v. Campbell, 155 Ky. 784 , 160 S.W. 763, 1913 Ky. LEXIS 360 ( Ky. 1913 ), apparently overruled by Scott v. Roberts, 255 Ky. 34 , 72 S.W.2d 728, 1934 Ky. LEXIS 177 ( Ky. 1934 ) (decided under prior law).

The sheriff cannot lawfully act as a member of the board of election commissioners in an election at which he is a candidate for another office. Scott v. Roberts, 255 Ky. 34 , 72 S.W.2d 728, 1934 Ky. LEXIS 177 ( Ky. 1934 ), apparently overruling Potter v. Campbell, 155 Ky. 784 , 160 S.W. 763, 1913 Ky. LEXIS 360 ( Ky. 1913 ) (decided under prior law).

14. Compelling Performance of Duties.

The county board of election commissioners may be compelled by mandamus, or in a proper case by mandatory injunction, to assemble and discharge their duties. Potter v. Campbell, 155 Ky. 784 , 160 S.W. 763, 1913 Ky. LEXIS 360 ( Ky. 1913 ) (decided under prior law).

Opinions of Attorney General.

The county judge has no jurisdiction or authority over the administration of the voter registration law and may not designate individuals to take registration forms from the clerk’s office and travel around the county registering voters. OAG 74-709 .

Since the offices of employee of the state highway commission and election officer or member of the board of elections are not incompatible under Ky. Const., § 165 and KRS 61.080 and since the State Merit System Act has no provision prohibiting a state employee from serving in either capacity, an employee of the highway commission may legally serve on the county board of elections. OAG 75-565 .

There is no legal objection to a board member serving as finance chairman of a candidate’s campaign committee, since this section prohibits only the member’s own candidacy at the elections. OAG 75-581 .

Since a county clerk would be disqualified from participating as a member of the county board of elections if he is a candidate at that particular election, the two appointed party members must appoint a board member to serve during the period that the clerk is disqualified. OAG 76-315 .

Inasmuch as two members of the county board of elections would not constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting business, any meeting attended by only two members could not constitute an official meeting at which official business could be conducted and for which compensation could be paid. OAG 76-315 .

Since announcement for a public office is not made until after January 1 in the calendar year of the election, while election officers for precincts are selected by the previous September 20 in the preceding calendar year, members of the county board of elections would be entitled to perform their duties, including the selection of election officers on or before September 20 as prescribed in KRS 117.045 through the year preceding the candidacy for public office, unless, prior to such election, they become candidates under any of the conditions set forth in the definition of candidates set forth in subsection (7) of KRS 121.015 ; in addition, they would, of course, become disqualified whenever they actually file as a candidate for public office. OAG 76-409 , modifying OAG 73-202 .

When the county clerk becomes a candidate he is automatically disqualified from serving on the county board of elections and the two party members must select someone to serve in his place during the period that he remains a candidate, and whoever is selected to serve in the clerk’s place will also serve as chairman. OAG 77-83 .

When the sheriff is a candidate for another public office he cannot serve as a member of the county board of elections and a commissioner should be appointed to serve in his place, however, a deputy sheriff has no election day duties and would not be disqualified from being appointed in the place of the sheriff to serve on the county board of elections, assuming that he is not a candidate for public office. OAG 77-131 .

An individual could serve as an election commissioner during the November election even though her husband was a candidate for magistrate. OAG 77-469 .

Where a suit was filed against the county election commissioners to challenge the count of absentee ballots, the days spent by the commissioners in court could not be considered meeting days for which compensation could be claimed. OAG 77-587 .

The fiscal court is required to pay election board members the compensation fixed pursuant to this section for each day the board meets, providing of course the board submits sufficient information to show that such meetings actually took place. OAG 78-255 .

There is no question that the fiscal court can from time to time alter the compensation of members of the county board of elections (the only restriction being that it cannot go below $15.00 per meeting) since members of the commission are not constitutionally named officers whose compensation cannot be changed during their term, but where the fiscal court initially fixed the compensation at $24.00 per meeting, which remained unchanged from 1976 through the 1978 election, it could not enter a subsequent order reducing the compensation already earned by the commissioners by making the order retroactive, regardless of whether or not a sufficient amount was budgeted. OAG 78-789 .

A member of the county board of elections who is also a candidate for a city office in the November election must resign and the vacancy must be filled pursuant to the terms of this section. OAG 79-443 .

Although any change in a precinct boundary must be shown on a map and subsequently filed with the State Board of Elections, the change would become effective even before the map showing the change is filed with the state board. OAG 79-609 .

Since there is no publication requirement of any such actions taken by the board before they become effective, the board can call a meeting at any time that it deems necessary to make a proposed boundary change, and after making the change and upon recording same in its records, such change would become effective. OAG 79-609 .

An individual holding the office of magistrate can at the same time serve on the county board of elections, since no constitutional or statutory provisions prohibit a person from holding two county offices at the same time and this section specifically permits a person who holds another county office to serve on the county board of elections. OAG 80-263 .

The employment of a staff by a county board of election pursuant to subsection (5) of this section must be interpreted as discretionary by the board; an interpretation that the subsection is mandatory would violate the separate powers doctrine contained in Const., § 27 and Const., § 28 because the legislature would have statutorily predetermined the necessity for a staff, which determination is an administrative function which is normally delegated to the agency in question. OAG 82-102 .

Subsection (5) of this section is directory insofar as requiring the board to employ a supporting staff but mandatory that if a staff is needed, it be selected on a nonpartisan basis. OAG 82-102 .

Action of county board of elections authorizing the county clerk to be the chief administrative officer of this board with authority to do all things administratively necessary to carry out the statutory duties and operations thereof, including, but not limited to: authority to hire and terminate employees, authority to direct the day to day operations of said board and its staff, authority to purchase any necessary supplies and equipment, and authority to act as the principal spokesperson of said board and its staff, was an impermissible delegation of responsibility as the responsibility for the employment of personnel is the responsibility of the entire board; moreover, since subsection (3) of this section provides that the county clerk shall serve as chairman of the meetings and may vote, but does not authorize the clerk to assume any other responsibilities for the operations of county boards of election, the additional functions delegated by the board would remain the responsibility of the board as a whole. OAG 90-43 .

Given the nature of the urban county form of government, and the particular circumstances involved with regard to the county board of elections, since there is no longer any distinct city or county government within the county, the county board of elections is acting within its legal authority when it requests legal services to be rendered by the Urban County Government, Department of Law. OAG 90-43 .

117.035. County board of elections — Membership — Appointed members — Meetings — Questions regarding voter registration and proof of identification — Staff. [Effective July 15, 2020]

  1. There shall be a county board of elections, which shall, at the direction and under the supervision of the State Board of Elections, administer the election laws and the registration and purgation of voters within the county.
    1. The board shall consist of the county clerk, the sheriff, and two (2) members appointed by the State Board of Elections not later than July 1 following the election of persons to statewide office, for a term of four (4) years and until their successors are appointed. (2) (a) The board shall consist of the county clerk, the sheriff, and two (2) members appointed by the State Board of Elections not later than July 1 following the election of persons to statewide office, for a term of four (4) years and until their successors are appointed.
    2. The sheriff shall not serve on the board during any year in which he or she is a candidate, but shall recommend to the board a temporary replacement to serve in his or her place. If the sheriff cannot serve because he or she is sick, injured, or otherwise incapacitated, he or she may recommend a temporary replacement to serve in his or her place until the sheriff may resume his or her duties or a vacancy in office is declared.
    3. The county clerk may, at his or her option, continue to serve on the board during a year in which he or she is a candidate. If the clerk elects not to serve, he or she shall recommend a temporary replacement to serve in his or her place. If the county clerk cannot serve because he or she is sick, injured, or otherwise incapacitated, he or she may recommend a temporary replacement to serve in his or her place until the county clerk may resume his or her duties or a vacancy in office is declared.
      1. Notwithstanding the provisions of KRS 61.080 , service on the board of elections shall be compatible with the holding of any other county or city office. (d) 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of KRS 61.080 , service on the board of elections shall be compatible with the holding of any other county or city office.
      2. The members shall be at least twenty-one (21) years of age, qualified voters in the county from which they are appointed, and shall not have been convicted of any election law offense.
      3. One (1) member shall be appointed from a list of five (5) names submitted by the county executive committee of each political party as defined in KRS 118.015 . If there are two (2) or more contending executive committees of the same political party in any county, the one recognized by the written certificate of the chair of the state central committee of the political party shall be the one authorized to submit the lists.
      4. If the State Board of Elections does not receive the list as required by subparagraph 3. of this paragraph for each political party for each county by the deadline established in paragraph (a) of this subsection or within one (1) month of a vacancy, then the chair of the state central committees for the political parties may submit lists of five (5) names of qualified residents from the remaining counties by August 1 following the election of persons to statewide office or within two (2) months of a vacancy.
      5. If the State Board of Elections does not receive a list from either the county executive committee under subparagraph 3. of this paragraph or the chair of the state executive committee under subparagraph 4. of this paragraph, then the State Board of Elections shall appoint a qualified resident from the county at its next regularly scheduled meeting in September following the election of persons to statewide office or within three (3) months of a vacancy.
      6. A member appointed by the State Board of Elections may be removed by the State Board of Elections for cause.
      7. A member appointed by the State Board of Elections may be removed by the State Board of Elections upon a request approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the full membership of the county executive committee that submitted the member’s name. The county executive shall provide conclusive evidence of the committee’s membership and evidence of the committee’s two-thirds (2/3) vote before the State Board of Elections removes any member appointed by the State Board of Elections.
      8. If an appointee is temporarily unable to act, a temporary appointee shall be named by the State Board of Elections. A temporary appointee shall serve until the original appointee notifies the State Board of Elections that he or she is able to resume his or her term.
      9. A member appointed by the State Board of Elections shall not serve on the board if he or she is a candidate for public office, and the member shall resign upon filing papers to become a candidate for public office or shall be removed from office by the State Board of Elections. A member who resigns or is removed because of his or her candidacy shall not resume his or her term following the completion of the candidacy.
      10. Vacancies and temporary vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as provided for original appointments, and the person appointed to fill the vacancy or temporary vacancy shall be of the same political party as his or her predecessor.
    4. Compensation and payment of actual expenses of members shall be set by the fiscal court either as an amount payable on an annual basis, or as an amount payable on a per diem basis of not less than fifteen dollars ($15) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100) for each day the board meets.
  2. A majority of the board shall constitute a quorum.The county clerk shall serve as chair of the meetings and may vote. In case of a tie, the chair may cast an additional vote. Records shall be kept of all proceedings, and the records shall be public and kept at the office of the county clerk.
  3. The board shall meet as follows:
    1. During years in which a primary or regular election is scheduled, the board shall meet at least once every other month and may meet more frequently if necessary upon the call of the chair or upon written agreement of two (2) or more members of the board. The call shall provide notice as prescribed by KRS 61.823 .
    2. During years in which no primary or regular election is scheduled, the board shall meet at the call of the chair or upon written agreement of two (2) or more members of the board. The call shall provide notice as prescribed by KRS 61.823 .
    3. The board shall meet and stay in session on primary, regular election, and special election days to correct clerical errors, to rule on questions regarding voter registration and proof of identification, and may make to the election officers such certifications as may be necessary. On primary, regular election, and special election days, appeals may be made to a Circuit Judge, but a ruling of the board shall be reversed only upon a finding that it was arbitrary and capricious.
  4. The board may employ, on a bipartisan basis, a staff sufficient to carry out the duties assigned to the board.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 20; 1976 (Ex. Sess.), ch. 14, § 129, effective January 2, 1978; 1978, ch. 318, § 1, effective June 17, 1978; 1982, ch. 394, § 6, effective July 15, 1982; 1988, ch. 341, § 25, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 48, § 14, effective July 13, 1990; 1992, ch. 256, § 1, effective July 14, 1992; 1996, ch. 195, § 4, effective July 15, 1996; 2005, ch. 71, § 2, effective June 20, 2005; 2010, ch. 176, § 2, effective July 15, 2010; 2014, ch. 92, § 211, effective January 1, 2015; 2020 ch. 89, § 33, effective July 15, 2020.

117.045. Precinct election officers — Alternate and emergency appointments — Minors permitted to serve as election officers.

  1. The county board of elections shall in the manner prescribed by this section, not later than March 20 each year, except in a year in which no primary and regular elections are scheduled, appoint for each precinct in the county two (2) judges, one (1) clerk and one (1) sheriff of election. They shall serve in all elections held in the county during the year, except for minors seventeen (17) years of age who will become eighteen (18) years of age on or before the day of the regular election who may only serve as election officers for the primary and regular elections as provided in subsection (9) of this section. If a special election is ordered to be held in a year in which no elections are scheduled, the county executive committee of each political party in each county in the territory affected by the special election shall, not later than twenty-eight (28) days preceding the date of the special election, submit a written list of nominees for precinct election officers to serve in the special election in a manner consistent with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section. The county board of elections in each county in the territory affected by the special election shall, not later than twenty-one (21) days preceding the date of the special election, appoint precinct election officers to serve in the special election in a manner consistent with the provisions of subsections (4), (5), and (6) of this section. The State Board of Elections shall promulgate an administrative regulation establishing evaluation procedures which county boards of elections may use to qualify persons nominated to serve as precinct election officers.
  2. The county executive committees of the two (2) political parties having representation on the State Board of Elections may, on or before March 15 each year, designate in writing to the county board of elections a list of not less than four (4) names for each precinct; except that, in any precinct where there are not as many as four (4) persons possessing the qualifications of an election officer belonging to the political party filing the list, a lesser number may be designated. If there are two (2) or more contending executive committees of the same party in any county, the one recognized by the written certificate of the chairman of the state central committee of the party shall be the one authorized to submit the lists. The lists shall contain the full name, address, phone number, and Social Security number, if available, of each person listed. The lists shall be accompanied by a signed statement from each person stating that he is willing to serve, has not failed to serve without excuse in the past, and has not been convicted of an election law offense or any felony, unless the person’s civil rights have been restored by the Governor. The State Board of Elections shall prescribe by administrative regulation the form of the list.
  3. The Attorney General shall notify each party state central committee of the duties of the party.
  4. If lists are submitted, the county board of elections shall select one (1) judge at each voting place from each political party’s list, and the county board shall select the sheriff from one (1) political party’s list and the clerk from the other. If no lists are submitted, the two (2) members of the county board of elections who are appointed by the State Board of Elections may submit lists; and the county board shall select the sheriff and one (1) judge from one (1) list and the clerk and the other judge from the remaining list. If no lists are submitted, the county board shall select the sheriff and one (1) judge from the membership of one (1) party and the clerk and the other judge from the membership of the remaining party. The county board shall, when possible, also appoint an adequate number of alternate precinct election officers from names on the lists which were submitted but which were not selected by the county board as precinct election officers. If alternate precinct election officers are not appointed from the lists of nominees who were not selected as precinct election officers, the county board of elections shall submit its method of selecting alternate precinct election officers to the State Board of Elections for its approval.
  5. If, after all reasonable efforts have been made, the county board of elections is unable to find two (2) qualified officers for each precinct who are affiliated with the two (2) political parties having representation on the State Board of Elections, the county board shall submit a list of emergency election officer appointments to the State Board of Elections. The county board shall also present, in writing, its efforts to recruit and appoint election officers as prescribed in subsection (4) of this section. The list of emergency appointments may include qualified voters not affiliated with the two (2) parties represented on the state board. The state board, after its review, may approve any or all of the emergency appointments submitted by the county board or may direct the county board to take other action. Any emergency appointment shall be made for the next ensuing election only.
  6. In addition to precinct election officers appointed under subsection (1) of this section, a county board of elections may appoint up to two (2) additional precinct election officers per precinct with the approval of the State Board of Elections. The state board shall promulgate an administrative regulation establishing conditions under which additional precinct officers may be approved.
  7. The county board of elections shall, not less than ten (10) days before the next ensuing election, send to each election officer written notice of his appointment. The board may direct the sheriff of the county to serve the notice of appointment, if it deems the action is necessary.
  8. The State Board of Elections may require the county board of elections to submit its list of precinct officers for review. The State Board of Elections may, after a hearing, direct the removal of any election officer who the board finds would not fairly administer the state election laws. The state board shall replace any officer so removed. The board shall provide for the method and manner of the hearing by administrative regulation.
  9. An election officer shall be a qualified voter of the precinct; except that, where no qualified voter of the required political party is available within the precinct, the election officer shall be a qualified voter of the county. A minor seventeen (17) years of age who will become eighteen (18) years of age on or before the day of the regular election may serve as an election officer for the primary and regular elections in which he or she is qualified to vote; however, no precinct shall have more than one (1) person serving as an election officer who is a minor seventeen (17) years of age. An election officer shall not be a candidate for office during the election year. An election officer shall not be the spouse, parent, brother, sister, or child of a candidate who is to be voted for at the election in the precinct in which the election officer will serve on election day. An election officer shall not have changed his voter registration party affiliation for one (1) year prior to his appointment. An election officer may be removed, for cause, at any time up to five (5) days before an election. Vacancies shall be filled by the county board with alternate precinct election officers and the person appointed to fill the vacancy shall be of the same political party as the vacating officer, except for emergency appointments made as provided in subsection (5) of this section.
  10. If the county board of elections fails to appoint election officers, or if any officer is not present at the precinct at the time for commencing the election, or refuses to act, and if no alternate is available, the officer in attendance representing the political party of the absentee shall appoint a suitable person to act in his place for that election. If both representatives of the same political party are absent, qualified voters present affiliating with that party shall elect, viva voce, suitable persons to act in their places.
  11. Each election officer shall be paid a minimum of sixty dollars ($60) per election day served, and such an additional amount as compensation as may be determined by the county board of elections, with the approval of the governing body which would be responsible for funding the election officers’ pay, for each election in which the election officer serves, to be paid by the county. For delivering the election packets to the polls, the precinct election officers shall receive in addition the mileage reimbursement provided for state employees, for each mile necessarily traveled in the delivery of the packets to the polls, or a flat fee if the fee equals or exceeds that amount. For delivering election returns, the precinct election judges shall receive in addition the mileage reimbursement provided for state employees for each mile necessarily traveled from the place of voting to and from the place of delivery, or a flat fee if the fee equals or exceeds that amount. The fee paid to the precinct election judges for delivering election returns shall be paid by the county.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 21; 1976, ch. 282, § 1; 1978, ch. 318, § 2, effective June 17, 1978; 1978, ch. 395, § 1, effective June 17, 1978; 1982, ch. 394, § 7, effective July 15, 1982; 1986, ch. 470, § 6, effective July 15, 1986; 1988, ch. 341, § 26, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 48, § 15, effective July 13, 1990; 1992, ch. 180, § 1, effective July 14, 1992; 1994, ch. 394, § 6, effective July 15, 1994; 1996, ch. 195, § 5, effective July 15, 1996; 1998, ch. 243, § 3, effective April 1, 1998; 2002, ch. 63, § 11, effective July 15, 2002; 2002, ch. 265, § 1, effective July 15, 2002; 2010, ch. 176, § 3, effective July 15, 2010.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. In General.

The Legislature, not intraparty rules, provide by statute how precinct election officials are selected. Magoffin County Board of Election Comm'rs v. Conley, 445 S.W.2d 861, 1969 Ky. LEXIS 186 ( Ky. 1969 ) (decided under prior law).

2. Constitutionality.

The fact that under law the election officers were appointed by a board which was not required to have a bipartisan membership did not make the law which so provided unconstitutional. Purnell v. Mann, 105 Ky. 87 , 48 S.W. 407, 1898 Ky. LEXIS 244 ( Ky. 1 898), overruled, Pratt v. Breckinridge, 112 Ky. 1 , 23 Ky. L. Rptr. 1356 , 65 S.W. 136, 1901 Ky. LEXIS 286 ( Ky. 1901 ), overruled in part, Pratt v. Breckinridge, 112 Ky. 1, 23 Ky. L. Rptr. 1356 , 65 S.W. 136, 1901 Ky. LEXIS 286 ( Ky. 1901 ), overruled on other grounds, Pratt v. Breckinridge, 66 S.W. 405, 23 Ky. L. Rptr. 1858 ( Ky. 1902 ) (decided under prior law).

3. Filling Vacancies.

Where a registered Republican was appointed by the Democratic election judge to replace a duly appointed Democratic election clerk without any notice to the board of elections that a vacancy had occurred, such substitute was not lawfully qualified to serve as Democratic clerk in a primary election, but was at least a de facto officer so that the election would not be invalidated merely because of the irregularity in the appointment. Sims v. Atwell, 556 S.W.2d 929, 1977 Ky. App. LEXIS 826 (Ky. Ct. App. 1977).

4. List of County Executive Committee.

The persons named on the list submitted by a political party executive committee need not be registered as members of that party, and in fact need not be members of that party. The board of election commissioners cannot question the party affiliation of anyone so listed. Farleigh v. Reedy, 165 Ky. 782 , 178 S.W. 1077, 1915 Ky. LEXIS 605 ( Ky. 1915 ) (decided under prior law).

The election commissioners must name the precinct officers from the lists of nominees submitted by the governing authority of an authorized political party if the lists are properly and timely presented. Ball v. Helton, 395 S.W.2d 786, 1965 Ky. LEXIS 169 ( Ky. 1965 ) (decided under prior law).

Where there was no proof that the county committee, as composed on the date the first list of election officials was submitted, was not the official committee or that it did not act according to party or statutory law, the election board was required by law to appoint from that list. Magoffin County Board of Election Comm'rs v. Conley, 445 S.W.2d 861, 1969 Ky. LEXIS 186 ( Ky. 1969 ) (decided under prior law).

Where there was no proof and no contention that the committee which existed when the first election official list was submitted was not properly elected or that any other group claimed to be the official committee at that time, selections of voting officials made from that list were valid. Magoffin County Board of Election Comm'rs v. Conley, 445 S.W.2d 861, 1969 Ky. LEXIS 186 ( Ky. 1969 ) (decided under prior law).

5. — Submission.

Where no list has been submitted by the committee of a party, the board of election commissioners must then select members of that party for appointment as election officers, and in so doing must be the judge of the party affiliation of the persons selected. Farleigh v. Reedy, 165 Ky. 782 , 178 S.W. 1077, 1915 Ky. LEXIS 605 ( Ky. 1915 ) (decided under prior law).

Delivery of the written lists to the sheriff, in his official capacity as chairman of the board of election commissioners, was the minimum requirement for substantial compliance with former section governing submission of lists. Ball v. Helton, 395 S.W.2d 786, 1965 Ky. LEXIS 169 ( Ky. 1965 ) (decided under prior law).

Where list of eight (8) names of persons eligible as precinct officers was delivered to one member of the board of election commissioners who was not chairman thereof, and he submitted only two (2) names for each precinct to the board, the board was not required to select the two (2) persons as precinct officers and the selection of some persons who were not on the list of two (2) for some precincts was not invalid. Ball v. Helton, 395 S.W.2d 786, 1965 Ky. LEXIS 169 ( Ky. 1965 ) (decided under prior law).

6. Regular and Local Option Election.

Appointment of same persons to act as officers for local option election and as regular election officers was not improper. Hail v. Gragg, 159 Ky. 75 , 166 S.W. 792, 1914 Ky. LEXIS 750 ( Ky. 1914 ) (decided under prior law).

7. City Election.

The election officers appointed under former similar section were the only persons authorized to hold an election for city officers. City election conducted by officers appointed by mayor was void. Rice v. Mountz, 123 Ky. 590 , 96 S.W. 887, 29 Ky. L. Rptr. 1035 , 1906 Ky. LEXIS 188 ( Ky. 1906 ) (decided under prior law).

8. Bond Election.

Election on question of issuing city bonds for waterworks was not required to be held by election officers appointed under former similar section. In any event, conduct of such election by officers appointed by city council would be a mere irregularity not of such importance as to invalidate the election. Fidelity Trust & Safety Vault Co. v. Mayor, etc. of Morganfield, 96 Ky. 563 , 29 S.W. 442, 16 Ky. L. Rptr. 647 , 1895 Ky. LEXIS 126 ( Ky. 1895 ), overruled, Belknap v. Louisville, 99 Ky. 474 , 36 S.W. 1118, 18 Ky. L. Rptr. 313 , 1896 Ky. LEXIS 122 ( Ky. 1896 ) (decided under prior law).

9. Faction of Party.

Faction of a political party that differed from the regular party in some of the local and state issues but indorsed the utterances of the platform and principles of the regular party as expressed in its last national convention was not a distinct political party and was not entitled to inspectors at voting places during election. Weaver v. Toney, 107 Ky. 419 , 54 S.W. 732, 21 Ky. L. Rptr. 1157 , 1899 Ky. LEXIS 187 ( Ky. 1899 ) (decided under prior law).

10. De Facto Officers.

Where in two precincts, by agreement between election officers, person appointed as sheriff acted as judge, and in another precinct, also by agreement, person appointed as sheriff acted as judge because of absence of one of the appointed judges, and in all three precincts the sheriff so acting as judge signed the ballots as judge, the ballots would be considered valid, since the persons acting as judges were de facto officers. Schaffield v. Hebel, 301 Ky. 358 , 192 S.W.2d 84, 1946 Ky. LEXIS 476 ( Ky. 1946 ) (decided under prior law).

Where substitute election officers were not appointed by the other duly appointed officers as prescribed by this section, but they served as de facto officers, acting in good faith, this irregularity did not invalidate the election. Smith v. Combs, 310 Ky. 755 , 221 S.W.2d 672, 1949 Ky. LEXIS 1007 ( Ky. 1949 ) (decided under prior law).

11. Sheriff and Clerk.

Former section governing selection of election officers did not require that the offices of sheriff and clerk of the election be alternated between the parties, and it was lawful for the board of election commissioners to appoint a Democratic sheriff and a Republican judge in every precinct. Skain v. Milward, 138 Ky. 200 , 127 S.W. 773, 1910 Ky. LEXIS 61 ( Ky. 1910 ) (decided under prior law).

12. Age Requirement.

Persons who will become 18 before the regular election, are qualified as to age to serve as election officers in the primary. Jefferson County Board of Election Com. v. Russell, 323 S.W.2d 864, 1959 Ky. LEXIS 347 ( Ky. 1959 ) (decided under prior law).

13. Party Membership.

The board of election commissioners has power to pass upon the qualifications of election officers, but in the case of a person designated on a list submitted by a party committee, membership in that party is not a necessary qualification. If there is no list submitted, membership in the party which the officer is appointed to represent is a necessary qualification. Farleigh v. Reedy, 165 Ky. 782 , 178 S.W. 1077, 1915 Ky. LEXIS 605 ( Ky. 1915 ) (decided under prior law).

14. Appointment of Substitute.

Former section governing appointment of substitute election officer was applicable to a school bond election, where attempted appointment of election officers was made by less than a quorum of school board. Lamaster v. Wilkerson, 143 Ky. 226 , 136 S.W. 217, 1911 Ky. LEXIS 378 ( Ky. 1911 ) (decided under prior law).

15. Opening of Polls.

The polls should not be opened until at least one of the election officers representing each party is present. If none appears by 6:30 a.m., the vacancy should be filled. Land v. Land, 244 Ky. 126 , 50 S.W.2d 518, 1931 Ky. LEXIS 720 ( Ky. 1931 ) (decided under prior law).

16. Exchange of Offices.

Although “swapping” of offices by precinct officers is contrary to the statutes, it will not invalidate election in absence of unfairness or evidence that election was otherwise conducted improperly or illegally. Schaffield v. Hebel, 301 Ky. 358 , 192 S.W.2d 84, 1946 Ky. LEXIS 476 ( Ky. 1946 ) (decided under prior law).

17. Removal.

The county board of election commissioners had no authority to remove election officers except for the causes and in the manner prescribed by former similar section, and if it attempted a wrongful removal it could be compelled by mandatory injunction to reinstate the removed officers. Denny v. Bosworth, 113 Ky. 785 , 68 S.W. 1078, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 554 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 98 ( Ky. 1902 ) (decided under prior law).

Once the board had exercised the power of appointment it was powerless to remove the precinct officers except for cause. Magoffin County Board of Election Comm'rs v. Conley, 445 S.W.2d 861, 1969 Ky. LEXIS 186 ( Ky. 1969 ) (decided under prior law).

Opinions of Attorney General.

No private corporation is legally required to reimburse its employees for the time they may serve as an election officer or for the time they are allowed by law to be absent in order to vote. OAG 74-576 .

The county executive committee of each party is authorized to submit to the county board of elections a list of not less than eight (8) names for each precinct from which the county board is to select two names from each party list as election officers for each precinct, but if the list does not contain eight (8) names, the list may be disregarded and the board may make a selection on its own and, even when lists are properly submitted, the county board is authorized to select any two (2) names from the two (2) lists submitted by each party for a particular precinct without regard to the position of the names on the respective lists. OAG 75-442 .

Since the sheriff is designated as a member of the county board of elections, he is entitled to vote in the manner prescribed in this section. OAG 76-409 .

Since announcement for a public office is not made until after January 1 in the calendar year of the election, while election officers for precincts are selected by the previous September 20 in the preceding calendar year, members of the county board of elections would be entitled to perform their duties, including the selection of election officers on or before September 20 as prescribed in this section through the year preceding the candidacy for public office, unless, prior to such election, they become candidates under any of the conditions set forth in the definition of candidates set forth in subsection (7) of KRS 121.015 ; in addition, they would, of course, become disqualified whenever they actually file as a candidate for public office. OAG 76-409 , modifying OAG 73-202 .

Where under the rules of a political party an elected county official is not eligible to serve as county chairman and such county chairman who is also the county judge is contesting this rule, if only one list of precinct election officers is submitted to the county board of elections, the board should presume that this list is valid if regular on its face even though the chairman may not be qualified under party rules, unless the state party committee notifies the county board to the contrary for it is not up to the county board of elections to determine the qualifications of the county party chairman or the legality of the executive committee submitting the list. OAG 76-492 .

Each party should be equally represented in the May primary in each precinct regardless of whether or not there are any candidates of a particular party running in the primary and where there are only three (3) Republicans running for county office, none of them with opposition, Republicans would be still entitled to one half of all the election officers in the May primary. OAG 77-238 .

Since a duly appointed election officer continues to serve unless or until he either resigns or is removed as provided by statute, the fact that an election officer failed to serve in the November election following his appointment would not affect his right to serve in the May primary. OAG 77-283 .

Although every effort should be made by a county election commission to appoint precinct officers who are qualified under this section, the fact that some officers do not possess the required qualifications would not in any way affect the validity of the election conducted by such officers. OAG 77-305 .

Where precinct lines have been redrawn thereby placing certain officers in precincts other than the one for which they were originally designated and selected, the county board of elections must remove and replace those officers with persons from lists already submitted for the altered precinct, provided there are any names left that qualify within the altered precinct. OAG 77-603 .

If one is appointed to fill a vacancy, which can only occur when the original appointee resigns or refuses to serve prior to the November election by notifying the board, he serves for the remainder of the one-year term, which would of course include the following May primary in accordance with this section. OAG 78-787 .

Those election officers appointed in September, 1979 are required to serve in all elections during the ensuing year which would include any special election, such as one authorized in connection with a levy of a school building tax pursuant to KRS 160.477 . OAG 79-485 .

A board of education is not required to pay a teacher for the day’s work that he misses because of service as a precinct election officer, since such service would require the teacher to be away from school work for the entire day. OAG 79-594 .

There is nothing in this section or any other that would prevent a person selected to be an election official from refusing to do so for whatever reason he may have. OAG 79-594 .

If during an election an election officer must leave for an unexpected cause, he should resign, thereby creating a vacancy which would permit the county board of elections to immediately fill the vacancy during the election; however, if he does not resign, then there would appear to be no alternative but for the remaining election officers to handle the voting procedure. OAG 80-384 .

The election commissioners must respect the Democrat Executive Committee’s choice of election officers if the committee has met the requirements of this section; however, if no lists are submitted or if they do not contain a minimum of four names, the names on such lists may be disregarded and the board may make a selection of its own. OAG 80-529 .

Once a person has been appointed as an election officer in a specific position such as precinct clerk, sheriff or judge and so notified by the board of elections, he cannot switch positions and serve in another one of the positions, since this section clearly implies that the switching of positions is not allowed. OAG 81-280 .

This section clearly provides that where there is no qualified voter of a particular political party available to serve within a particular precinct, a registered party voter residing outside the precinct and anywhere within the county, can be legally appointed to serve as representative of a political party. OAG 84-221 .

The language of this section setting forth the requirements to be contained in a list submitted by the county executive committees is mandatory, and there is no reason that a “list” submitted by members of the County Board of Elections pursuant to this section be different from that submitted by the county executive committee as required in this section without statutory language to the contrary. OAG 90-136 .

117.055. Division of county into precincts — Maps — Failure of board to perform duty — Coordination of precinct boundary changes with other boundaries.

Subject to KRS 117.0551 to 117.0555 :

  1. Each county shall be divided into election precincts by the county board of elections. Each election precinct shall be composed of contiguous and, as nearly as practicable, compact areas having clearly definable boundaries and wholly contained within any larger district. The county board of elections shall establish precincts so that no boundary of a precinct crosses the boundary of:
    1. The Commonwealth;
    2. A county or urban-county;
    3. A congressional district;
    4. A state senatorial district;
    5. A state representative district;
    6. A justice of the peace or county commissioner’s district established under KRS Chapter 67; or
    7. An aldermanic ward established under KRS 83.440 .
  2. The county board of elections shall have the authority to draw precinct lines so as to enable more than one (1) precinct to vote at one (1) location. The county board of elections shall review election precinct boundaries as often as necessary. Without exception, they shall review the boundaries of all election precincts exceeding seven hundred (700) votes cast in the last regular election prior to each primary election, and the State Board of Elections may require a written report at least sixty (60) days prior to the candidate filing deadline set forth in KRS 118.165(1) and (2) on each election precinct exceeding seven hundred (700) votes cast in the last regular election. Consideration to the division of said election precincts should be based on the anticipated growth factor within the specified boundaries; however, the county board of elections shall not be prohibited from dividing election precincts in excess of seven hundred (700) votes cast in the last regular election or less than seven hundred (700) votes cast in the last regular election if they elect to do so. However, the State Board of Elections may, in its discretion, withhold from a county the expenses of an election under KRS 117.345 for any precinct containing more than one thousand five hundred (1,500) registered voters, excluding those precincts utilizing optical scan voting machines and those periods of time in which the precinct boundaries have been frozen under KRS 117.056 .
  3. No election precinct shall be created, divided, abolished, or consolidated or the boundaries therein changed prior to any primary election to comply with the provisions of KRS 117.055 to 117.055 5 and KRS 117.0557 later than the last date prescribed by election law generally for filing notification and declaration forms with the county clerk or Secretary of State. No election precinct shall be created, divided, abolished, or consolidated or the boundaries therein changed prior to any general election to comply with the provisions of KRS 117.055 to 117.0555 and KRS 117.0557 later than the last date prescribed by election law generally for filing certificates or petitions of nomination with the county clerk or Secretary of State.
  4. The county board of elections shall designate the name or number and the boundaries of the election precincts. Each precinct shall contain, as nearly as practicable, an equal number of voters, based on the number of registered voters in the county.
  5. A map and listing of the exact election precinct boundaries shall be filed by the county board of elections with the State Board of Elections, and any changes in boundaries thereafter made shall also be filed with the State Board of Elections. A copy of this map indicating all precinct boundaries within the county shall be included in the election supplies of each precinct.
  6. If the county board of elections fails to perform any of the duties required by KRS 117.055 to 117.0555 and KRS 117.0557 :
    1. The State Board of Elections or any citizen and voter of the county may apply to the Circuit Court of the county for a summary mandatory order requiring the board to perform the duty. Appeals may be taken to the Court of Appeals by either party; and
    2. The State Board of Elections shall not submit claims for payments to the county under KRS 117.343 and 117.345 until the State Board of Elections determines in writing that the duty has been performed.
  7. The county board of elections shall coordinate all precinct boundary changes with the affected school board, magisterial, and municipal boundaries.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 22; 1976, ch. 135, § 1; 1976, ch. 333, § 1; 1980, ch. 157, § 1, effective July 15, 1980; 1982, ch. 394, § 8, effective July 15, 1982; 1984, ch. 44, § 3, effective March 2, 1984; 1992, ch. 430, § 1, effective July 14, 1992; 1994, ch. 394, § 7, effective July 15, 1994; 2000, ch. 61, § 1, effective July 14, 2000; 2002, ch. 129, § 1, effective July 15, 2002; 2019 ch. 187, § 13, effective November 6, 2019.

Opinions of Attorney General.

Although the board, if possible, should avoid splitting magisterial district lines, it is not required to do so and may combine two precincts in different magisterial districts into one precinct where necessary to comply with the terms of this section regarding voter distribution. OAG 74-544; modified by OAG 77-126 .

The requirement of KRS 25.700 (repealed) that no boundary line of a justice district shall cross the boundary line of an election precinct in no way controls the realignment of precinct boundaries by the county board of elections. OAG 74-544 ; modified by OAG 77-126 .

Where a school division line bisects a precinct, the county board of elections and the school board should work together in determining the actual location of the eligible voters in each school division who will be voting in a particular precinct and the school board should assist the clerk by furnishing him with such a breakdown since the school board is in a better position to know the location of the school boundary lines and the board should also furnish the clerk with a map showing the school boundary lines so that the clerk can, in turn, determine in which school division within the split precinct the voters reside and thereby mark the registration list that goes to the precinct in such a manner as to enable the election officers to set the machine correctly before each voter proceeds to vote. OAG 76-367 .

A change in precinct boundaries and the reapportionment of magisterial districts are in no way connected in point of time and, as a consequence, there is no requirement that one be initiated before the other. OAG 76-745 .

Where precinct lines coincide a single voting place may be established in one place to permit the voters in both precincts to vote at the same place. OAG 77-43 .

In view of the 1976 amendment to this section and the requirement that magisterial district lines shall not bisect precinct lines found under KRS 25.700 (repealed), the reapportionment commissioners and the county board of elections should make a concerted effort to see that precinct boundary lines and magisterial boundary lines comply with the respective statutes and due to the fact that the magisterial boundary lines must comply with the equal population factor under the “one man, one vote” rule it would be easier for the county board of elections to change the precinct lines so as to coincide with the magisterial district lines after the county has been reapportioned. OAG 77-126 , modifying OAG 74-544 .

This section would permit only one voting place in any one precinct, though such voting place could be utilized by a number of precincts where it is located on or near joining precinct lines. OAG 77-554 .

A county board, in its discretion, may create a new voting precinct composed of an annexed territory where it deems necessary to do so, so long as it is done not less than 55 days before the May primary. OAG 79-99 .

It is mandatory for the county board of elections to review the boundaries of a precinct exceeding 700 voters, but the county board of elections may give permission to exceed 700 voters in a registered precinct and still be within the law. OAG 79-298 .

A county election board may relocate a precinct county line, so as to place a country club entirely within one “wet” precinct before a local option election is held in a second precinct containing half the club where the change would be wholly within the boundary of one magisterial or commissioners’ district and would not affect the precinct location of any voter. OAG 79-609 .

No precinct boundary line can cross a magisterial boundary line which is the political territory having the less area within the county’s boundaries with the exception of municipal boundaries. OAG 79-609 .

After reapportionment involving changes from the prior reapportionment, it is the responsibility of the county board of elections to so draw or redraw precinct boundary lines so that no precinct line bisects or crosses a magisterial line, as last established under reapportionment, but the precinct lines are irrelevant as concerns reapportionment itself. OAG 80-69 .

The 1980 Legislature amended this section to change the method of determining the size of the precincts by eliminating the requirement that it be based on the number of registered voters and providing in its place that it shall be determined by the number of votes cast at the last regular election. OAG 80-378 .

The size of election precincts must be based on the number of votes cast at the last regular election rather than the number of registered voters within the precinct. OAG 80-527 .

The establishment of magisterial districts is done by the work of the commissioners of reapportionment as finally treated by fiscal court ordinance. The coordination of precinct boundaries with magisterial districts is the separate burden of the county board of elections under this section. OAG 82-451 .

A location of one voting place in a city to serve several adjacent precincts would be perfectly proper so long as the actual voting would be held in separate rooms for each precinct. OAG 82-511 .

Where a new districting plan included a city plus some additional area within the magisterial district, since the city could divide its area into a number of precincts, the board could establish one voting place at the courthouse or any other location that was reasonably close to the precinct lines where the voters of all such precints could vote. OAG 82-511.

Where a fiscal court adopts a plan for reapportionment of magisterial districts that meets the provisions of KRS 67.045 , yet divides one or more voting precincts, since both the reapportionment act, KRS 67.045 , and this section, prohibit a precinct line from bisecting or crossing a magisterial district line and particularly following reapportionment as required by KRS 67.045, following reapportionment the county board of elections must alter any precinct that has been crossed by virtue of reapportionment in order to conform with the requirements of KRS 67.045 and this section. OAG 82-617 ; OAG 82-621 .

This section prohibits the fiscal court from changing the present precinct boundary lines until the Kentucky General Assembly has enacted redistricting legislation; the county board of elections has the exclusive authority to alter precinct boundaries rather than the fiscal court. OAG 91-55 .

Where the written description with regard to precinct boundaries did not correspond with the precinct map, the map is the primary document with regard to precinct boundaries. However, if there is a serious discrepancy this would be a factual question which this office cannot answer and which would require a determination by the court. OAG 91-55 .

Under this section, lines are to be drawn by the county board of elections and the reapportionment commission has no authority to establish a precinct boundary. OAG 92-58 .

117.0551. Boundaries of precincts.

  1. A  county board of elections shall establish election precincts so that each  boundary of each precinct follows:
    1. A  boundary described in KRS 117.055(1);
    2. The  boundary of an incorporated city;
    3. A  boundary of an urban-county legislative district established under KRS Chapter  67A;
    4. A  boundary of a school district or school district division established under  KRS Chapter 160; or
    5. A  boundary of a census tract or census block established by the United States  Bureau of the Census for the most recent decennial census of population and  appearing on census block boundary maps.
  2. If  a county board of elections cannot establish a precinct that complies with  KRS 117.055 by using the boundaries permitted under subsection (1) of this  section, the county board of elections may either:
    1. Establish  the precinct boundary by using a boundary following a visible feature, including  but not limited to a highway, railroad, or stream, and an extension of that  visible feature to, but not across, another visible feature, nor across an  extension of another feature that is used as a precinct boundary; or
    2. Request  an exemption under KRS 117.0553 and 117.055 4.
  3. For  purposes of this section, a “visible feature” is a physical feature  shown on official maps prepared by:
    1. The  Kentucky Transportation Cabinet;
    2. The  United States Geological Survey; or
    3. The  United States Bureau of the Census.

History. Enact. Acts 1992, ch. 430, § 2, effective July 14, 1992.

117.0552. Procedure for establishing precincts.

  1. As  used in KRS 117.055 to 117.055 5 and KRS 117.0557 , “establish a precinct”  shall include the following:
    1. Creating  a new precinct;
    2. Dividing  one (1) precinct into two (2) or more precincts;
    3. Combining  two (2) or more precincts into one (1) precinct; and
    4. Altering  a boundary line between two (2) or more precincts.
  2. Each  county board of elections shall establish precincts by issuing a proposed  precinct establishment order. Each proposed precinct establishment order shall  be submitted to the executive director of the State Board of Elections for  approval.
  3. The  order prescribed in subsection (2) of this section shall include:
    1. A  written description of the boundaries of each precinct to be established;
    2. A  map or maps clearly showing the boundaries of each precinct to be established;
    3. The  estimated number of registered voters in each precinct to be established;  and
    4. Any  additional information which may be required by an administrative regulation  adopted by the State Board of Elections under KRS Chapter 13A for the purposes  of assuring compliance with KRS 117.055 to 117.055 5 and KRS 117.0557 .
  4. If  a proposed precinct establishment order includes a description of a precinct  with a boundary that follows the boundary of an entity referred to in KRS 117.0551(1), the order shall include the following:
    1. A  description that precisely identifies the boundary line; and
    2. A  notation on the map of the precinct indicating that the boundary is that of  an entity referred to in KRS 117.0551(1) and naming the specific entity.
  5. If  a proposed precinct establishment order includes a description of a precinct  boundary that follows one or more visible features, the order shall include  a description that precisely identifies each feature that forms the precinct  boundary.

History. Enact. Acts 1992, ch. 430, § 3, effective July 14, 1992.

117.0553. Review and approval of precinct establishment order — Resubmission of returned orders.

  1. The  executive director of the State Board of Elections or his designee shall examine  each proposed precinct establishment order submitted under KRS 117.0552 to  determine if the order would establish precincts in compliance with KRS 117.055 to 117.0552 .
  2. If  the executive director or his designee determines that the proposed precinct  establishment order would comply with KRS 117.055 to 117.0552 , the executive  director shall approve the proposed precinct establishment order no later  than thirty (30) days after its receipt by the executive director. The order  shall become effective upon the executive director’s approval unless the order  contains a different effective date.
  3. If  the executive director or his designee determines that the proposed precinct  establishment order would not comply with KRS 117.055 to 117.0552 , the executive  director shall return the proposed precinct establishment order to the county  board of elections no later than thirty (30) days after he receives the proposed  order. The order shall be accompanied by a letter from the executive director  indicating specifically how the order would not comply with KRS 117.055 to 117.0552 .
  4. If  a proposed precinct establishment order is returned to a county board of elections  under this section, the board may:
    1. Amend  the proposed order so that the precincts may be established in compliance  with KRS 117.055 to 117.0552 ; or
    2. Request  an exemption under KRS 117.055 4; or
    3. Request  a hearing under KRS 117.0555 .
  5. The  county board of elections shall resubmit the proposed order to the executive  director of the State Board of Elections with the amendment, request for an  exemption, or request for a hearing. If the proposed order is resubmitted  with an amendment, the executive director or his designee shall review and  act upon the amended proposal in accordance with subsections (1) to (3) of  this section.

History. Enact. Acts 1992, ch. 430, § 4, effective July 14, 1992.

117.0554. Request for exemption — Procedure.

  1. When  a proposed precinct establishment order has been returned to the county board  of elections under KRS 117.0553 , and the county board of elections has determined  that the noncompliance described by the executive director cannot be corrected  by the establishment of a precinct that complies with the provisions of KRS 117.055 to 117.0552 , the county board of elections may request the State Board  of Elections to grant an exemption.
  2. The  State Board of Elections shall conduct a hearing on the exemption request.  If the State Board of Elections determines that the noncompliance described  by the executive director cannot be corrected by the establishment of a precinct  that complies with all provisions of KRS 117.055 to 117.0552 , the board shall  grant the exemption.
  3. If  the State Board of Elections grants the exemption, the county board of elections  shall amend the proposed precinct establishment order to establish precinct  boundaries:
    1. In  accordance with the exemption granted by the State Board of Elections;
    2. That  comply with all other requirements established by KRS 117.055 to 117.0552 ;  and
    3. That  are precisely described in the order.
  4. The  county board of elections shall submit the amended order to the State Board  of Elections. If the State Board of Elections finds that the proposed order,  as amended, complies with subsection (3) of this section, it shall approve  the order. The order shall become effective upon its approval by the State  Board of Elections unless the order contains a different effective date.

History. Enact. Acts 1992, ch. 430, § 5, effective July 14, 1992.

117.0555. Hearing on returned order believed by county board to be in compliance.

If the county board of elections believes that the proposed order returned under KRS 117.055 3(3) complies with KRS 117.055 to 117.0552 , the county board may resubmit the order to the executive director and request a hearing before the State Board of Elections. If the State Board of Elections determines that the proposed precinct establishment order complies with KRS 117.055 to 117.0552 , the State Board of Elections shall make a written finding of fact that the order complies with KRS 117.055 to 117.0552 and shall approve the order. The order shall become effective upon its approval by the State Board of Elections unless the order contains a different effective date.

History. Enact. Acts 1992, ch. 430, § 6, effective July 14, 1992.

117.0556. Information to be supplied to Legislative Research Commission — Opportunity for comment.

For the purposes of implementing KRS 7.550 :

  1. The  State Board of Elections shall provide the Legislative Research Commission:
    1. A  copy of each proposed precinct establishment order submitted under KRS 117.0552 ;
    2. A  copy of each request for an exemption filed under KRS 117.0553 and 117.0554 ;
    3. Notice  of the time and place of any hearing on a request for an exemption held under  KRS 117.0554 ; and
    4. A  copy of each precinct establishment order approved under KRS 117.0553 to 117.0555 .
  2. The  Legislative Research Commission or its designee shall be given an opportunity  to comment upon any proposed order or request for an exemption made under  KRS 117.0553 to 117.0555 prior to the State Board of Elections’ approval of  the order or decision on the request.

History. Enact. Acts 1992, ch. 430, § 8, effective July 14, 1992.

117.0557. Schedule of actions for compliance with KRS 117.055 and 117.0551.

Not later than January 1, 1995, the boundaries of all election precincts in the Commonwealth shall comply with KRS 117.055 and 117.0551 , and all county boards of elections shall have filed with the State Board of Elections maps and descriptions of precinct boundaries that provide the information required by KRS 117.055 and 117.0552 . For the purpose of implementing this section:

  1. By  July 15, 1993, the State Board of Elections, in consultation with the Legislative  Research Commission, shall review the boundaries of all precincts in effect  on July 14, 1992, to determine whether or not the boundaries comply with KRS 117.055 and 117.0551 . If the State Board of Elections finds that a precinct  boundary does not comply with KRS 117.055 and 117.0551 , it shall so notify  the county board of elections in writing.
  2. By  July 15, 1993, the State Board of Elections, in consultation with the Legislative  Research Commission, shall review the maps and descriptions of precinct boundaries  on file with the State Board of Elections to determine if the boundaries of  all precincts in effect on July 14, 1992, are described and mapped in a manner  that provides the information required by KRS 117.055 and 117.0552 . If the  State Board of Elections finds that the information on file does not provide  the information required by KRS 117.055 and 117.0552 , it shall so notify the  county board of elections in writing.
  3. If  a county board of elections receives notice under subsection (1) or (2) of  this section, it shall prepare a proposed precinct establishment order to  establish a precinct boundary in compliance with KRS 117.055 and 117.0551 ,  or provide a map and description of the precinct boundary in compliance with  KRS 117.055 and 117.0552 , or both, not later than July 15, 1994. The proposed  precinct establishment order shall be processed in the manner prescribed by  KRS 117.0552 to 117.0555 .

History. Enact. Acts 1992, ch. 430, § 9, effective July 14, 1992.

117.056. Maintenance of boundaries of election precincts.

  1. The provisions of KRS 117.055 notwithstanding, the county boards of elections shall maintain the boundaries of election precincts from January 1 of each year ending in “0” until the termination of the next following regular or extraordinary session of the General Assembly which enacts congressional and state legislative redistricting legislation following receipt of the decennial United States Census of Population.
  2. If any county board of elections fails to perform the duty placed upon it by subsection (1) of this section, the State Board of Elections shall apply to the Circuit Court of the county for a writ of mandamus requiring the county board to perform this duty.

History. Enact. Acts 1990, ch. 319, § 1, effective July 13, 1990; 2001, ch. 122, § 1, effective March 19, 2001; 2020 ch. 78, § 1, effective April 7, 2020.

Opinions of Attorney General.

Where the written description with regard to precinct boundaries did not correspond with the precinct map, the map is the primary document with regard to precinct boundaries. However, if there is a serious discrepancy this would be a factual question which this office cannot answer but would require a determination by the court. OAG 91-55 .

117.057. Maintenance of current boundaries of election precincts. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (Enact. Acts 1980, ch. 15, § 1, effective July 15, 1980) was repealed upon the termination of the 1982 Regular Session of the General Assembly pursuant to Acts 1980, ch. 15, § 1(3).

117.058. Legislative approval for certain boundary changes.

The county board of elections shall not add territory to, delete territory from, or otherwise change the boundary of any congressional, representative, or senatorial district without legislative approval to redefine the district in the form of a legislative act changing the district’s boundaries. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit the consolidation, creation or division of precincts within legislative and congressional district boundaries under KRS 117.055 .

History. Enact. Acts 1982, ch. 394, § 1, effective July 15, 1982; 1986, ch. 470, § 7, effective July 15, 1986.

117.065. Establishing voting places for precincts — Change — Expense — Authority to designate as voting places buildings constructed with tax revenues — Voter accessibility — Immediate telephone accessibility.

  1. The  county board of elections shall, not later than September 20 of each year,  establish the voting place for each precinct. If a change becomes necessary  after that date, notice of change shall be published pursuant to KRS Chapter  424. If a change becomes necessary on election day, notice shall be posted  at the former voting place. The expense of renting voting places, for which  rent of not less than twenty dollars ($20) shall be paid, shall be paid in  the same manner as other election expenses.
  2. The  county board of elections shall have the authority to designate as voting  places, without cost to the board, buildings constructed in whole or in part  with tax revenues.
  3. The  county board of elections shall designate as voting places only those places  which are accessible to all eligible voters, including those with physical  limitations and the elderly.
  4. The  county board of elections shall ensure that each precinct polling place in  the county has immediate access to a telephone within the polling place on  the day of any election.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 23; 1976, ch. 135, § 2; 1980, ch. 72, § 1, effective July 15, 1980; 1994, ch. 394, § 8, effective July 15, 1994; 1994, ch. 416, § 2, effective July 15, 1994.

Legislative Research Commission Note.

(7/15/94). This section was amended by 1994 Ky. Acts chs. 394 and 416 which do not appear to be in conflict and have been codified together.

Opinions of Attorney General.

The expenses of opening schools to serve as voting places on a presidential election day as provided by subsection (2) of this section when the schools are mandated to be closed by KRS 2.190 would be so small and incidental as not to be proscribed by Const., §§ 180, 184, 186. OAG 76-592 , withdrawing OAG 42-363 .

Since the requirement that schools not be opened without a custodian is a policy created by school board and not by statute, the circumstances surrounding the use of schools as voting places as provided for in subsection (2) of this section may be structured so that there does not exist any unwarranted and impermissible expenditure of public common school money for election purposes. OAG 76-614 .

This section requires the county board of elections to establish a voting place “for” each precinct; although this section previously used the word “in” instead of “for” it would still appear that the voting place established for a particular precinct should be located therein if at all possible; however, the county board may draw precinct lines so as to enable more than one precinct to vote at one particular location so that a voting place may be established in an adjacent precinct that is on or near the adjoining precinct line thereby serving two precincts. OAG 78-698 .

A location of one voting place in a city to serve several adjacent precincts would be perfectly proper so long as the actual voting would be held in separate rooms for each precinct. OAG 82-511 .

Where a new districting plan included a city plus some additional area within the magisterial district, since the city could divide its area into a number of precincts, the board could establish one voting place at the courthouse or any other location that was reasonably close to the precinct lines where the voters of all such precincts could vote. OAG 82-511.

117.066. Ability of precinct with small number of voters to use voting facilities and election officers of larger precinct. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

  1. In the case of a precinct comprised of a small number of registered voters, the county board of elections may, pursuant to KRS 117.055 , utilize the facilities of another precinct as a voting location. Additionally, the county board of elections may petition the State Board of Elections to allow the precinct election officers of the larger precinct to serve as precinct election officers for the precinct that is the subject of the petition. The petition shall designate both the smaller precinct and the larger precinct with which it is to be included, the type of voting machine or machines to be used, and whether supplemental paper ballots are to be used. The petition shall contain a full explanation of the reasons why inclusion is desirable.
  2. If the petition submitted pursuant to subsection (1) of this section is approved by the State Board of Elections, the election shall be conducted according to the following provisions:
    1. One voting machine may be utilized for both precincts if the State Board of Elections certifies that separate ballots may be placed upon the voting machine to be used without endangering the integrity of the ballots or without violating any other election law. Otherwise, separate voting machines shall be used for each precinct. In the instance of a precinct which has a small number of voters such that the use of a separate voting machine would be cost-prohibitive, the county clerk may make application to the State Board of Elections to use supplemental paper ballots under KRS 118.215 to conduct the voting for the small precinct on election day. If the use of supplemental paper ballots is approved by the State Board of Elections, at the close of voting on election day, the locked ballot box shall be transported to the county board of elections and ballots shall be counted by the county board of elections as provided by KRS 117.275(10) to (13);
    2. Separate precinct voter rosters shall be maintained for each precinct, and steps shall be taken to insure that voters cast their ballot in their duly authorized precinct; and
    3. A separate set of elections forms and reports required by this chapter and the State Board of Elections shall be maintained for each precinct.

History. Enact. Acts 1992, ch. 430, § 10, effective April 13, 1992; 2002, ch. 129, § 3, effective April 2, 2002; 2008, ch. 129, § 13, effective July 15, 2008.

Legislative Research Commission Note.

(7/15/2010). A reference to “KRS 117.275 (7)” in subsection (2)(a) of this statute has been changed in codification to “KRS 117.275 (10) to (13).” 2010 Ky. Acts ch. 176, sec. 8, renumbered and subdivided the former subsection (7) of KRS 117.275 as subsections (10), (11), (12), and (13), but failed to include a conforming amendment to the reference in subsection (2)(a) of this statute. This manifest clerical or typographical error has been corrected by the Reviser of Statutes under the authority of KRS 7.136(1).

117.066. Ability of precinct with small number of voters to use voting facilities and election officers of larger precinct. [Effective July 15, 2020]

  1. In the case of a precinct comprised of a small number of registered voters, the county board of elections may, pursuant to KRS 117.055 , utilize the facilities of another precinct as a voting location. Additionally, the county board of elections may petition the State Board of Elections to allow the precinct election officers of the larger precinct to serve as precinct election officers for the precinct that is the subject of the petition. The petition shall designate both the smaller precinct and the larger precinct with which it is to be included, the type of voting machine or machines to be used, and whether supplemental paper ballots are to be used. The petition shall contain a full explanation of the reasons why inclusion is desirable.
  2. If the petition submitted pursuant to subsection (1) of this section is approved by the State Board of Elections, the election shall be conducted according to the following provisions:
    1. One voting machine may be utilized for both precincts if the State Board of Elections certifies that separate ballots may be placed upon the voting machine to be used without endangering the integrity of the ballots or without violating any other election law. Otherwise, separate voting machines shall be used for each precinct. In the instance of a precinct which has a small number of voters such that the use of a separate voting machine would be cost- prohibitive, the county clerk may make application to the State Board of Elections to use supplemental paper ballots under KRS 118.215 to conduct the voting for the small precinct on election day. If the use of supplemental paper ballots is approved by the State Board of Elections, at the close of voting on election day, the locked supplemental paper ballot box shall be transported to the county board of elections along with the federal provisional ballot receptacle, and ballots shall be counted by the county board of elections as provided by KRS 117.275(10) to (14);
    2. Separate precinct voter rosters shall be maintained for each precinct, and steps shall be taken to insure that voters cast their ballot in their duly authorized precinct; and
    3. A separate set of elections forms and reports required by this chapter and the State Board of Elections shall be maintained for each precinct.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1992, ch. 430, § 10, effective April 13, 1992; 2002, ch. 129, § 3, effective April 2, 2002; 2008, ch. 129, § 13, effective July 15, 2008; 2020 ch. 89, § 4, effective July 15, 2020.

Disabled and Absent Voters

117.075. Mail-in absentee ballots for voters with disabilities. [Repealed]

History. Enact. Acts 1976, ch. 247, § 3; 1978, ch. 222, § 1, effective June 17, 1978; 1980, ch. 73, § 1, effective July 15, 1980; 1982, ch. 141, § 56, effective July 1, 1982; 1982, ch. 360, § 38, effective July 15, 1982; 1982, ch. 394, § 9, effective July 15, 1982; 1984, ch. 185, § 7, effective July 13, 1984; 1986, ch. 287, § 4, effective July 15, 1986; 1986, ch. 470, § 8, effective July 15, 1986; 1990, ch. 48, § 16, effective July 13, 1990; 1992, ch. 65, § 1, effective March 19, 1992; 1994, ch. 394, § 9, effective July 15, 1994; 1994, ch. 405, § 14, effective July 15, 1994; 1998, ch. 243, § 4, effective April 1, 1998; 2010, ch. 176, § 4, effective July 15, 2010; 2017 ch. 190, § 6, effective April 11, 2017; repealed by 2019 ch. 112, § 8, effective June 27, 2019.

117.077. Absentee ballot for medical emergencies.

In case of a medical emergency within fourteen (14) days or less of an election, a registered voter and the registered voter’s spouse may apply for an absentee ballot. The application shall state that the emergency condition occurred within the fourteen (14) day period. The application shall be notarized. The application form may be requested by and delivered by the voter or the spouse, parents, or children of the voter. If the voter has no spouse, parents, or children, the application form may be requested by and delivered by the brother, sister, niece, nephew, or designee of the voter. The application form shall be restricted to the use of the voter. Upon receipt of the application and verification, the county clerk shall issue an absentee ballot.

History. Enact. Acts 1986, ch. 287, § 2, effective July 15, 1986; 1990, ch. 48, § 17, effective July 13, 1990; 1994, ch. 394, § 10, effective July 15, 1994; 1998, ch. 243, § 5, effective April 1, 1998; 2002, ch. 3, § 1, effective Feburary 15, 2002.

117.079. Administrative regulations for absentee voting by military and overseas voters.

The provisions of KRS 117.085 , 117.086 , and Chapter 117A notwithstanding, the State Board of Elections shall, as circumstances warrant and with the concurrence of the Attorney General, promulgate necessary administrative regulations to preserve the absentee voting rights of residents of Kentucky who are covered voters as defined in KRS 117A.010 .

History. Enact. Acts 1991 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 17, § 1, effective March 1, 1991; 2013, ch. 131, § 21, effective July 1, 2014.

117.085. Application for mail-in absentee ballot — In-person absentee voting in the clerk’s office — Supervision of and challengers for absentee voting — Form of ballot — Cancellation of absentee ballot — Disclosure of information. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

  1. All requests for an application for a mail-in absentee ballot may be transmitted by telephone, facsimile machine, by mail, by electronic mail, or in person. The county clerk shall transmit all applications for a mail-in absentee ballot to the voter by mail, electronic mail, or in person at the option of the voter, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection. The mail-in absentee ballot application may be requested by the voter or the spouse, parents, or children of the voter, but shall be restricted to the use of the voter.
    1. A qualified voter may apply to cast his or her vote by mail-in absentee ballot if the completed application is received not later than the close of business hours seven (7) days before the election, and if the voter is:
      1. A resident of Kentucky who is a covered voter as defined in KRS 117A.010 ;
      2. A student who temporarily resides outside the county of his or her residence;
      3. Incarcerated in jail and charged with a crime, but has not been convicted of the crime;
      4. Changing or has changed his or her place of residence to a different state while the registration books are closed in the new state of residence before an election of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, in which case the voter shall be permitted to cast a mail-in absentee ballot for electors for President and Vice President of the United States only;
      5. Temporarily residing outside the state but still eligible to vote in this state;
      6. Prevented from voting in person at the polls on election day and from casting an in-person absentee ballot in the county clerk’s office on all days in-person absentee voting is conducted because his or her employment location requires him or her to be absent from the county of his or her residence all hours and all days in-person absentee voting is conducted in the county clerk’s office;
      7. A participant in the Secretary of State’s crime victim address confidentiality protection program as authorized by KRS 14.312 ; or
      8. Not able to appear at the polls on election day on the account of age, disability, or illness, and who has not been declared mentally disabled by a court of competent jurisdiction.
    2. Residents of Kentucky who are covered voters as defined in KRS 117A.010 may apply for a mail-in absentee ballot by means of the federal post-card application, which may be transmitted to the county clerk’s office by mail, by facsimile machine, or by means of the electronic transmission system established under KRS 117A.030(4). The federal post-card application may be used to register, reregister, and to apply for a mail-in absentee ballot. If the federal post-card application is received at any time not less than seven (7) days before the election, the county clerk shall affix his or her seal to the application form upon receipt.
    3. In-person absentee voting shall be conducted in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections and approved by the State Board of Elections during normal business hours for at least the twelve (12) working days before the election. A county board of elections may permit in-person absentee voting to be conducted on a voting machine for a period longer than the twelve (12) working days before the election.
    4. A qualified voter may, at any time during normal business hours on those days in-person absentee voting is conducted in the county clerk’s office, make application in person to the county clerk to vote on a voting machine in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections and approved by the State Board of Elections, if the voter:
      1. Is a resident of Kentucky who is a covered voter as defined in KRS 117A.010, who will be absent from the county of his or her residence on any election day;
      2. Is a student who temporarily resides outside the county of his or her residence;
      3. Has surgery, or whose spouse has surgery, scheduled that will require hospitalization on election day;
      4. Temporarily resides outside the state, but is still eligible to vote in this state and will be absent from the county of his or her residence on any election day;
      5. Is a resident of Kentucky who is a uniformed-service voter as defined in KRS 117A.010 confined to a military base on election day, learns of that confinement within seven (7) days or less of an election, and is not eligible for a mail-in absentee ballot under this subsection;
      6. Is in her last trimester of pregnancy at the time she wishes to vote under this paragraph. The application form for a voter under this subparagraph shall be prescribed by the State Board of Elections, which shall contain the woman’s sworn statement that she is in fact in her last trimester of pregnancy at the time she wishes to vote;
      7. Has not been declared mentally disabled by a court of competent jurisdiction and, on account of age, disability, or illness, is not able to appear at the polls on election day; or
      8. Is not permitted to vote by a mail-in absentee ballot under paragraph (a) of this subsection, but who will be absent from the county of his or her residence on election day.
    5. Voters who change their place of residence to a different state while the registration books are closed in the new state of residence before a presidential election shall be permitted to cast an in-person absentee ballot for President and Vice President only, by making application in person to the county clerk to vote on a voting machine in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections and approved by the State Board of Elections, up to the close of normal business hours on the day before the election.
    6. Any member of the county board of elections, any precinct election officer appointed to serve in a precinct other than that in which he or she is registered, any alternate precinct election officer, any deputy county clerk, any staff for the State Board of Elections, and any staff for the county board of elections may vote on a voting machine in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections, and approved by the State Board of Elections, up to the close of normal business hours on the day before the election. The application form for those persons shall be prescribed by the State Board of Elections and, in the case of application by precinct election officers, shall contain a verification of appointment signed by a member of the county board of elections. If an alternate precinct election officer or a precinct election officer appointed to serve in a precinct other than that in which he or she is registered receives his or her appointment while in-person absentee voting is being conducted in the county, the officer may vote on a voting machine in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections, and approved by the State Board of Elections, up to the close of normal business hours on the day before the election. Precinct election officers’ verification of appointment shall also contain the date of appointment. The applications shall be restricted to the use of the voter only.
    7. The members of the county board of elections or their designees who provide equal representation of both political parties may serve as precinct election officers, without compensation, for all in-person absentee voting performed on a voting machine in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections and approved by the State Board of Elections. If the members of the county board of elections or their designees serve as precinct election officers for the in-person absentee voting, they shall perform the same duties and exercise the same authority as precinct election officers who serve on the day of an election. If the members of the county board of elections or their designees do not serve as precinct election officers for in-person absentee voting, the county clerk or deputy county clerks shall supervise the in-person absentee voting.
    8. Any individual qualified to appoint challengers for the day of an election may also appoint challengers to observe all in-person absentee voting performed at the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections, and approved by the State Board of Elections, and those challengers may exercise the same privileges as challengers appointed for observing voting on the day of an election at a regular polling place.
  2. The county clerk shall type the name of the voter permitted to vote by mail-in absentee ballot on the mail-in absentee ballot application form for that person’s use and no other. The mail-in absentee ballot application form shall be in the form prescribed by the State Board of Elections, shall bear the seal of the county clerk, and shall contain the following information: name, residential address, precinct, party affiliation, statement of the reason the person cannot vote in person on election day, statement of where the voter shall be on election day, statement of compliance with residency requirements for voting in the precinct, and the voter’s mailing address for a mail-in absentee ballot. The mail-in absentee ballot application form shall be verified and signed by the voter. A notice of the actual penalty provisions in KRS 117.995(2) and (5) shall be printed on the mail-in absentee ballot application form.
  3. If the county clerk finds that the voter is properly registered as stated in his or her mail-in absentee ballot application form and qualifies to receive a mail-in absentee ballot by mail, he or she shall mail to the voter a mail-in absentee ballot, two (2) official envelopes for returning the mail-in absentee ballot, and instructions for voting. The county clerk shall complete a postal form for a certificate of mailing for mail-in absentee ballots mailed within the fifty (50) states, and it shall be stamped by the postal service when the mail-in absentee ballots are mailed. A mail-in absentee ballot may be transmitted by facsimile machine or by the electronic transmission system established under KRS 117A.030(4) to a covered voter as defined in KRS 117A.010 . The covered voter shall be notified of the options for transmittal of the mail-in absentee ballot, and the mail-in absentee ballot shall be transmitted by the method chosen for receipt by the resident of Kentucky who is a covered voter.
  4. Mail-in absentee ballots which are requested prior to the printing of the mail-in absentee ballots shall be mailed or otherwise transmitted as provided in subsection (3) of this section by the county clerk to the voter within three (3) days of the receipt of the printed ballots. Mail-in absentee ballots requested after the receipt of the ballots by the county clerk shall be mailed or otherwise transmitted as provided in subsection (3) of this section to the voter within three (3) days of the receipt of the request.
  5. The county clerk shall cause mail-in absentee ballots to be printed fifty (50) days prior to each primary or regular election, and forty-five (45) days prior to a special election.
  6. The outer envelope shall bear the words “Absentee Ballot” and the address and official title of the county clerk and shall provide space for the voter’s signature, voting address, precinct number, and signatures of two (2) witnesses if the votersigns the form with the use of a mark instead of the voter’s signature. A detachable flap on the inner envelope shall provide space for the voter’s signature, voting address, precinct number, signatures of two (2) witnesses if the voter signs the form with the use of a mark instead of the voter’s signature and notice of penalty provided in KRS 117.995(5). The county clerk shall type the voter’s address and precinct number in the upper left hand corner of the outer envelope and of the detachable flap on the inner envelope immediately below the blank space for the voter’s signature. The inner envelope shall be blank. The county clerk shall retain the mail- in ballot application form and the postal form required by subsection (3) of this section for twenty-two (22) months after the election.
  7. Any person who has received a mail-in absentee ballot by mail but who knows at least seven (7) days before the date of the election that he or she will be in his or her county of residence on election day and who has not voted pursuant to the provisions of KRS 117.086 shall cancel his or her mail-in absentee ballot and vote in person. The voter shall return the mail-in absentee ballot to the county clerk’s office no later than seven (7) days prior to the date of the election. Upon the return of the mail-in absentee ballot, the county clerk shall mark on the outer envelope of the sealed ballot or the unmarked ballot the words “Canceled because voter appeared to vote in person.” Sealed envelopes so marked shall not be opened. The county clerk shall remove the voter’s name from the list of persons who were sent mail-in absentee ballots, and the voter may vote in the precinct in which he or she is properly registered.
  8. Any voter qualified for a mail-in absentee ballot who does not receive a requested mail-in absentee ballot within a reasonable amount of time shall contact the county clerk, who shall reissue a second mail-in absentee ballot. The county clerk shall keep a record of the mail-in absentee ballots issued and returned by mail, and the in- person absentee voting that is performed on the voting machine in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections and approved by the State Board of Elections, to verify that only the first voted ballot to be returned by the voter is counted. Upon the return of any ballot after the first ballot is returned, the county clerk shall mark on the outer envelope of the sealed ballot the words “Canceled because ballot reissued.”
  9. Any covered voter as defined in KRS 117A.010 who has received a mail-in absentee ballot but who knows that he or she will be in the county on election day and who has not voted pursuant to the provisions of KRS 117.086 shall cancel his or her mail-in absentee ballot and vote in person. The voter shall return the mail-in absentee ballot to the county clerk’s office on or before election day. Upon the return of the mail-in absentee ballot, the county clerk shall mark on the outer envelope of the sealed mail-in absentee ballot or the unmarked mail-in absentee ballot the words “Canceled because voter appeared to vote in person.” Sealed envelopes so marked shall not be opened. If the covered voter is unable to return the mail-in absentee ballot to the county clerk’s office on or before election day, at the time he or she votes in person, he or she shall sign a written oath as to his or her qualifications on the form prescribed by the State Board of Elections pursuant to KRS 117.245 . The county clerk shall remove the voter’s name from the list of persons who were sent mail-in absentee ballots, provide the voter with written authorization to vote at the precinct, and the voter may vote in the precinct in which he or she is properly registered.
  10. Notwithstanding the provisions of the Kentucky Open Records Act, KRS 61.870 to 61.884 , the information contained in an application for a mail-in absentee ballot shall not be made public until after the close of business hours on the election day for which the application applies. This subsection shall not prohibit at any time the disclosure, upon request, of the total number of applications for mail-in absentee ballots that have been filed, or the disclosure to the Secretary of State or the State Board of Elections, if requested or if otherwise required by law, of any information in an application for a mail-in absentee ballot.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1976, ch. 247, § 4; 2017 ch. 190, § 7, effective April 11, 2017; 2019 ch. 112, § 2, effective June 27, 2019.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

The application for an absentee ballot must be considered as having been made when properly mailed and the actual receipt by the clerk within the specified time is not required. Queenan v. Russell, 339 S.W.2d 475, 1960 Ky. LEXIS 469 ( Ky. 1960 ) (decided under prior law).

Former sections governing applications for absentee ballots imposed no duty upon a notary public to administer an oath or to notarize an application for an absentee ballot. Redden v. Commonwealth, 339 S.W.2d 447, 1960 Ky. LEXIS 452 ( Ky. 1960 ) (decided under prior law).

There was substantial compliance with posting requirement where the list was publicly available on the counter in the county clerk’s office. Arnett v. Hensley, 425 S.W.2d 546, 1968 Ky. LEXIS 418 ( Ky. 1968 ) (decided under prior law).

Merely furnishing a list to the officers present at the polling places did not satisfy the posting requirements of former section. Arnett v. Hensley, 425 S.W.2d 546, 1968 Ky. LEXIS 418 ( Ky. 1968 ) (decided under prior law).

Substantial evidence supported the trial court’s finding that a clear majority of the walk-in absentee votes cast in one district were tainted because (1) improper addresses were provided; (2) persons obtaining absentee ballots were actually in the county on election day; and (3) voters not entitled to assistance with voting machines under Kentucky law obtained such assistance. McClendon v. Hodges, 272 S.W.3d 188, 2008 Ky. LEXIS 257 ( Ky. 2008 ).

1. Voiding Elections.

Election was declared void because (1) a county board of elections did not substantially comply with absentee ballot counting requirements, (2) there were repeated Corrupt Practices Act violations and misconduct during voting on election day, and (3) cumulative departures from statutory mandates disfranchised legal voters or those who cast valid absentee ballots. Hardin v. Montgomery, 2015 Ky. App. LEXIS 94 (Ky. Ct. App. June 12, 2015), rev'd, 495 S.W.3d 686, 2016 Ky. LEXIS 332 ( Ky. 2016 ) (Ct. App. Ky. 2016 ).

Alleged irregularities relating to the in-house absentee process did not justify nullifying an election for judge executive where Ky Rev. Stat. Ann. § 117.085(1)(h) disclosed no requirement for each board member to be present at the in-house voting site, and the four occasion in which a deputy county clerk or Democrat election commissioner assisted voters with no one else present were not so widespread as to invalidate the entire absentee balloting process under the Ragan-Warren standard. Hardin v. Montgomery, 495 S.W.3d 686, 2016 Ky. LEXIS 332 ( Ky. 2016 ).

2. Miscellaneous.

Election officials' failure to obtain the voter's telephone number and social security number did not render the absentee voter application invalid or illegal where Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 117.085(2) did not direct the clerk or the election officials to obtain that information, no other law so provide, and the name and address of the voter on the application provided adequate identifying information. Hardin v. Montgomery, 495 S.W.3d 686, 2016 Ky. LEXIS 332 ( Ky. 2016 ).

In a federal prosecution of a deputy clerk for participation in a vote buying conspiracy, the jury was incorrectly told that Kentucky law prohibited the clerk from supervising in-person absentee voting; because a challenger is not an election officer, a challenger’s presence did not result in equal representation of political parties, and the clerk’s supervision was proper. The error was not prejudicial because the jury was correctly instructed that the clerk could not lawfully assist voters. United States v. Risner, 737 Fed. Appx. 751, 2018 FED App. 0304N, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16252 (6th Cir. Ky. 2018 ).

Where two entirely separate elections were to take place on the same day, since the Legislature has failed to provide a method of procedure for printing and issuing ballots for such combined elections, it would be deemed in the best interests of all concerned to have a separate ballot printed for each of such elections, and sent separately by the county clerk, to those who properly applied for an absent voter’s ballot. Martin v. Moore, 306 S.W.2d 98, 1957 Ky. LEXIS 18 ( Ky. 1957 ) (decided under prior law).

Kentucky statutes that prohibited disclosing names and temporary addresses of absentee voters prior to election, did not infringe upon candidates' free speech rights because First Amendment does not require government to disclose information to candidates in order to facilitate their campaign efforts. Sheldon v. Grimes, 18 F. Supp. 3d 854, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60518 (E.D. Ky. 2014 ), dismissed, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204266 (E.D. Ky. Aug. 26, 2014).

Opinions of Attorney General.

Since this section provides that the clerk shall retain the absent voters’ applications until 30 days (now 22 months) after the election, the clerk should not turn over the applications to the state police before the expiration of the 30-day period (now 22 months) unless he is presented with a court order directing him to do so. OAG 77-727 .

If the voter furnishes sufficient identification on the telephone to the satisfaction of the clerk, such method of making application for the form would be legal under the terms of the statute. OAG 78-424 .

The provision in this section that the voter may make application to the clerk in person or by mail for an absentee ballot can only refer to the return of the application form, properly filled out by the voter, to the clerk for his absentee ballot, and could not be construed to refer to obtaining the application form by the voter for future submission back to the clerk for his absentee ballot. OAG 78-424 .

The county clerk cannot hand deliver any absent voter’s ballot but must mail all such ballots to the voter. OAG 79-311 .

A voter who desires to vote absentee could, pursuant to this section, request an application form for an absent ballot from the clerk by telephone, provided the clerk could properly identify the voter. OAG 80-416 .

Where the clerk’s seal was inadvertently left off the application form and there was ample evidence that the form was in fact sent to the voter from the clerk’s office and received from the voter properly filled out and signed, the statutory requirement of this section has been substantially complied with; therefore, the application form sent to and returned by the voter would be valid. Added weight to this conclusion is the fact that the voter has complied with the statutory requirements imposed on him in making application and returning same and should not be penalized for an error committed on the part of the clerk or one of his deputies. OAG 83-436 .

Absentee ballots and applications which were in the custody of the circuit clerk pending an election contest suit were “public records” in the possession of a “public agency” pursuant to KRS 61.870 and open to public inspection while in the clerk’s custody. OAG 83-476 .

Although there is no specific statute under the election laws declaring that a voter’s application for an absentee ballot required to be made under KRS 117.075 or this section becomes a public record open to public inspection, the completed application constitutes a public record to which the county clerk cannot deny access. OAG 84-166 .

Since subsection (4) (now (5)) of this section which requires county clerks to have election ballots printed 50 days before the election and KRS 83A.045 under certain conditions allows candidates for city offices in certain small cities to file for office up to 30 days before election, are patent and irreconcilable, county clerks should proceed with the printing of the ballots as required by subsection (4) (now (5)) of this section even though there is still time for some candidates to file for certain city offices; if a candidate later files for one (1) of the city races, the clerk may reprint the ballots for the precincts within the affected city. With regard to city voters who may receive an absentee ballot while the filing period is still open, the situation should be disclosed to them by attaching a notice to the absentee ballot so that they may choose to withhold voting until all the candidates are known. OAG 93-62 .

This section permits all students who live outside the county in which they are registered to vote by paper absentee ballot. OAG 94-59 .

Legislation providing for “no-excuse absentee voting,” or early voting, in order to comply with federal law, a final court decision binding the Commonwealth, or rights recognized in the Bill of Rights of the Kentucky Constitution would not require an amendment to the Kentucky Constitution. OAG 07-05 .

Research References and Practice Aids

Cross-References.

Eligibility to vote, persons charged with crime, KRS 116.025 .

Absentee write-in voting, KRS 117.265 .

ALR

Validity of absentee voters’ law. 97 A.L.R.2d 218.

Construction and effect of absentee voters’ law. 97 A.L.R.2d 257.

117.085. Application for mail-in absentee ballot and federal in-person provisional absentee voting — Absentee ballot for medical emergencies — In-person absentee voting in the clerk’s office — Supervision of and challengers for absentee voting — Form of ballot — Voter’s proof of identification or voter affirmation — Cancellation of absentee ballot — Disclosure of information. [Effective July 15, 2020]

  1. All requests for an application for a mail-in absentee ballot may be transmitted by telephone, facsimile machine, by mail, by electronic mail, or in person. The county clerk shall transmit all applications for a mail-in absentee ballot to the voter by mail, electronic mail, or in person at the option of the voter, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection. Except as otherwise provided in KRS 117.077 , the mail-in absentee ballot application may be requested by the voter or the spouse, parents, or children of the voter, but shall be restricted to the use of the voter.
    1. Except as otherwise provided in KRS 117.077 , a qualified voter may apply to cast his or her vote by mail-in absentee ballot if the completed application is received not later than the close of business hours seven (7) days before the election, and if the voter is:
      1. A resident of Kentucky who is a covered voter as defined in KRS 117A.010 ;
      2. A student who temporarily resides outside the county of his or her residence;
      3. Incarcerated in jail and charged with a crime, but has not been convicted of the crime;
      4. Changing or has changed his or her place of residence to a different state while the registration books are closed in the new state of residence before an election of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, in which case the voter shall be permitted to cast a mail-in absentee ballot for electors for President and Vice President of the United States only;
      5. Temporarily residing outside the state but still eligible to vote in this state;
      6. Prevented from voting in person at the polls on election day and from casting an in-person absentee ballot in the county clerk’s office on all days in-person absentee voting is conducted because his or her employment location requires him or her to be absent from the county of his or her residence all hours and all days in-person absentee voting is conducted in the county clerk’s office;
      7. A participant in the Secretary of State’s crime victim address confidentiality protection program as authorized by KRS 14.312 ; or
      8. Not able to appear at the polls on election day on the account of age, disability, or illness, and who has not been declared mentally disabled by a court of competent jurisdiction.
    2. Residents of Kentucky who are covered voters as defined in KRS 117A.010 may apply for a mail-in absentee ballot by means of the federal post-card application, which may be transmitted to the county clerk’s office by mail, by facsimile machine, or by means of the electronic transmission system established under KRS 117A.030(4). The federal post-card application may be used to register, reregister, and to apply for a mail-in absentee ballot. If the federal post-card application is received at any time not less than seven (7) days before the election, the county clerk shall affix his or her seal to the application form upon receipt.
    3. In-person absentee voting shall be conducted in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections and approved by the State Board of Elections during normal business hours for at least the twelve (12) working days before the election. A county board of elections may permit in-person absentee voting to be conducted on a voting machine for a period longer than the twelve (12) working days before the election.
    4. A qualified voter may, at any time during normal business hours on those days in-person absentee voting is conducted in the county clerk’s office, make application in person to the county clerk to vote on a voting machine in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections and approved by the State Board of Elections, if the voter provides proof of identification as defined in KRS 117.375 or meets the requirements of KRS 117.228 and 117.229 , and the voter:
      1. Is a resident of Kentucky who is a covered voter as defined in KRS 117A.010, who will be absent from the county of his or her residence on any election day;
      2. Is a student who temporarily resides outside the county of his or her residence;
      3. Has surgery, or whose spouse has surgery, scheduled that will require hospitalization on election day;
      4. Temporarily resides outside the state, but is still eligible to vote in this state and will be absent from the county of his or her residence on any election day;
      5. Is a resident of Kentucky who is a uniformed-service voter as defined in KRS 117A.010 confined to a military base on election day, learns of that confinement within seven (7) days or less of an election, and is not eligible for a mail-in absentee ballot under this subsection;
      6. Is in her last trimester of pregnancy at the time she wishes to vote under this paragraph. The application form for a voter under this subparagraph shall be prescribed by the State Board of Elections, which shall contain the woman’s sworn statement that she is in fact in her last trimester of pregnancy at the time she wishes to vote;
      7. Has not been declared mentally disabled by a court of competent jurisdiction and, on account of age, disability, or illness, is not able to appear at the polls on election day; or
      8. Is not permitted to vote by a mail-in absentee ballot under paragraph (a) of this subsection, but who will be absent from the county of his or her residence on election day.
    5. Voters who change their place of residence to a different state while the registration books are closed in the new state of residence before a presidential election shall be permitted to cast an in-person absentee ballot for President and Vice President only, by making application in person to the county clerk to vote on a voting machine in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections and approved by the State Board of Elections, up to the close of normal business hours on the day before the election.
    6. Any member of the county board of elections, any precinct election officer appointed to serve in a precinct other than that in which he or she is registered, any alternate precinct election officer, any deputy county clerk, any staff for the State Board of Elections, and any staff for the county board of elections may vote on a voting machine in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections, and approved by the State Board of Elections, up to the close of normal business hours on the day before the election. The application form for those persons shall be prescribed by the State Board of Elections and, in the case of application by precinct election officers, shall contain a verification of appointment signed by a member of the county board of elections. If an alternate precinct election officer or a precinct election officer appointed to serve in a precinct other than that in which he or she is registered receives his or her appointment while in-person absentee voting is being conducted in the county, the officer may vote on a voting machine in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections, and approved by the State Board of Elections, up to the close of normal business hours on the day before the election. Precinct election officers’ verification of appointment shall also contain the date of appointment. The applications shall be restricted to the use of the voter only.
    7. The members of the county board of elections or their designees who provide equal representation of both political parties may serve as precinct election officers, without compensation, for all in-person absentee voting performed on a voting machine in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections and approved by the State Board of Elections. If the members of the county board of elections or their designees serve as precinct election officers for the in-person absentee voting, they shall perform the same duties and exercise the same authority as precinct election officers who serve on the day of an election. If the members of the county board of elections or their designees do not serve as precinct election officers for in- person absentee voting, the county clerk or deputy county clerks shall supervise the in-person absentee voting.
    8. Any individual qualified to appoint challengers for the day of an election may also appoint challengers to observe all in-person absentee voting performed at the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections, and approved by the State Board of Elections, and those challengers may exercise the same privileges as challengers appointed for observing voting on the day of an election at a regular polling place.
  2. The county clerk shall type the name of the voter permitted to vote by mail-in absentee ballot on the mail-in absentee ballot application form for that person’s use and no other. The mail-in absentee ballot application form shall be in the form prescribed by the State Board of Elections, which shall include the voter affirmation form as prescribed in KRS 117.228(1)(c), shall bear the seal of the county clerk, and shall contain the following information: name, residential address, precinct, party affiliation, statement of the reason the person cannot vote in person on election day, statement of where the voter shall be on election day, statement of compliance with residency requirements for voting in the precinct, an instructional statement prescribing the requirements for providing a copy of the voter’s proof of identification or voter affirmation when applicable, and the voter’s mailing address for a mail-in absentee ballot. The mail-in absentee ballot application form shall be verified and signed by the voter, and the voter shall provide a copy of his or her proof of identification, as defined in KRS 117.375 , or the executed voter affirmation as described in KRS 117.228(1)(c). A notice of the actual penalty provisions in KRS 117.995(2) and (5) shall be printed on the mail-in absentee ballot application form.
    1. If the county clerk finds that the voter is properly registered as stated in his or her mail-in absentee ballot application form and qualifies to receive a mail-in absentee ballot by mail, he or she shall mail to the voter a mail-in absentee ballot, two (2) official envelopes for returning the mail-in absentee ballot, and instructions for voting. (3) (a) If the county clerk finds that the voter is properly registered as stated in his or her mail-in absentee ballot application form and qualifies to receive a mail-in absentee ballot by mail, he or she shall mail to the voter a mail-in absentee ballot, two (2) official envelopes for returning the mail-in absentee ballot, and instructions for voting.
    2. The county clerk shall complete a postal form for a certificate of mailing for mail-in absentee ballots mailed within the fifty (50) states, and it shall be stamped by the postal service when the mail-in absentee ballots are mailed. A mail-in absentee ballot may be transmitted by facsimile machine or by the electronic transmission system established under KRS 117A.030(4) to a covered voter as defined in KRS 117A.010 . The covered voter shall be notified of the options for transmittal of the mail-in absentee ballot, and the mail-in absentee ballot shall be transmitted by the method chosen for receipt by the resident of Kentucky who is a covered voter.
  3. Mail-in absentee ballots which are requested prior to the printing of the mail-in absentee ballots shall be mailed or otherwise transmitted as provided in subsection (3) of this section by the county clerk to the voter within three (3) days of the receipt of the printed ballots. Mail-in absentee ballots requested after the receipt of the ballots by the county clerk shall be mailed or otherwise transmitted as provided in subsection (3) of this section to the voter within three (3) days of the receipt of the request.
  4. The county clerk shall cause mail-in absentee ballots to be printed fifty (50) days prior to each primary or regular election, and forty-five (45) days prior to a special election.
  5. The outer envelope shall bear the words “Absentee Ballot” and the address and official title of the county clerk and shall provide space for the voter’s signature, voting address, precinct number, and signatures of two (2) witnesses if the voter signs the form with the use of a mark instead of the voter’s signature. A detachable flap on the secrecy envelope shall provide space for the voter’s signature, voting address, precinct number, signatures of two (2) witnesses if the voter signs the form with the use of a mark instead of the voter’s signature and notice of penalty provided in KRS 117.995(5). The county clerk shall type the voter’s address and precinct number in the upper left hand corner of the outer envelope and of the detachable flap on the secrecy envelope immediately below the blank space for the voter’s signature. The secrecy envelope shall be blank. The county clerk shall retain the voter’s mail-in ballot application form, which shall include the photographed copy of the voter’s proof of identification or the voter affirmation as prescribed by KRS 117.228(1)(c), and the postal form required by subsection (3) of this section for twenty-two (22) months after the primary or election.
  6. Any person who has received a mail-in absentee ballot by mail but who knows at least seven (7) days before the date of the election that he or she will be in his or her county of residence on election day and who has not voted pursuant to the provisions of KRS 117.086 shall cancel his or her mail-in absentee ballot and vote in person. The voter shall return the mail-in absentee ballot to the county clerk’s office no later than seven (7) days prior to the date of the election. Upon the return of the mail-in absentee ballot, the county clerk shall mark on the outer envelope of the sealed ballot or the unmarked ballot the words “Canceled because voter appeared to vote in person.” Sealed envelopes so marked shall not be opened. The county clerk shall remove the voter’s name from the list of persons who were sent mail-in absentee ballots, and the voter may vote in the precinct in which he or she is properly registered.
  7. Any voter qualified for a mail-in absentee ballot who does not receive a requested mail-in absentee ballot within a reasonable amount of time shall contact the county clerk, who shall reissue a second mail-in absentee ballot. The county clerk shall keep a record of the mail-in absentee ballots issued and returned by mail, the in-person absentee voting and federal in-person provisional absentee voting that is performed on the voting machine in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections and approved by the State Board of Elections, to verify that only the first voted ballot to be returned by the voter is counted. Upon the return of any mail-in absentee ballot after the first mail-in absentee ballot is returned, the county clerk shall mark on the outer envelope of the sealed ballot the words “Canceled because ballot reissued.”
  8. Any covered voter as defined in KRS 117A.010 who has received a mail-in absentee ballot but who knows that he or she will be in the county on election day and who has not voted pursuant to the provisions of KRS 117.086 shall cancel his or her mail-in absentee ballot and vote in person. The voter shall return the mail-in absentee ballot to the county clerk’s office on or before election day. Upon the return of the mail-in absentee ballot, the county clerk shall mark on the outer envelope of the sealed mail-in absentee ballot or the unmarked mail-in absentee ballot the words “Canceled because voter appeared to vote in person.” Sealed envelopes so marked shall not be opened. If the covered voter is unable to return the mail-in absentee ballot to the county clerk’s office on or before election day, at the time he or she votes in person, he or she shall sign a written oath as to his or her qualifications on the form prescribed by the State Board of Elections pursuant to KRS 117.245 . The county clerk shall remove the voter’s name from the list of persons who were sent mail-in absentee ballots, provide the voter with written authorization to vote at the precinct, and the voter may vote in the precinct in which he or she is properly registered.
  9. Notwithstanding the provisions of the Kentucky Open Records Act, KRS 61.870 to 61.884 , the information contained in an application for a mail-in absentee ballot shall not be made public until after the close of business hours on the election day for which the application applies. This subsection shall not prohibit at any time the disclosure, upon request, of the total number of applications for mail-in absentee ballots that have been filed, or the disclosure to the Secretary of State or the State Board of Elections, if requested or if otherwise required by law, of any information in an application for a mail-in absentee ballot.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1976, ch. 247, § 4; 2017 ch. 190, § 7, effective April 11, 2017; 2019 ch. 112, § 2, effective June 27, 2019; 2020 ch. 89, § 5, effective July 15, 2020.

117.0851. Tabulation of absentee ballots. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

Absentee ballots cast, as provided by KRS 117.077 and 117.085 , shall all be tabulated in the same manner, as shall be provided by this chapter.

History. Enact. Acts 1986, ch. 287, § 3, effective July 15, 1986; 1992, ch. 296, § 2, effective July 14, 1992; 2019 ch. 112, § 4, effective June 27, 2019.

117.0851. Tabulation of absentee ballots and federal provisional absentee ballots. [Effective July 15, 2020]

Absentee ballots and federal provisional absentee ballots cast, as absentee ballots and federal provisional absentee ballots are provided by KRS 117.077 , 117.085 , and 117.229 shall all be tabulated in the same manner, as shall be provided by this chapter.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1986, ch. 287, § 3, effective July 15, 1986; 1992, ch. 296, § 2, effective July 14, 1992; 2019 ch. 112, § 4, effective June 27, 2019; 2020 ch. 89, § 6, effective July 15, 2020.

117.086. Marking of absentee ballot — Deposit of returned ballots — Record — Disclosure of information. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

  1. The voter returning his absentee ballot by mail shall mark his ballot, seal it in the inner envelope and then in the outer envelope, and mail it to the county clerk as shall be provided by this chapter. The voter shall sign the detachable flap and the outer envelope in order to validate the ballot. A person having power of attorney for the voter and who signs the detachable flap and outer envelope for the voter shall complete the voter assistance form as required by KRS 117.255 . The signatures of two (2) witnesses are required if the voter signs the form with the use of a mark instead of the voter’s signature. A resident of Kentucky who is a covered voter as defined in KRS 117A.010 who has received an absentee ballot transmitted by facsimile machine or by means of the electronic transmission system established under KRS 117A.030(4) shall transmit the voted ballot to the county clerk by mail only, conforming with ballot security requirements that may be promulgated by the state board by administrative regulation. In order to be counted, the ballots shall be received by the clerk by at least the time established by the election laws generally for the closing of the polls, which time shall not include the extra hour during which those voters may vote who were waiting in line to vote at the scheduled poll closing time.
  2. Any voter who shall be absent from the county on election day, but who does not qualify to receive an absentee ballot by mail under the provisions of KRS 117.085 , and all voters qualified to vote prior to the election under the provisions of KRS 117.085 , shall vote at the main office of the county clerk or other place designated by the county board of elections, and approved by the State Board of Elections, prior to the day of election. The clerk may provide for such voting by the voting equipment in general use in the county either at the precinct, the equipment as may be used to tabulate absentee ballots, or any other voting equipment approved by the State Board of Elections for use in Kentucky, except as follows:
    1. Any voter qualifying to vote in the clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections, and approved by the State Board of Elections, who receives assistance to vote shall complete the voter assistance form required by KRS 117.255 .
    2. Any voter qualifying to vote in the clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections, and approved by the State Board of Elections, whose qualifications are challenged by any clerk or deputy shall complete an “Oath of Voter” affidavit.
  3. When the clerk uses general voting equipment as provided for in subsection (2) of this section, each voter casting his vote at the clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections, and approved by the State Board of Elections, shall sign an “Absentee Ballot Signature Roster.”
  4. The clerk shall designate a location within his office where the ballots shall be cast secretly. The county clerk, with the approval of the State Board of Elections, may establish locations other than his main office in which the voters may execute their ballots. Public notice of the locations shall be given pursuant to KRS Chapter 424 and similar notice by mail shall be given to the county chairmen of the two (2) political parties whose candidates polled the largest number of votes in the county at the last general election.
  5. The State Board of Elections shall promulgate administrative regulations to provide for casting ballots as provided in subsection (2) of this section.
  6. The clerk shall deposit all of the absentee ballots returned by mail in a locked ballot box immediately upon receipt without opening the outer envelope. The ballot box shall be locked with three (3) locks. The keys to the box shall be retained by the three (3) members of the central absentee ballot counting board, if one is appointed, or by the members of the board of elections, and the box shall remain locked until the ballots are counted. All voting equipment on which ballots are cast as permitted in subsection (2) of this section shall also remain locked and the keys shall be retained by the three (3) members of the central absentee ballot counting board, if one is appointed, or by the members of the board of elections, and the equipment shall remain locked until the ballots are counted.
  7. The clerk shall keep a list for each election of all persons who return their absentee ballots by mail or who cast their ballots in the clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections and approved by the State Board of Elections, and shall send a copy of each list to the state board after the election day for which the list applies. Notwithstanding the provisions of the Kentucky Open Records Act, KRS 61.870 to 61.884 , each list of all persons who return their absentee ballots by mail or cast their ballots in the clerk’s office or other designated and approved place shall not be made public until after the close of business hours on the election day for which the list applies. The county clerk and the Secretary of State shall keep a record of the number of votes cast by absentee ballots returned by mail and cast on the voting machine in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections and approved by the State Board of Elections, which are cast in any election as a part of the official returns of the election.
  8. The county board of elections shall report to the State Board of Elections within ten (10) days after any primary or general election as to the number of rejected absentee ballots and the reasons for rejected absentee ballots on a form prescribed by the State Board of Elections in administrative regulations promulgated under KRS Chapter 13A.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 46, effective June 21, 1974; 1978, ch. 71, § 2, effective June 17, 1978; repealed and reenact., Acts 1980, ch. 73, § 2, effective July 15, 1980; 1986, ch. 287, § 6, effective July 15, 1986; 1986, ch. 470, § 10, effective July 15, 1986; 1988, ch. 341, § 28, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 48, § 19, effective July 13, 1990; 1994, ch. 394, § 12, effective July 15, 1994; 1998, ch. 243, § 7, effective April 1, 1998; 1998, ch. 386, § 2, effective April 7, 1998; 2000, ch. 134, § 2, effective March 17, 2000; 2002, ch. 3, § 3, effective February 15, 2002; 2013, ch. 124, § 3, effective June 25, 2013; 2013, ch. 131, § 23, effective July 1, 2014.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Relation to First Amendment

Kentucky statutes that prohibited disclosing names and temporary addresses of absentee voters prior to election, did not infringe upon candidates' free speech rights because First Amendment does not require government to disclose information to candidates in order to facilitate their campaign efforts. Sheldon v. Grimes, 18 F. Supp. 3d 854, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60518 (E.D. Ky. 2014 ), dismissed, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204266 (E.D. Ky. Aug. 26, 2014).

117.086. Marking of absentee ballot — Voter’s proof of identification — Deposit of returned ballots — Clerk’s duty to keep separate lists for votes cast by mail-in absentee ballot, by in-person voting at clerk’s office or other designated place, and by federal provisional in-person absentee ballot — Record — Disclosure of information. [Effective July 15, 2020]

    1. The voter returning his or her absentee ballot by mail shall mark his or her ballot, seal it in the secrecy envelope, and then seal the outer envelope, and mail it to the county clerk as provided in this chapter. (1) (a) The voter returning his or her absentee ballot by mail shall mark his or her ballot, seal it in the secrecy envelope, and then seal the outer envelope, and mail it to the county clerk as provided in this chapter.
    2. The voter shall sign the detachable flap and the outer envelope in order to validate the ballot. A person having power of attorney for the voter and who signs the detachable flap and outer envelope for the voter shall complete the voter assistance form as required by KRS 117.255 . The signatures of two (2) witnesses are required if the voter signs the form with the use of a mark instead of the voter’s signature. A resident of Kentucky who is a covered voter as defined in KRS 117A.010 who has received an absentee ballot transmitted by facsimile machine or by means of the electronic transmission system established under KRS 117A.030(4) shall transmit the voted ballot to the county clerk by mail only, conforming with ballot security requirements that may be promulgated by the State Board of Elections by administrative regulation under KRS Chapter 13A. In order to be counted, the ballots shall be received by the county clerk by at least the time established by the election laws generally for the closing of the polls, which time shall not include the extra hour during which those voters may vote who were waiting in line to vote at the scheduled poll closing time.
  1. Any voter who shall be absent from the county on election day, but who does not qualify to receive a mail-in absentee ballot under the provisions of KRS 117.085 , and all voters qualified to vote prior to the election under the provisions of KRS 117.085 , shall vote at the main office of the county clerk or other place designated by the county board of elections, and approved by the State Board of Elections, prior to the day of election. The county clerk may provide for such voting by the voting equipment in general use in the county either at the precinct, the equipment as may be used to tabulate absentee ballots, or any other voting equipment approved by the State Board of Elections for use in Kentucky, except as follows:
    1. Any voter qualifying to vote in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections, and approved by the State Board of Elections, who receives assistance to vote shall complete the voter assistance form required by KRS 117.255 ;
    2. Any voter qualifying to vote in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections, and approved by the State Board of Elections, whose qualifications are challenged on grounds other than inability to provide proof of identification by any clerk or deputy shall complete an “Oath of Voter” affidavit; and
    3. Any voter qualifying to vote in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections and approved by the State Board of Elections, who is unable to provide proof of identification as defined in KRS 117.375 , may cast an in-person absentee ballot or federal provisional in-person absentee ballot in accordance with KRS 117.228 or 117.229 .
  2. When the county clerk uses general voting equipment as provided for in subsection (2) of this section, each voter casting his vote at the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections, and approved by the State Board of Elections, shall sign an “Absentee Ballot Signature Roster.”
  3. The county clerk shall designate a location within his or her office where the ballots shall be cast secretly. The county clerk, with the approval of the State Board of Elections, may establish locations other than his or her main office in which the voters may execute their ballots. Public notice of the locations shall be given pursuant to KRS Chapter 424, and similar notice by mail shall be given to the county chairs of the two (2) political parties whose candidates polled the largest number of votes in the county at the last regular election.
  4. The State Board of Elections shall promulgate administrative regulations under KRS Chapter 13A to provide for casting ballots in accordance with subsection (2) of this section.
  5. The county clerk shall deposit all of the mail-in absentee ballots in a locked ballot box immediately upon receipt without opening the outer envelope. The ballot box shall be locked with three (3) locks. The keys to the box shall be retained by the three (3) members of the central absentee ballot counting board, if one is appointed, or by the members of the board of elections, and the box shall remain locked until the ballots are counted. All voting equipment on which ballots are cast as permitted in subsection (2) of this section shall also remain locked and the keys shall be retained by the three (3) members of the central absentee ballot counting board, if one is appointed, or by the members of the board of elections, and the equipment shall remain locked until the ballots are counted.
  6. The county clerk shall keep separate lists for each election of all persons who:
    1. Return their absentee ballots by mail;
    2. Cast their ballots in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections and approved by the State Board of Elections; and
    3. Cast their federal provisional in-person absentee ballots under subsection(2)(c) of this section. The county clerk shall send a copy of each list to the State Board of Elections after any primary or election day. Notwithstanding the provisions of the Kentucky Open Records Act, KRS 61.870 to 61.884 , each list of all persons who return their absentee ballots by mail or who cast their ballots in the clerk’s office or other designated and approved place shall not be made public until after the close of business hours on the primary or election day for which the list applies. The county clerk and the Secretary of State shall keep a record of the number of votes cast by each method listed in paragraphs (a) to (c) of this subsection, which are cast in any primary or election as a part of the official returns of the primary or election.
  7. The county board of elections shall report to the State Board of Elections within ten (10) days after any primary or regular election as to the number of rejected absentee ballots, including rejected mail-in absentee ballots and ballots cast under subsection (2) of this section, and the reasons for rejecting the ballots on a form prescribed and furnished by the State Board of Elections in administrative regulations promulgated under KRS Chapter 13A.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 46, effective June 21, 1974; 1978, ch. 71, § 2, effective June 17, 1978; repealed and reenact., Acts 1980, ch. 73, § 2, effective July 15, 1980; 1986, ch. 287, § 6, effective July 15, 1986; 1986, ch. 470, § 10, effective July 15, 1986; 1988, ch. 341, § 28, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 48, § 19, effective July 13, 1990; 1994, ch. 394, § 12, effective July 15, 1994; 1998, ch. 243, § 7, effective April 1, 1998; 1998, ch. 386, § 2, effective April 7, 1998; 2000, ch. 134, § 2, effective March 17, 2000; 2002, ch. 3, § 3, effective February 15, 2002; 2013, ch. 124, § 3, effective June 25, 2013; 2013, ch. 131, § 23, effective July 1, 2014; 2020 ch. 89, § 7, effective July 15, 2020.

117.0863. Assistance in voting by absentee ballot — Form required of voter and assistant. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

  1. Except  for those voters who have been certified as requiring assistance in voting  on a permanent or annual basis, any person voting by means of an absentee  ballot by mail or on the voting machine in the county clerk’s office or other  place designated by the county board of elections, and approved by the State  Board of Elections, as provided in this chapter who receives assistance in  voting shall be required to complete the voter assistance form required by  KRS 117.255 .
  2. Any  person who assists another person in voting by use of an absentee ballot by  mail or on a voting machine in the county clerk’s office or other place designated  by the county board of elections, and approved by the State Board of Elections,  shall complete the voter assistance form required by KRS 117.255 .
  3. The  detachable flap on all absentee ballot envelopes shall have printed upon it  the voter assistance form required by KRS 117.255 , as well as a notice of  the penalty for failure to complete the form.
  4. The  State Board of Elections shall promulgate a voter assistance form which shall  be in a form acceptable to the Attorney General.

History. Enact. Acts 1988, ch. 341, § 14, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 48, § 20, effective July 13, 1990; 1994, ch. 394, § 13, effective July 15, 1994; 1996, ch. 270, § 2, effective July 15, 1996; 1998, ch. 243, § 8, effective April 1, 1998.

117.0863. Assistance in voting by absentee ballot — Form required of voter and assistant. [Effective July 15, 2020]

  1. Except for those voters who have been certified as requiring assistance in voting on a permanent or annual basis, any person voting by means of a mail-in absentee ballot or on the voting machine in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections, and approved by the State Board of Elections, as provided in this chapter who receives assistance in voting shall be required to complete the voter assistance form required by KRS 117.255 .
  2. Any person who assists another person in voting by use of an mail-in absentee ballot or on a voting machine in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections, and approved by the State Board of Elections, shall complete the voter assistance form required by KRS 117.255 .
  3. The detachable flap on all mail-in absentee ballot envelopes shall have printed upon it the voter assistance form required by KRS 117.255 , as well as a notice of the penalty for failure to complete the form.
  4. The State Board of Elections shall promulgate by administrative regulations under KRS Chapter 13A a voter assistance form which shall be in a form acceptable to the Attorney General.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1988, ch. 341, § 14, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 48, § 20, effective July 13, 1990; 1994, ch. 394, § 13, effective July 15, 1994; 1996, ch. 270, § 2, effective July 15, 1996; 1998, ch. 243, § 8, effective April 1, 1998; 2020 ch. 89, § 8, effective July 15, 2020.

117.0865. Prohibition against influencing voter completing an absentee ballot — Penalty. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

Any person who aids another in completing an absentee ballot shall not solicit or encourage that person to vote for or against any candidate, party, or issue. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a Class D felony.

History. Enact. Acts 1988, ch. 341, § 15, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 48, § 21, effective July 13, 1990.

117.0865. Prohibition against influencing voter completing an absentee ballot or a federal provisional absentee ballot — Penalty. [Effective July 15, 2020]

Any person who aids another in completing an absentee ballot or a federal provisional absentee ballot shall not solicit or encourage that person to vote for or against any candidate, party, or issue. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a Class D felony.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1988, ch. 341, § 15, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 48, § 21, effective July 13, 1990; 2020 ch. 89, § 9, effective July 15, 2020.

117.087. Challenge of an absentee ballot — Counting procedure — Persons permitted to observe. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

  1. The challenge of an absentee ballot returned by mail shall be in writing and in the hands of the county clerk before 8 a.m. on election day.
  2. The county board of elections shall count the absentee ballots returned by mail and the votes cast on the voting machine in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections and approved by the State Board of Elections. The board may appoint a central ballot counting board of not less than three (3) members, who shall be qualified voters and no more than two-thirds (2/3) of whom shall be members of the same political party, to count the ballots at the direction of the county board of elections.
  3. Beginning at 8 a.m. on election day, the board shall meet at the clerk’s office to count the absentee ballots returned by mail and the ballots cast on the voting machine in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections and approved by the State Board of Elections. Candidates or their representatives shall be permitted to be present. The county board of elections shall authorize representatives of the news media to observe the counting of the ballots. The board shall open the boxes containing absentee ballots returned by mail and remove the envelopes one (1) at a time. As each envelope is removed, it shall be examined to ascertain whether the outer envelope and the detachable flap are in proper order and have been signed by the voter. A person having power of attorney for the voter and who signs the detachable flap and outer envelope for the voter shall complete the voter assistance form required by KRS 117.255 . The signatures of two (2) witnesses are required if the voter signs the form with the use of a mark instead of the voter’s signature. All unsigned absentee ballots shall be rejected automatically. The chairman of the county board of elections shall compare the signatures on the outer envelope and the detachable flap with the signature of the voter that appears on the registration card. If the outer envelope and the detachable flap are found to be in order, the chairman shall read aloud the name of the voter. If the vote of the voter is not rejected on a challenge then made as provided in subsection (4) of this section, the chairman shall remove the detachable flap and place the inner envelope unopened in a ballot box which has been provided for the purpose.
  4. When the name of a voter who cast an absentee ballot by mail is read aloud by the chairman, the vote of the voter may be challenged by any board member or by the written challenge provided in subsection (1) of this section and the challenge may be determined and the vote accepted or rejected by the board as if the voter was present and voting in person; but if the outer envelope and the detachable flap are regular, and substantially comply with the provisions of this chapter, they shall be considered as showing that the voter is prima facie entitled to vote. If the vote of a voter is rejected pursuant to the challenge, the inner envelope shall not be opened, but returned to the outer envelope upon which the chairman shall write on the envelope the word “rejected.”
  5. After the challenges have been made and all the blank inner envelopes have been placed in a ballot box, the box shall be thoroughly shaken to redistribute the absentee ballots in the box. The board shall open the ballot box, remove the absentee ballots from the inner envelopes, and count the ballots.
  6. The board shall unlock any voting equipment used to cast ballots in the clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections, and approved by the State Board of Elections, as provided for in KRS 117.086 , and a total of all ballots shall be made and recorded on the form provided by the State Board of Elections.
  7. The county board of elections, the county clerk, and all individuals permitted to be present for the counting of absentee ballots pursuant to subsection (2) of this section shall not make public the absentee ballot results determined as provided in this section until after 6 p.m. prevailing time.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 47, effective June 21, 1974; 1976, ch. 130, § 3, effective June 19, 1976; 1978, ch. 71, § 3, effective June 17, 1978; repealed and reenact., Acts 1980, ch. 73, § 3, effective July 15, 1980; 1980, ch. 316, § 2, effective July 15, 1980; 1982, ch. 394, § 12, effective July 15, 1982; 1986, ch. 287, § 7, effective July 15, 1986; 1986, ch. 470, § 11, effective July 15, 1986; 1988, ch. 341, § 29, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 48, § 22, effective July 13, 1990; 1994, ch. 394, § 14, effective July 15, 1994; 1998, ch. 243, § 9, effective April 1, 1998; 2002, ch. 3, § 4, effective February 15, 2002; 2003, ch. 184, § 1, effective June 24, 2003; 2016 ch. 62, § 8, effective July 15, 2016.

Compiler’s Notes.

This section, which was formerly compiled as KRS 117.335 (Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 47; 1976, ch. 130, § 3; 1976, ch. 247, § 5; 1978, ch. 71, § 3, effective June 17, 1978), was repealed and reenacted as this section by Acts 1980, ch. 73, § 3, effective July 15, 1980.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Tabulation.

Under former similar section, it seemed that the absentee ballots should be tabulated before canvassing the votes cast at the polls. Arnett v. Hensley, 425 S.W.2d 546, 1968 Ky. LEXIS 418 ( Ky. 1968 ) (decided under prior law).

2. Individual Challenges.

Former section governing challenges to absent voters envisioned challenges to individual absentee voters, not challenges to the legality of the entire balloting by absentee voters in which case such challenges were inapplicable. Arnett v. Hensley, 425 S.W.2d 546, 1968 Ky. LEXIS 418 ( Ky. 1968 ) (decided under prior law).

3. Inner Envelopes.

Where integrity and secrecy of absentee ballots were proved, the failure to return the inner envelopes to the ballot box before opening and counting the votes would not require the elimination in toto of all absentee ballots. Rives v. Pettit, 513 S.W.2d 475, 1974 Ky. LEXIS 371 ( Ky. 1974 ) (decided under prior law).

4. Substantial Compliance.

Alleged irregularities in the absentee voting process were insufficient to nullify the election results in a race for judge executive where each of the alleged violations concerned directory, rather than mandatory, requirements, and, as such, did not warrant disenfranchising any of the absentee voters. Hardin v. Montgomery, 495 S.W.3d 686, 2016 Ky. LEXIS 332 ( Ky. 2016 ).

There should be at least substantial compliance with the terms of former similar section. Kincer v. Holbrook, 307 S.W.2d 922, 1957 Ky. LEXIS 124 ( Ky. 1957 ) (decided under prior law).

5. Nullification of Votes.

If the separable class of absentee votes is so infected with illegality that the elective force of those votes cannot reasonably be determined, then all of them are nullified. Ragan v. Burnett, 305 S.W.2d 759, 1957 Ky. LEXIS 330 ( Ky. 1957 ) (decided under prior law).

Violation of various provisions governing absentee ballots with violations of other provisions and discrepancy in ratio of result of votes cast at polls and the absentee votes, was sufficient to show such gross irregularities as to void all absentee ballots. Arnett v. Hensley, 425 S.W.2d 546, 1968 Ky. LEXIS 418 ( Ky. 1968 ) (decided under prior law).

Election was declared void because (1) a county board of elections did not substantially comply with absentee ballot counting requirements, (2) there were repeated Corrupt Practices Act violations and misconduct during voting on election day, and (3) cumulative departures from statutory mandates disfranchised legal voters or those who cast valid absentee ballots. Hardin v. Montgomery, 2015 Ky. App. LEXIS 94 (Ky. Ct. App. June 12, 2015), rev'd, 495 S.W.3d 686, 2016 Ky. LEXIS 332 ( Ky. 2016 ) (Ct. App. Ky. 2016 ).

6. Violation Not Fatal.

Where absentee ballot box was prepared by sheriff, Democrat commissioner and county clerk in absence of Republican commissioner who favored the contestant, and the key was not delivered to the absent member until three days before the election, after many of the absentee ballots had been returned, the procedure violated former similar section but standing alone was not of fatal consequence. Pickard v. Jones, 243 S.W.2d 46, 1951 Ky. LEXIS 1117 ( Ky. 1951 ) (decided under prior law).

Opinions of Attorney General.

Pursuant to this section either the candidate or his representative may be present, but not both, and only one representative of each candidate is entitled to be present at the counting of the absentee ballots. OAG 77-352 .

Where a person applies for an absentee ballot and proceeds to vote and return the ballot to the clerk’s office but dies before election day, the absentee ballot should be rejected by the board of elections when it proceeds to review and count the absent votes. OAG 77-667 .

During the counting of absent ballots the county clerk must perform the duties required under this section even though he is a candidate for public office. OAG 77-679 .

Where over 600 absent ballots are cast in a general election, the county clerk could designate one of his duly appointed deputies to carry out his duties. OAG 77-679 .

Absentee ballots and applications which were in the custody of the circuit clerk pending an election contest suit were “public records” in the possession of a “public agency” pursuant to KRS 61.870 and open to public inspection while in the clerk’s custody. OAG 83-476 .

117.087. Challenge of a mail-in absentee ballot — Processing of federal provisional in-person absentee ballots — Counting procedure — Persons permitted to observe. [Effective July 15, 2020]

  1. The challenge of an absentee ballot returned by mail shall be in writing and in the hands of the county clerk before 8 a.m. on election day.
  2. The county board of elections shall count the absentee ballots returned by mail and the votes cast on the voting machine in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections and approved by the State Board of Elections. Federal provisional in-person absentee ballots shall be processed in accordance with KRS 117.229 . The board may appoint a central ballot counting board of not less than three (3) members, who shall be qualified voters and no more than two-thirds (2/3) of whom shall be members of the same political party, to count the ballots at the direction of the county board of elections.
  3. Beginning at 8 a.m. on election day, the board shall meet at the county clerk’s office to count the absentee ballots returned by mail and the ballots cast on the voting machine in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections and approved by the State Board of Elections. Candidates or their representatives shall be permitted to be present. The county board of elections shall authorize representatives of the news media to observe the counting of the ballots. The board shall open the boxes containing absentee ballots returned by mail and remove the envelopes one (1) at a time. As each envelope is removed, it shall be examined to ascertain whether the outer envelope and the detachable flap are in proper order and have been signed by the voter. A person having power of attorney for the voter and who signs the detachable flap and outer envelope for the voter shall complete the voter assistance form required by KRS 117.255 . The signatures of two (2) witnesses are required if the voter signs the form with the use of a mark instead of the voter’s signature. All unsigned mail-in absentee ballots shall be rejected automatically. The chair of the county board of elections shall compare the signatures on the outer envelope, the detachable flap with the signature of the voter that appears on the registration card. If the outer envelope and the detachable flap are found to be in order, the chair shall read aloud the name of the voter. If the vote of the voter is not rejected on a challenge then made as provided in subsection (4) of this section, the chair shall remove the detachable flap and place the secrecy envelope unopened in a ballot box which has been provided for the purpose.
  4. When the name of a voter who cast a mail-in absentee ballot is read aloud by the chair, the vote of the voter may be challenged by any board member or by the written challenge provided in subsection (1) of this section and the challenge may be determined and the vote accepted or rejected by the board as if the voter was present and voting in person; but if the outer envelope and the detachable flap are regular, and each substantially comply with the provisions of this chapter, they shall be considered as showing that the voter is prima facie entitled to vote. If the vote of a voter is rejected pursuant to the challenge, the secrecy envelope shall not be opened, but returned to the outer envelope upon which the chair shall write on the envelope the word “rejected.”
  5. After the challenges have been made and all the blank secrecy envelopes have been placed in a ballot box, the box shall be thoroughly shaken to redistribute the absentee ballots in the box. The board shall open the ballot box, remove the absentee ballots from the secrecy envelopes, and count the ballots.
  6. The board shall unlock any voting equipment used to cast ballots in the county clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections, and approved by the State Board of Elections, as provided for in KRS 117.086 , and a total of all ballots shall be made and recorded on the form provided by the State Board of Elections.
  7. The county board of elections, the county clerk, and all individuals permitted to be present for the counting of absentee ballots pursuant to subsection (2) of this section shall not make public the absentee ballot results determined as provided in this section until after 6 p.m. prevailing time.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 47, effective June 21, 1974; 1976, ch. 130, § 3, effective June 19, 1976; 1978, ch. 71, § 3, effective June 17, 1978; repealed and reenact., Acts 1980, ch. 73, § 3, effective July 15, 1980; 1980, ch. 316, § 2, effective July 15, 1980; 1982, ch. 394, § 12, effective July 15, 1982; 1986, ch. 287, § 7, effective July 15, 1986; 1986, ch. 470, § 11, effective July 15, 1986; 1988, ch. 341, § 29, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 48, § 22, effective July 13, 1990; 1994, ch. 394, § 14, effective July 15, 1994; 1998, ch. 243, § 9, effective April 1, 1998; 2002, ch. 3, § 4, effective February 15, 2002; 2003, ch. 184, § 1, effective June 24, 2003; 2016 ch. 62, § 8, effective July 15, 2016; 2020 ch. 89, § 10, effective July 15, 2020.

117.088. Pilot program for unassisted voting by blind and visually impaired persons.

  1. For purposes of this section, “blind or visually impaired individual” means an individual who:
    1. Has a visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses or has a limited field of vision so that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than twenty (20) degrees;
    2. Has a medically indicated expectation of visual deterioration;
    3. Has a medically diagnosed limitation in visual functioning that restricts the individual’s ability to read and write standard print at levels expected of individuals of comparable ability;
    4. Has been certified as requiring permanent assistance to vote under KRS 117.255(5) for reason of blindness; or
    5. Qualifies to receive assistance to vote under KRS 117.255(2) for reason of blindness.
  2. For purposes of this section, “pilot program” means a program in a county containing a consolidated local government or containing a city of the first class for unassisted voting by blind or visually impaired individuals.
  3. A county board of elections in a county containing a consolidated local government or containing a city of the first class may establish a pilot program. As part of this pilot program, the State Board of Elections shall approve the use of voting equipment under KRS 117.379 that is designed to permit blind and visually impaired individuals to vote without assistance, for use beginning in the 2002 general election. No county board of elections in a county containing a consolidated local government or containing a city of the first class shall be required to operate a pilot program.
  4. The State Board of Elections, if it approves the voting equipment under KRS 117.379 , may approve the use of voting equipment designed to permit blind and visually impaired individuals to vote without assistance in as many locations within a county containing a consolidated local government or containing a city of the first class as are designated by the county board of elections.
  5. A county board of elections in a county containing a consolidated local government or containing a city of the first class shall provide a report to the State Board of Elections after every primary or general election regarding the number of blind or visually impaired individuals that have utilized the voting equipment during the pilot program.
  6. Notwithstanding the provisions of KRS 116.025 , or any other statute to the contrary, a blind or visually impaired voter residing in a county containing a consolidated local government or containing a city of the first class that is operating a pilot program shall be permitted to vote at a location outside the precinct of his or her registration by voting at a location within the county of his or her registration on a voting machine designed to permit blind or visually impaired individuals to vote without assistance, which may include voting at the county clerk’s office, or other place designated by the county board of elections, and approved by the State Board of Elections.
  7. Notwithstanding the provisions of KRS 117.085 , 117.086 , or 117.0863 or any other statute to the contrary, a blind or visually impaired individual residing in a county containing a consolidated local government or containing a city of the first class that is operating a pilot program shall be permitted to vote in the location within the county of his or her registration as provided under subsection (6) of this section, on a voting machine designed to permit blind or visually impaired individuals to vote without assistance, at any time during which absentee voting is conducted in the clerk’s office or other place designated by the county board of elections during normal business hours on at least any of the twelve (12) working days before the election, and the county board of elections may permit the voting to be conducted on a voting machine for a period longer than the twelve (12) working days before the election prescribed above. An application for those blind or visually impaired individuals wishing to vote on a voting machine approved for use by blind or visually impaired individuals shall be prescribed by the State Board of Elections and shall include the individual’s sworn statement that the individual is blind or visually impaired.
  8. Notwithstanding the requirements of KRS 117.381 , or any other statute to the contrary, the State Board of Elections may certify, as a part of the pilot project of a county containing a consolidated local government or containing a city of the first class, voting equipment which utilizes audio recordings, voice-activated technology, or vocal recognition technology to record a vote, and may require such accommodations as would permit a blind or visually impaired voter to cast a vote in secret.
  9. Notwithstanding the provisions of KRS 117.255 , a blind or visually impaired voter residing in a county containing a consolidated local government or containing a city of the first class that is operating a pilot project may cast his or her vote alone and without assistance on a voting machine approved for use by blind or visually impaired individuals. However, the blind or visually impaired voter shall be instructed by the officers of election, with the aid of the instruction cards and the model, in the use of the machine, if the voter so requests.
  10. Nothing in this section shall impair the right of any qualified voter under KRS 117.255 to receive assistance and vote according to the procedures specified in that section.

History. Enact. Acts 2002, ch. 147, § 1, effective July 15, 2002; 2019 ch. 112, § 5, effective June 27, 2019.

Opinions of Attorney General.

Legislation providing for “no-excuse absentee voting,” or early voting, in order to comply with federal law, a final court decision binding the Commonwealth, or rights recognized in the Bill of Rights of the Kentucky Constitution would not require an amendment to the Kentucky Constitution. OAG 07-05 .

Methods of Voting

117.105. Purchase or lease of voting machines.

The fiscal court of any county shall purchase or lease, from available funds or from the proceeds of bonds which may be issued for that purpose, voting machines, including extra or reserve machines, for use in regular, special and primary elections. The fiscal court may, prior to any election, authorize the use of additional voting machines in any particular precinct.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 24.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Constitutionality.

The Voting Machine Act of 1942 was constitutional. Grauman v. Jefferson County Fiscal Court, 294 Ky. 149 , 171 S.W.2d 36, 1943 Ky. LEXIS 402 ( Ky. 1943 ) (decided under prior law).

2. Rotation of Names.

Provisions requiring that names of candidates be rotated on the ballots do not apply where voting machines are used. Grauman v. Jefferson County Fiscal Court, 294 Ky. 149 , 171 S.W.2d 36, 1943 Ky. LEXIS 402 ( Ky. 1943 ) (decided under prior law).

117.115. Power to select make of machine.

The fiscal court of any county may select in its discretion any type and make of voting machine that complies with the specifications and requirements of this chapter. The fiscal court may employ engineers and other skilled persons to advise and aid in the selection of the machines and in determining the specifications thereof.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 25.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Administrative Discretion.

Former similar section made the selection of voting machines one of administrative discretion and the courts would not interfere unless there was a clear showing of an abuse of the discretion or of arbitrary or capricious action. Ford v. County of Carlisle, 361 S.W.2d 757, 1962 Ky. LEXIS 249 ( Ky. 1962 ) (decided under prior law).

117.125. Specifications and features required for approval.

No make of voting machine shall be approved for use unless it is so constructed that:

  1. It  will insure secrecy to the voter in the act of voting.
  2. It  provides facilities that will permit votes to be cast for any candidate entitled  to have his name printed upon the ballots at any regular, special or primary  election, and for or against any public question entitled to be placed upon  the ballots.
  3. It  will, except at primary elections, permit a voter to vote for all the candidates  of one (1) party or for one (1) or more candidates of every party having candidates  entitled to be voted for, or for one (1) or more independent candidates.
  4. It  will permit a voter to vote for as many persons for an office as he is lawfully  entitled to vote for, and no more.
  5. It  will prevent a voter from voting for the same person, or for or against the  same question, more than once.
  6. It  will permit a voter to vote for or against any question he may have the right  to vote on, but no other.
  7. It  may be adjusted for use in primary elections so that a voter may not vote  for any person except those seeking nomination as candidates of his party  or as candidates for an office of the Court of Justice.
  8. It  will correctly register and accurately count all votes cast for each person,  and for or against each public question.
  9. It  can be determined whether the machine has been unlocked and operated after  once being locked.
  10. It  will show at all times during an election how many persons have voted by a  device hereinafter referred to as a public counter.
  11. The  counter indicating the number of votes cast for each person and for or against  each public question cannot be seen or tampered with without unlocking a covering  device that cannot be unlocked by a key that unlocks any other part of the  machine. When such counters are so exposed the machine can no longer be placed  into condition for operation without the use of a special key, which key shall  not have been in the possession of the election officers at the polling places;  but if this requirement has the effect of eliminating from consideration any  other make of machine such requirement shall not apply.
  12. The  operating device and operating mechanism may be locked before the time for  opening the polls and after the time for closing the polls.
  13. It  is accompanied by a mechanical model illustrating the manner of voting on  the machine, suitable for the instruction of voters.
  14. It  will permit a voter to vote for all the candidates for presidential electors  of any party by one (1) operation.
  15. It  will permit a voter to vote, in any regular or special election, for any person  desired to be voted for whose name does not appear upon the voting machine.
  16. It  bears a number that will distinguish it from any other machine.
  17. The  frames in which ballot labels are placed shall be constructed with transparent  protective devices, in order that the names thereon cannot be mutilated or  altered.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 26; 1976, ch. 54, § 21, effective March 10, 1976.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Booths.

The purpose of a booth is not to hide the body of the voter, but to insure that no one will see how he marks his ballot. Jones v. Steele, 210 Ky. 205 , 275 S.W. 790, 1925 Ky. LEXIS 647 ( Ky. 1925 ).

Although booths were so placed that persons outside room could see how ballots were voted by looking through window, vote of precinct would not be thrown out in absence of testimony that outside persons did look through window. Land v. Land, 244 Ky. 126 , 50 S.W.2d 518, 1931 Ky. LEXIS 720 ( Ky. 1931 ) (decided under prior law).

2. Electrical Operation.

There is no indication of legislative intent that the voting machine must be solely mechanical and may not be electrically operated. Ford v. County of Carlisle, 361 S.W.2d 757, 1962 Ky. LEXIS 249 ( Ky. 1962 ) (decided under prior law).

3. Public Counter.

The noncompliance by the election officials with statutory requirements to see that the public counter on a voting machine was set at zero, where there was no evidence that the error affected the result of the election, did not taint the election process in the precinct to the extent necessary for a judicial conclusion to reject the votes cast. Thurman v. Keen, 444 S.W.2d 754, 1969 Ky. LEXIS 229 ( Ky. 1969 ) (decided under prior law).

4. Judicial Ballot.

The names of judicial candidates are required to be placed upon the voting machine at the regular election in a column or line headed or preceded by the word “Judicial Ballot” in such a manner that a “straight party” vote will not operate to cast a vote for the judicial candidate. Mann v. Cornett, 445 S.W.2d 853, 1969 Ky. LEXIS 185 ( Ky. 1969 ) (decided under prior law).

117.135. Custody of machines.

When voting machines are acquired by any county, they shall be immediately placed in the custody of the county clerk, and shall remain in his custody at all times except when in use at an election or when in the custody of a court or court officer during contest proceedings. The clerk shall see that the machines are properly protected and preserved from damage or unnecessary deterioration, and shall not permit any unauthorized person to tamper with the machines.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 27.

Opinions of Attorney General.

The fiscal court has no authority or control over the custody and handling of the voting machines as this is the basic responsibility of the county clerk. OAG 84-209 .

117.145. Preparation of ballot labels, absentee ballots and supplemental paper ballots — Provision for write-in votes. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

  1. At  least fifteen (15) days before any special election, and at least fifty (50)  days before any primary or regular election, the county clerk of each county  shall cause to be printed and ready for use ballot labels for each candidate  who, and each question which, is entitled to be voted upon in such election.  The ballot labels shall be printed on clear white paper or other material  which shall be furnished by the printer. They shall be printed in black ink,  in plain, clear type clearly legible to a person with normal vision, and shall  be of a size to fit the ballot frames. The labels shall include the necessary  party designations.
  2. Each  county clerk shall have printed a sufficient number of paper absentee ballots.  The absentee ballot shall be used for voting by absent voters; by precinct  officers who have been assigned to a precinct other than their own; by members  of a county board of elections; by voters so disabled by age, infirmity or  illness as to be unable to appear at the polls; and for voting in an emergency  situation. The ballot stubs shall be consecutively numbered and the county  board shall keep a record, by number, of all absentee ballots used for any  of the purposes listed herein.
  3. No  later than the Friday preceding a special or regular election, the county  clerk shall equip the voting machines with the necessary supplies for the  purpose of write-in votes. The county clerk shall also attach a pencil or  pen to the voting machine for write-in purposes.
  4. If  supplemental paper ballots have been approved as provided in KRS 118.215 ,  the county clerk shall cause to be printed a sufficient number of paper ballots  for the registered voters of each precinct. The paper ballots shall have stubs  which are numbered consecutively. The quality of paper on which the supplemental  paper ballots are printed shall be determined by regulations promulgated by  the secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 28; 1976 (Ex. Sess.), ch. 1, § 3; 1984, ch. 44, § 4, effective March 2, 1984; 1984, ch. 185, § 8, effective July 13, 1984; 1986, ch. 470, § 12, effective July 15, 1986; 1990, ch. 48, § 23, effective July 13, 1990; 1992, ch. 296, § 3, effective July 14, 1992.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Liability of Clerk.

If a candidate’s certificate of nomination is filed in time with the county clerk, his failure to place the candidate’s name on the ballot is a breach of duty rendering both him and his surety liable to one who has been deprived of his office by such failure. Judd v. Polk, 267 Ky. 408 , 102 S.W.2d 325, 1937 Ky. LEXIS 323 ( Ky. 1937 ) (decided under prior law).

2. Additional Ballots to Supply Deficiency or Correct Omission.

If the ballots for any precinct are lost or stolen before the election, the county clerk should supply new ballots for such precinct if there is time. Scholl v. Bell, 125 Ky. 750 , 102 S.W. 248, 31 Ky. L. Rptr. 335 , 1907 Ky. LEXIS 328 ( Ky. 1907 ). See Wallbrecht v. Ingram, 164 Ky. 463 , 175 S.W. 1022, 1915 Ky. LEXIS 411 (Ky.), writ of error dismissed, 239 U.S. 625, 36 S. Ct. 162, 60 L. Ed. 473, 1915 U.S. LEXIS 1407 (U.S. 1915) (decided under prior law).

Where a typographical error was made in printing a public question on the ballots, the county clerk had authority to have additional ballots printed and substitute them for the defective ones. Finley v. Rose, 165 Ky. 408 , 177 S.W. 433, 1915 Ky. LEXIS 563 ( Ky. 1915 ) (decided under prior law).

Where names of candidates for magistrate were inadvertently omitted from Republican ballots for primary election, the county clerk had authority to have supplemental ballots printed and substitute them for the defective ones. Rice v. Jones, 250 Ky. 385 , 63 S.W.2d 474, 1933 Ky. LEXIS 705 ( Ky. 1933 ) (decided under prior law).

3. Printing Contract.

The county clerk has the right to contract for the printing of the ballots, without any previous order of the fiscal court authorizing him so to do. Fiscal Court v. Louisville Tent & Awning Co., 185 Ky. 466 , 215 S.W. 88, 1919 Ky. LEXIS 320 ( Ky. 1919 ) (decided under prior law).

The county clerk is not required to let the contract for printing the ballots by competitive bids. The clerk may make a contract for printing the ballots without bids and such contract will be binding on the fiscal court in the absence of fraud or collusion. Krieger v. Standard Printing Co., 191 Ky. 552 , 231 S.W. 27, 1921 Ky. LEXIS 352 ( Ky. 1921 ) (decided under prior law).

If the price fixed by contract is unreasonable, the vendor may yet recover the reasonable value of the services rendered. Krieger v. Standard Printing Co., 191 Ky. 552 , 231 S.W. 27, 1921 Ky. LEXIS 352 ( Ky. 1921 ) (decided under prior law).

4. Cost.

The city must pay the cost of paper for ballots for city elections. Nuetzel v. Bradsby, 205 Ky. 130 , 265 S.W. 503, 1924 Ky. LEXIS 65 ( Ky. 1924 ) (decided under prior law).

Where there are candidates for city offices, and public questions to be voted on only by city electors, and they are placed on the same ballot that contains candidates for state and federal offices, the cost of paper should be prorated between the city and state according to the amount of space taken up on the ballot by the respective candidates and questions. Nuetzel v. Bradsby, 205 Ky. 130 , 265 S.W. 503, 1924 Ky. LEXIS 65 ( Ky. 1924 ) (decided under prior law).

Opinions of Attorney General.

Where, due to a multiplicity of city elections filed for in a single election year within a county, the county has an insufficient number of voting machines, the county board of elections and the county clerk may determine that an emergency exists authorizing the use of paper ballots. OAG 75-610 .

Although a county court clerk is not required to print a number of special paper ballots equal to any specified percentage of the registered voters within the county, the clerk’s judgment on this matter should be based on the number of registered voters in the county, while taking into consideration the amount needed in previous elections. OAG 76-213 .

There is no requirement that the words “absent” or “special” be printed on ballots mailed to absentee and disabled voters, therefore one type of paper ballot can be used both as an absent ballot and as an emergency ballot. OAG 76-213 .

The statutory requirement pertaining to the printing of special ballots for absent voters, disabled voters and for voting in emergency situations constitutes an election expense to be paid for by the fiscal court pursuant to the terms of KRS 117.345 and such costs cannot be allowed as a necessary office expense of the county court clerk under KRS 64.345 . OAG 76-474 .

KRS 424.260 has no application to this section since the latter statute provides for special purchases of election supplies by the county clerk and contains no express provisions for competitive bidding. OAG 76-496 .

This section and KRS 117.265 were inserted to clarify “write-in” procedures for elections generally and would not apply to elections under KRS 89.440 (repealed). OAG 79-567 .

Competition is not feasible in applying this section, thus under KRS 45A.380 , an exception to competitive bidding, if the county clerk will in writing determine that competition is not feasible and that an emergency exists which will cause public harm as a result of delay in competitive procedures, or that there is a single source of the service to be performed, then if the fiscal court will approve the clerk’s declarations, the clerk may procure such supplies by means of noncompetitive negotiation. OAG 80-180 .

It would be improper for a write-in candidate to use a rubber stamp, paster, stencil or other type of marker to have voters write his name in, since it would violate KRS 117.265 to use any device other than the pencil or pen required to be attached to the voting machine by subsection (3) of this section. OAG 81-289 .

117.145. Preparation of ballot labels, absentee ballots, voter affirmations, election official affirmations, federal provisional ballots, and supplemental paper ballots — Provision for write-in votes. [Effective July 15, 2020]

  1. At least fifteen (15) days before any special election, and at least fifty (50) days before any primary or regular election, the county clerk of each county shall cause to be printed and ready for use ballot labels for each candidate who, and each question which, is entitled to be voted upon in such election. The ballot labels shall be printed on clear white paper or other material which shall be furnished by the printer. They shall be printed in black ink, in plain, clear type clearly legible to a person with normal vision, and shall be of a size to fit the ballot frames. The labels shall include the necessary party designations.
  2. Each county clerk shall have printed a sufficient number of paper absentee ballots, voter affirmations, and election official affirmations. The voter affirmation, if applicable, and the absentee ballot shall be used for voting by absent voters; by precinct officers who have been assigned to a precinct other than their own; by members of a county board of elections; by voters so disabled by age, infirmity, or illness as to be unable to appear at the polls; and for voting in an emergency situation. The ballot stubs shall be consecutively numbered and the county board shall keep a record, by number, of all absentee ballots used for any of the purposes listed in this subsection.
  3. Each county clerk shall have printed a sufficient number of federal provisional ballots, which, except for the candidates listed, shall have the same form as the absentee ballots. A federal provisional ballot shall indicate that the ballot is a federal provisional ballot. The federal provisional ballot stubs shall be consecutively numbered, and the county board of elections shall keep a record, by number, of all federal provisional ballots used for votes cast by provisional voters in federal elections.
  4. No later than the Friday preceding a special or regular election, the county clerk shall equip the voting machines with the necessary supplies for the purpose of write-in votes. The county clerk shall also attach a pencil or pen to the voting machine for write-in purposes.
  5. If supplemental paper ballots have been approved as provided in KRS 118.215 , the county clerk shall cause to be printed a sufficient number of paper ballots for the registered voters of each precinct. The paper ballots shall have stubs which are numbered consecutively. The quality of paper on which the supplemental paper ballots are printed shall be determined by administrative regulations promulgated under KRS Chapter 13A by the secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 28; 1976 (Ex. Sess.), ch. 1, § 3; 1984, ch. 44, § 4, effective March 2, 1984; 1984, ch. 185, § 8, effective July 13, 1984; 1986, ch. 470, § 12, effective July 15, 1986; 1990, ch. 48, § 23, effective July 13, 1990; 1992, ch. 296, § 3, effective July 14, 1992; 2020 ch. 89, § 11, effective July 15, 2020.

117.155. Arrangement of ballot labels — Preparation of machines — Record.

Upon receiving the printed ballot labels, the county clerk shall place them in the ballot frames upon the machines, in such a manner as will most nearly conform to the plan of arrangement prescribed by the Secretary of State in the manner prescribed in KRS 118.215 . He shall then see that the counters referred to in subsections (10) and (11) of KRS 117.125 are set at zero, and shall lock the operating device and mechanism and the devices protecting the counters and ballot labels. He shall then enter in an appropriate book, opposite the number of each precinct the distinguishing number of the machine to be used in that precinct.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 29; 1976, ch. 247, § 10.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Public Counter.

The noncompliance by the election officials with statutory requirements to see that the public counter on a voting machine was set at zero, where there was no evidence that the error affected the result of the election, did not taint the election process in the precinct to the extent necessary for a judicial conclusion to reject the votes cast. Thurman v. Keen, 444 S.W.2d 754, 1969 Ky. LEXIS 229 ( Ky. 1969 ) (decided under prior law).

117.165. Examination of machines by county board — Approval — Delivery of election supplies to precinct.

  1. Upon completing the preparation of the machines in accordance with the provisions of KRS 117.155 , and not later than the Thursday preceding the day of the election, the county clerk shall notify the members of the county board of elections that the machines are ready for use. The board shall thereupon convene at the office of the county clerk, not later than the Friday preceding the day of the election, and examine the machines to determine whether the requirements of KRS 117.155 have been met. The county board of elections shall publish notice, in accordance with KRS 424.130(1)(d), at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the time when the machines are to be examined by the board. If found in proper order, the members of the county board of elections shall endorse their approval in the book in which the county clerk has entered the numbers of the machines opposite the numbers of the precincts. The clerk shall then deliver all of the keys to the machines to the county board of elections who shall give a receipt for the keys which shall contain identification of the keys. Not later than one (1) hour before the time set for the opening of the polls, the board shall deliver all election supplies including the precinct list, tabulation sheets, and the key to the device covering the registering counters and other keys necessary for the operation of the machine in registering votes, to the election officers of the precinct in which the machine is being used, who shall give the board a receipt containing identification of the keys. The master key and all other keys shall remain in the possession of the county board of elections.
  2. Not later than four (4) business days preceding the date set by the county board of elections to conduct absentee voting in accordance with KRS 117.085(1)(c), the county clerk shall notify the members of the county board of elections that the voting machines designated for use during absentee voting are ready for use. The board shall thereupon convene at the office of the county clerk, not later than three (3) business days preceding the date set by the county board of elections to conduct absentee voting, and examine the machines to determine whether the requirements of KRS 117.155 have been met. The county board of elections shall publish notice, in accordance with KRS 424.130(1)(d), at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the time when the absentee voting machines are to be examined by the board. If found in proper order, the members of the county board of elections shall endorse their approval in the book in which the county clerk has entered the identification number of the machines designated for use during absentee voting.
  3. Any candidate, one (1) representative of each political party having candidates to be voted for at the election, and representatives of the news media may be present when the examination of the machines is made by the county board of elections.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 30; 1982, ch. 394, § 13, effective July 15, 1982; 1992, ch. 296, § 4, effective July 14, 1992; 2008, ch. 79, § 2, effective July 15, 2008.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Inspection by Candidate.

Where candidate failed to personally examine voting machines and relied upon inspection by officers who were required to inspect the machines, the candidate, who thereafter contested the election, was not estopped to raise the question of an error in arrangement of ballot strips on the voting machines. Rives v. Pettit, 513 S.W.2d 475, 1974 Ky. LEXIS 371 ( Ky. 1974 ) (decided under prior law).

2. Public Counter.

The noncompliance by the election officials with statutory requirements to see that the public counter on a voting machine was set at zero, where there was no evidence that the error affected the result of the election, did not taint the election process in the precinct to the extent necessary for a judicial conclusion to reject the votes cast. Thurman v. Keen, 444 S.W.2d 754, 1969 Ky. LEXIS 229 ( Ky. 1969 ) (decided under prior law).

Opinions of Attorney General.

Under this section a candidate may designate in writing a representative to be present in his place at the time the machines are examined. OAG 77-269 .

117.175. Instruction cards. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

The county clerk shall, with the county attorney, prepare a sufficient number of instruction cards containing a diagram showing the front of the voting machine as it will appear on the day of the election, instructions as to the proper method of voting by the use of the machine and instructions as to the proper method of casting a write-in vote. If supplemental paper ballots have been approved, as provided in KRS 118.215 , the instruction cards shall indicate the offices, candidates and questions which will appear on the paper ballots and the instructions for marking and depositing the ballots. The cards shall be examined and approved by the county board of elections at the time the machines are examined and approved. The cards shall be delivered to each election clerk by the county clerk at the time that other election supplies are delivered and the election clerk shall post the card at the polling place.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 31; 1976 (Ex. Sess.), ch. 1, § 4.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Contract for Printing.

The county clerk and county attorney have the right to contract for the printing of instruction cards, without any previous order of the fiscal court authorizing them so to do. Fiscal Court v. Louisville Tent & Awning Co., 185 Ky. 466 , 215 S.W. 88, 1919 Ky. LEXIS 320 ( Ky. 1919 ) (decided under prior law).

117.175. Instruction cards. [Effective July 15, 2020]

The county clerk shall, with the county attorney, prepare a sufficient number of instruction cards containing a diagram showing the front of the voting machine as it will appear on the day of the election, instructions as to the proper method of voting by the use of the machine, and instructions as to the proper method of casting a write-in vote. For federal provisional ballots and supplemental paper ballots, if approved as provided in KRS 118.215 , the instruction cards shall indicate the offices, candidates, and questions which will appear on the supplemental paper ballots, the offices that will appear on the federal provisional ballot, the instructions for marking and depositing the supplemental paper ballots, instructions for filling out the federal provisional ballot, and instructions on how to properly execute the voter affirmations. The cards shall be examined and approved by the county board of elections at the time the machines are examined and approved. The cards shall be delivered to each election clerk by the county clerk at the time that other election supplies are delivered and the election clerk shall post the card at the polling place.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 31; 1976 (Ex. Sess.), ch. 1, § 4; 2020 ch. 89, § 12, effective July 15, 2020.

117.185. Election officers, instruction and compensation. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 32; 1978, ch. 318, § 3, effective June 17, 1978; 1978, ch. 348, § 1, effective June 17, 1978) was repealed by Acts 1988, ch. 341, § 50, effective July 15, 1988.

117.187. Training regarding election laws for state and county officials — Training and compensation for election officers and training for certified challengers. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

  1. The State Board of Elections shall regularly provide special training regarding the election laws and methods of enforcement to all members of county boards of elections, county attorneys, Commonwealth’s attorneys, and certain members of the Department of Kentucky State Police.
  2. The county board of elections shall provide special training before each primary and regular election, and any special election held during a year in which no elections are scheduled, to all election officers, alternates, and certified challengers regarding their duties and the penalties for failure to perform. Election officers, including alternates, and certified challengers shall attend the training session, unless excused by the county board of elections for reason of illness or other emergency. Any person who fails to attend a training session without being excused shall be prohibited from serving as an election officer or challenger for a period of five (5) years. The training provided by the county board of elections shall include but not be limited to the following:
    1. Operation of the voting machine or ballot cards;
    2. Posting of necessary signs and notices at the polling place;
    3. Voter assistance;
    4. Maintaining precinct rosters;
    5. Confirmation of a voter’s identity;
    6. Challenge of a voter;
    7. Completing changes of address or name at the polling place;
    8. Qualifications for voting in a primary election;
    9. Electioneering and exit polling;
    10. Write-in voting procedures;
    11. Persons who may be in the voting room;
    12. Election violations and penalties;
    13. Assistance which may be provided by law enforcement officers;
    14. Election reports;
    15. Disability awareness;
    16. Provisional voting process;
    17. Election emergency contingency plan; and
    18. Elections and voting equipment security plan.
  3. The county attorney shall attend the training session for election officers to assist in explaining the duties and penalties for failure to perform.
  4. Compensation in the minimum amount of ten dollars ($10) for reimbursement of actual expenses shall be paid by the county to the election officers for attending the training session.

History. Enact. Acts 1988, ch. 341, § 12, effective July 15, 1988; 1992, ch. 288, § 50, effective July 14, 1992; 1994, ch. 394, § 15, effective July 15, 1994; 1998, ch. 243, § 10, effective April 1, 1998; 2005, ch. 71, § 3, effective June 20, 2005; 2006, ch. 7, § 2, effective March 8, 2006; 2007, ch. 85, § 158, effective June 26, 2007; 2010, ch. 176, § 6, effective July 15, 2010.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Effect of No Instructions.

Where no evidence indicated that precinct officers had problems with the operation of a voting machine in a primary election, the fact that none of the officers received the instructions required by former KRS 117.185 was immaterial in determining the validity of the election. Sims v. Atwell, 556 S.W.2d 929, 1977 Ky. App. LEXIS 826 (Ky. Ct. App. 1977) (decided under prior law).

Opinions of Attorney General.

Given the nature of the urban county form of government, and the particular circumstances involved with regard to the county board of elections, since there is no longer any distinct city or county government within the county, the county board of elections is acting within its legal authority when it requests legal services to be rendered by the Urban County Government, Department of Law. OAG 90-43 .

117.187. Training regarding election laws for state and county officials — Training and compensation for election officers and training for certified challengers. [Effective July 15, 2020]

  1. The State Board of Elections shall regularly provide special training regarding the election laws and methods of enforcement to all members of county boards of elections, county attorneys, Commonwealth’s attorneys, and certain members of the Department of Kentucky State Police.
  2. The county board of elections shall provide special training before each primary and regular election, and any special election held during a year in which no elections are scheduled, to all election officers, alternates, and certified challengers regarding their duties and the penalties for failure to perform. Election officers, including alternates, and certified challengers shall attend the training session, unless excused by the county board of elections for reason of illness or other emergency. Any person who fails to attend a training session without being excused shall be prohibited from serving as an election officer or challenger for a period of five (5) years. The training provided by the county board of elections shall include but not be limited to the following:
    1. Operation of the voting machine or ballot cards;
    2. Posting of necessary signs and notices at the polling place;
    3. Voter assistance;
    4. Maintaining precinct rosters;
    5. Confirmation of a voter’s identity;
    6. Challenge of a voter;
    7. Completing changes of address or name at the polling place;
    8. Qualifications for voting in a primary;
    9. Electioneering and exit polling;
    10. Write-in voting procedures;
    11. Persons who may be in the voting room;
    12. Election violations and penalties;
    13. Assistance which may be provided by law enforcement officers;
    14. Election reports;
    15. Disability awareness;
    16. Provisional voting and provisional absentee voting;
    17. Election emergency contingency plan;
    18. Elections and voting equipment security plan; and
    19. Proof of identification.
  3. The county attorney shall attend the training session for election officers to assist in explaining the duties and penalties for failure to perform.
  4. Compensation in the minimum amount of ten dollars ($10) for reimbursement of actual expenses shall be paid by the county to the election officers for attending the training session.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1988, ch. 341, § 12, effective July 15, 1988; 1992, ch. 288, § 50, effective July 14, 1992; 1994, ch. 394, § 15, effective July 15, 1994; 1998, ch. 243, § 10, effective April 1, 1998; 2005, ch. 71, § 3, effective June 20, 2005; 2006, ch. 7, § 2, effective March 8, 2006; 2007, ch. 85, § 158, effective June 26, 2007; 2010, ch. 176, § 6, effective July 15, 2010; 2020 ch. 89, § 13, effective July 15, 2020.

117.195. Delivery of machines to precincts — Arrangement in voting place — Delivery of supplemental paper ballots, voting booths, supplies, and ballot box to each precinct — County clerk to take receipt and retain keys to ballot box. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

  1. At  least one (1) hour prior to the opening of the polls, the county clerk shall  deliver each machine, with the operating device and mechanism and the device  covering the registering counters securely locked, to the clerk of the precinct  in which it is to be used, and shall take a receipt indicating the distinguishing  number of the machine. The clerk of the precinct shall cause the machine to  be arranged in the voting place so that the front of the machine, on which  appear the ballot labels and the operating devices, will not be visible, when  being operated, to any person other than the voter.
  2. In  polling places in which machines for multiple precincts are located, the county  clerk shall post a sign near each machine identifying the precinct for which  the machine has been designated.
  3. If  supplemental paper ballots have been approved as provided in KRS 118.215 ,  the county clerk shall, at least one hour prior to the opening of the polls,  deliver a sufficient number of ballots for the registered voters of each precinct,  a sufficient number of voting booths for voting paper ballots, string, rubber  stamps for marking “Spoiled” and “Unused” ballots  and a locked ballot box for each precinct. The county clerk shall take a receipt  for the number of ballots issued and the ballot box for each precinct. The  county clerk shall retain the keys to all ballot boxes.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 33; 1976 (Ex. Sess.), ch. 1, § 5; 1990, ch. 48, § 24, effective July 13, 1990.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Booths.

A failure to provide voting booths is not fatal to the election if the requirement of secrecy of the ballot was accomplished. Duncan v. McMurray, 249 S.W.2d 156, 1952 Ky. LEXIS 809 ( Ky. 1952 ) (decided under prior law).

2. Ballot Boxes.

When a contest or recount proceeding is filed, the Circuit Court may order the ballot boxes delivered to the master commissioner. Clark v. Robinson, 159 Ky. 25 , 166 S.W. 801, 1914 Ky. LEXIS 756 ( Ky. 1914 ) (decided under prior law).

The county clerk may provide more than one ballot box for a precinct if in his judgment there are so many voters in the precinct that one box will not hold all of the ballots. State Board of Election Comm'rs v. Coleman, 235 Ky. 24 , 29 S.W.2d 619, 1930 Ky. LEXIS 305 ( Ky. 1930 ) (decided under prior law).

The state board of election commissioners is the only body authorized to contract for the furnishing of ballot boxes. When a contract for a definite number of boxes has expired, the state board must make any new contract necessary for the furnishing of additional boxes. A county fiscal court cannot make a contract for additional boxes. State Board of Election Comm'rs v. Jefferson County, 260 Ky. 274 , 84 S.W.2d 23, 1935 Ky. LEXIS 430 ( Ky. 1935 ) (decided under prior law).

3. Clerk’s Fees.

The county clerk is not entitled to any fee from the county for delivering the ballots and election supplies to the precinct officers. Harlan County v. Blair, 243 Ky. 777 , 49 S.W.2d 1028, 1932 Ky. LEXIS 193 ( Ky. 1932 ) (decided under prior law).

County clerk is not entitled to fee for preparing ballot boxes. Taylor v. Jones, 253 Ky. 285 , 69 S.W.2d 372, 1934 Ky. LEXIS 648 ( Ky. 1934 ) (decided under prior law).

The county clerk is not entitled to any fee from the county for his services in preparing the ballot boxes for the election, but he is entitled to reimbursement for his expenses in delivering the boxes to the election officers. Goodlett v. Anderson County, 267 Ky. 166 , 101 S.W.2d 421, 1936 Ky. LEXIS 761 ( Ky. 1936 ) (decided under prior law).

117.195. Delivery of machines to precincts — Arrangement in voting place — Delivery of supplemental paper ballots, federal provisional voter ballots, voter affirmations, election official affirmations, voting booths, supplies, and ballot boxes to each precinct — County clerk to take receipt and retain keys to all ballot boxes and ballot receptacles. [Effective July 15, 2020]

  1. At least one (1) hour prior to the opening of the polls, the county clerk shall deliver each machine, with the operating device and mechanism and the device covering the registering counters securely locked, to the clerk of the precinct in which it is to be used, and shall take a receipt indicating the distinguishing number of the machine. The clerk of the precinct shall cause the machine to be arranged in the voting place so that the front of the machine, on which appear the ballot labels and the operating devices, will not be visible, when being operated, to any person other than the voter.
  2. In polling places in which machines for multiple precincts are located, the county clerk shall post a sign near each machine identifying the precinct for which the machine has been designated.
  3. For federal provisional ballots, and supplemental paper ballotsif approved as provided in KRS 118.215 , the county clerk shall, at least one (1) hour prior to the opening of the polls, deliver:
    1. A sufficient number of ballots, and supplemental paper ballots if approved, for the registered voters of each precinct;
    2. A sufficient number of voting booths for voting federal provisional ballots, and supplemental paper ballots if approved;
    3. A sufficient amount of string and rubber stamps for marking “Spoiled” and “Unused” ballots;
    4. A locked ballot box or receptacle for federal provisional ballots, and a separate locked ballot box for supplemental paper ballots if approved, for each precinct; and
    5. A sufficient number of federal provisional voter ballots, voter affirmations, and election official affirmations.

The county clerk shall take a receipt for the number of federal provisional ballots, and supplemental paper ballots if approved, issued and the ballot boxes or ballot receptacles for each precinct. The county clerk shall retain the keys to all ballot boxes and ballot receptacles.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 33; 1976 (Ex. Sess.), ch. 1, § 5; 1990, ch. 48, § 24, effective July 13, 1990; 2020 ch. 89, § 14, effective July 15, 2020.

117.205. Examination by election officers — Correction of defects — Reserve voting machine.

Before permitting any person to vote on the day of the election, the election officers shall examine the machine to ascertain whether it has been operated since the counters referred to in subsections (10) and (11) of KRS 117.125 were set at zero, and to ascertain whether the ballot labels are arranged as specified on the printed instruction cards. If the machine indicates that it has been operated or if the ballot labels are not so arranged, the officers shall not unlock the operating device or mechanism, but shall immediately secure the attendance of the county clerk and one (1) member of the county board of elections other than the county clerk, who shall reset the counters at zero and relock the device covering the counters, or properly arrange the ballot labels, as the case may be, in the presence of the election officers. If the attendance of members of the board of elections cannot be obtained before the opening of the polls or within one (1) hour thereafter, the election officers shall notify the county clerk of the foregoing facts and obtain from the county clerk a reserve voting machine, and proceed to conduct the election. Any reserve machine shall have been certified for use at the election by the county board of elections and prepared for use at the election by the election officers in the precinct in the same manner as the original machine was prepared for the election. The machine found to have been so operated shall be returned immediately to the custody of the county clerk, whose duty it shall be to promptly repair same in order that it may be used as a reserve machine in the election if needed.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 34; 1990, ch. 48, § 25, effective July 13, 1990.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Public Counter.

The noncompliance by the election officials with statutory requirements to see that the public counter on a voting machine was set at zero, where there was no evidence that the error affected the result of the election, did not taint the election process in the precinct to the extent necessary for a judicial conclusion to reject the votes cast. Thurman v. Keen, 444 S.W.2d 754, 1969 Ky. LEXIS 229 ( Ky. 1969 ) (decided under prior law).

117.215. Procedure when machine becomes unusable during election — Counting of votes — Backup voting machine or supplemental paper ballots for emergency use.

  1. If,  during the conduct of an election, a machine becomes in a state of disrepair  so that it cannot be operated in a manner that will comply with the provisions  of this chapter, the election officers shall lock or seal the machine in such  a manner as to prevent further voting thereon and record the numbers shown  by the public counter. Then the election officers shall secure from the county  clerk a reserve voting machine, which shall be prepared and made ready for  use as provided in KRS 117.205 , and thereupon proceed to conduct the election.  When the polls are closed both the original and reserve voting machines shall  be examined and the votes thereon registered shall be counted as provided  in KRS 117.275 and the aggregate number of votes cast on both machines for  each candidate and on each question shall be certified as the result of the  election in that precinct.
  2. If  an emergency should arise due to the malfunction of the voting machine, the  county clerk shall provide a backup voting machine or supplemental paper ballots  for use at the precinct and a ballot box in which to deposit the voted ballots.  The ballot box shall be locked with two (2) locks and the judges of the precinct  shall each hold the key to one (1) lock. At the close of voting, the ballots  shall be counted at the precinct or a central counting center and added to  the votes cast by machine. The aggregate of these votes shall be certified  as the result of the election in that precinct.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 35; 1976 (Ex. Sess.), ch. 1, § 6; 1990, ch. 48, § 26, effective July 13, 1990.

Opinions of Attorney General.

Where, due to a multiplicity of city elections filed for in a single election year within a county, the county has an insufficient number of voting machines, the county board of elections and the county clerk may determine that an emergency exists authorizing the use of paper ballots. OAG 75-610 .

There is no requirement that the words “absent” or “special” be printed on ballots mailed to absentee and disabled voters; therefore one type of paper ballot can be used both as an absent ballot and as an emergency ballot. OAG 76-213 .

A county clerk is not required to have special ballots, ballot boxes and booths prepared for each election since a reserve voting machine is sufficient under subsection (2) of this section, which clearly provides that if an emergency arises due to the malfunction of the voting machine, the clerk has the alternative of either providing a backup voting machine or special ballots. OAG 81-284 .

117.225. Voter’s signature — Use of original registration forms to compare signature — Voting supplemental paper ballot. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

  1. Any  person desiring to vote on election day shall give his name and address to  the clerk of the election. If the person’s name is listed on the precinct  list furnished by the State Board of Elections as provided in KRS 117.025 and if no challenge is made, he shall sign his name on the precinct list in  the space opposite his printed name. The voter’s signature shall constitute  his verification that he is a properly registered and qualified voter. The  voter shall then retire alone to cast his vote on the voting machine. The  county board of elections may provide to each precinct the original registration  form of each voter entitled to vote in that precinct. These forms shall be  used to compare signatures in those precincts to which the forms are provided.
  2. If  supplemental paper ballots are used, as provided in KRS 118.215 , after voting  on the voting machine the voter shall take the supplemental paper ballot with  the stub intact and retire alone to the voting booth provided for voting paper  ballots. After voting the supplemental paper ballot, the voter shall remove  the numbered stub, hand the stub to an election official and deposit the voted  ballot in the locked ballot box.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 36; 1976, ch. 199, § 1; 1976 (Ex. Sess.), ch. 1, § 7; 1978, ch. 384, § 561, effective June 17, 1978; 1986, ch. 33, § 1, effective July 15, 1986.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Failure to Sign List.

The signing of the precinct list is a prerequisite to the right to vote under this section, which is mandatory, but where four voters who failed to sign the precinct list did in fact vote but merely had their names signed by another person, such votes were illegal but not fraudulent. Sims v. Atwell, 556 S.W.2d 929, 1977 Ky. App. LEXIS 826 (Ky. Ct. App. 1977).

2. Violations.

While the failure of election officials to sign the precinct voter roster and to conscientiously note the method by which each voter's identity was confirmed violated Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 117.227 , it did not establish the illegality of any votes, and as a result, was not a basis for invalidating the election results in a contest for judge executive. Hardin v. Montgomery, 495 S.W.3d 686, 2016 Ky. LEXIS 332 ( Ky. 2016 ).

117.225. When proof of voter’s identification is required — Voter’s signature — Use of original registration forms to compare signature — Voting supplemental paper ballot. [Effective July 15, 2020]

  1. Any person desiring to vote on election day shall give his or her name and address to the clerk of the election and shall provide proof of identification as defined in KRS 117.375 .
  2. A voter who votes in person at a precinct polling place that is located at a state-licensed care facility where the voter resides is not required to provide proof of identification, as defined in KRS 117.375 , before voting in a primary or an election.
  3. If the voter’s name is listed on the precinct list furnished by the State Board of Elections as provided in KRS 117.025 , the voter provides proof of identification, the voter is exempt pursuant to subsection (2) of this section, or the voter otherwise satisfies the requirements of KRS 117.228 , and if no challenge is made, then he or she shall sign his or her name on the precinct list in the space opposite his or her printed name. The voter’s signature shall constitute the voter’s verification that the voter is a properly registered and qualified voter. The voter shall then retire alone to cast his or her vote on the voting machine. The county board of elections may provide to each precinct the original registration form of each voter entitled to vote in that precinct. These forms shall be used to compare signatures in those precincts to which the forms are provided.
  4. If supplemental paper ballots are used, as provided in KRS 118.215 , after voting on the voting machine the voter shall take the supplemental paper ballot with the stub intact and retire alone to the voting booth provided for voting paper ballots. After voting the supplemental paper ballot, the voter shall remove the numbered stub, hand the stub to an election officer and deposit the voted ballot in the locked supplemental paper ballot box in the presence of a precinct election officer.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 36; 1976, ch. 199, § 1; 1976 (Ex. Sess.), ch. 1, § 7; 1978, ch. 384, § 561, effective June 17, 1978; 1986, ch. 33, § 1, effective July 15, 1986; 2020 ch. 89, § 15, effective July 15, 2020.

117.227. Confirmation of voter’s identity. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

Election officers shall confirm the identity of each voter by personal acquaintance or by a document, such as a motor vehicle operator’s license, Social Security card, any identification card that has been issued by the county and which has been approved in writing by the State Board of Elections, any identification card with picture and signature, any United States government-issued identification card, any Kentucky state government-issued identification card with picture, or credit card. The election officer confirming the identity shall sign the precinct voter roster and list the method of identification.

History. Enact. Acts 1988, ch. 341, § 9, effective July 15, 1988; 2002, ch. 10, § 1, effective July 15, 2002; 2016 ch. 62, § 7, effective July 15, 2016.

117.227. Confirmation of voter’s identity. [Effective July 15, 2020]

Except as otherwise provided, election officers shall confirm the identity of each voter by proof of identification as defined in KRS 117.375 . The election officer confirming the identity shall sign the precinct voter roster and list the method of proof of identification.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1988, ch. 341, § 9, effective July 15, 1988; 2002, ch. 10, § 1, effective July 15, 2002; 2016 ch. 62, § 7, effective July 15, 2016; 2020 ch. 89, § 16, effective July 15, 2020.

117.228. Procedure for casting ballot if voter is unable to provide proof of identification. [Effective July 15, 2020]

  1. Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, on the day of a primary, an election, or during in-person absentee voting, if a voter is unable to provide proof of identification as required under KRS 117.225 , and as defined under KRS 117.375 , a voter may cast a ballot if the individual:
    1. Is eligible to vote under KRS 116.025 ;
    2. Is entitled to vote in that precinct; and
    3. In the presence of the election officer, executes a voter’s affirmation, on a form prescribed and furnished by the State Board of Elections pursuant to administrative regulations promulgated under KRS Chapter 13A, affirming:
      1. The voter is a citizen of the United States;
      2. The voter’s date of birth to the best of the voter’s knowledge and belief;
      3. The voter is qualified to vote in this precinct under KRS 116.025 ;
      4. The voter’s name, and that the voter is generally known by that name, or the name is as stated on his or her voter registration card;
      5. The voter has not voted and will not vote in any other precinct;
      6. The voter’s current residential address, including the street address number and, if different from the voter’s current address, the voter’s residential address prior to the close of the registration books under KRS 116.045 , and the date the voter moved;
      7. The voter understands that making a false statement on the affirmation is punishable under penalties of perjury; and
      8. The voter has one (1) of the following impediments to procure proof of identification as defined in KRS 117.375 :
        1. Lack of transportation;
        2. Inability to obtain his or her birth certificate or other documents needed to show proof of identification;
        3. Work schedule;
        4. Lost or stolen identification;
        5. Disability or illness;
        6. Family responsibilities;
        7. The proof of identification has been applied for, but not yet received; or
        8. The voter has a religious objection to being photographed.
  2. In addition to the requirements of subsection (1) of this section, to cast a ballot, the voter who is unable to provide proof of identification shall provide to an election officer:
    1. The voter’s Social Security Card;
    2. Any identification card issued by a county in this state which has the name of the voter stated and has been approved in writing by the State Board of Elections pursuant to administrative regulations promulgated under KRS Chapter 13A;
    3. Any identification card with the voter’s photograph and the name of the voter stated;
    4. Any food stamp identification card, electronic benefit transfer card, or supplemental nutrition assistance card, that is issued by this state and has the name of the voter stated; or
    5. A credit or debit card with the name of the voter stated.
  3. After the election officer obtains the affirmation from the voter required by subsection (1) of this section, and after the voter provides the documents under subsection (2) of this section, the voter shall sign the precinct signature roster and shall proceed to cast his or her vote in a ballot completion area.
  4. If the voter is personally known to the election officer, the election officer may execute an election officer affirmation, on a form prescribed and furnished by the State Board of Elections pursuant to administrative regulations promulgated under KRS Chapter 13A, affirming the voter’s identification as being personally known to him or her. Once the affirmation is executed by the election officer, the voter shall sign the precinct signature roster and shall proceed to cast his or her vote in a ballot completion area. For purposes of this subsection, “personally known” means that the election officer knows the voter’s name and that the voter is a resident of the community.
  5. The voter affirmation and the election officer affirmations executed under this section shall be processed in the same manner as an oath of voter affidavit as prescribed by KRS 117.245(3) and (4).

HISTORY: 2020 ch. 89, § 1, effective July 15, 2020.

117.229. Casting of provisional ballot in election for federal office if voter is unable to provide proof of identification. [Effective July 15, 2020]

On the day of a primary, an election, or during in-person absentee voting when a federal elective office is on the ballot, if a voter is unable to provide proof of identification, as required under KRS 117.225 and as defined under KRS 117.375 , or the voter fails to meet the requirements of KRS 117.228 , the voter may cast a provisional ballot for the federal elective office of President, Vice President, United States Senator, and United States House of Representative if the individual conforms to the provisional voting requirements in accordance with the Help America Vote Act of 2002.

HISTORY: 2020 ch. 89, § 2, effective July 15, 2020.

117.235. Persons permitted in voting room — Prohibited activities — Exit polls permitted — Maintenance of order — Mock elections for school children — Display of political campaign signs on private property.

  1. No person, other than the election officers, challengers, person assisting voters in accordance with KRS 117.255(3), and a minor child in the company of a voter, shall be permitted within the voting room while the vote is being polled, except as follows:
    1. For the purpose of voting;
    2. By authority of the election officers to keep order and enforce the law;
    3. With the express approval of the county board of elections to repair or replace voting equipment that is malfunctioning and to provide additional voting equipment; or
    4. At the voter’s discretion, a minor child in the company of a voter may accompany the voter into a voting booth or other private area provided for casting a vote.
  2. No officer of election shall do any electioneering on election day.
    1. No person shall electioneer at the polling place on the day of any election, as established in KRS 118.025 , within a distance of one hundred (100) feet of any entrance to a building in which a voting machine is located if that entrance is unlocked and is used by voters on election day. (3) (a) No person shall electioneer at the polling place on the day of any election, as established in KRS 118.025 , within a distance of one hundred (100) feet of any entrance to a building in which a voting machine is located if that entrance is unlocked and is used by voters on election day.
    2. No person shall electioneer within the interior of a building or affix any electioneering materials to the exterior or interior of a building where the county clerk’s office is located, or any building designated by the county board of elections and approved by the State Board of Elections for absentee voting, during the hours absentee voting is being conducted in the building by the county clerk pursuant to KRS 117.085(1)(c).
    3. Electioneering shall include the displaying of signs, the distribution of campaign literature, cards, or handbills, the soliciting of signatures to any petition, or the solicitation of votes for or against any bona fide candidate or ballot question in a manner which expressly advocates the election or defeat of the candidate or expressly advocates the passage or defeat of the ballot question, but shall not include exit polling, bumper stickers affixed to a person’s vehicle while parked within or passing through a distance of one hundred (100) feet of any entrance to a building in which a voting machine is located, private property as provided in subsection (7) of this section, or other exceptions established by the State Board of Elections through the promulgation of administrative regulations.
  3. No voter shall be permitted to converse with others while in any room in which voting, including absentee voting, is conducted concerning their support or nonsupport of any candidate, party, or issue to be voted on, except as provided in KRS 117.255 .
  4. Any precinct election officer, county clerk, deputy county clerk, or any law enforcement official may enforce the election laws and maintain law and order at the polls and within one hundred (100) feet of any entrance to the building in which the voting machine is located if that entrance is unlocked and is used by voters. Assistance may be requested of any law enforcement officer.
  5. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, the State Board of Elections may establish a program designed to instill in school children a respect for the democratic principles of voting by conducting in any county a mock election for school children in conjunction with any primary, or regular or special election. The State Board of Elections shall promulgate administrative regulations regarding the mock elections to insure that the regular voting process will not be impaired.
  6. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (3) of this section, nothing in this section shall prohibit the displaying of political campaign signs on private property or private establishments by a person having a leased or ownership interest in that private property or private establishment within the campaign-free zone, regardless of the distance from the polling place. In the case of a polling location being on private property that is leased or otherwise under contract for the purpose of serving as a polling location, the provisions of subsection (3) of this section shall be applicable to that leased or contracted-for private property.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 37; 1978, ch. 224, § 1, effective June 17, 1978; 1978, ch. 318, § 4, effective June 17, 1978; 1982, ch. 394, § 14, effective July 15, 1982; 1986, ch. 470, § 13, effective July 15, 1986; 1988, ch. 341, § 30, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 48, § 27, effective July 13, 1990; 1992, ch. 296, § 22, effective July 14, 1992; 1994, ch. 394, § 16, effective July 15, 1994; 1996, ch. 49, § 1, effective March 12, 1996; 1996, ch. 195, § 7, effective July 15, 1996; 2005, ch. 176, § 1, effective March 31, 2005; 2006, ch. 107, § 3, effective March 30, 2006; 2008, ch. 79, § 3, effective July 15, 2008; 2016 ch. 62, § 4, effective July 15, 2016.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

Analysis

1. Constitutionality.

Defendants presented no argument, and evidently the legislature did not engage in factfinding and analysis, to carry their burden to explain why they required a no-political-speech area immensely larger than what was legitimized by the U.S. Supreme Court. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 117.235(3) violates the Free Speech Clause of U.S. Const. amend. I. Russell v. Lundergan-Grimes, 784 F.3d 1037, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 6977 (6th Cir. Ky. 2015 ).

Burdens on protected speech and the chilling effect Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 117.235(3) produced required that the statute be invalidated facially. Russell v. Lundergan-Grimes, 784 F.3d 1037, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 6977 (6th Cir. Ky. 2015 ).

Five-hundred (500) foot electioneering ban is both necessary and narrowly tailored. Because the restriction is necessary and narrowly tailored, and because the ban serves recognized and compelling state interests, the restriction survives “strict scrutiny” review. In short, Kentucky’s prohibition on electioneering within 500 feet of polling stations strikes a constitutionally permissible compromise between the competing interests of free speech and fair elections. Anderson v. Spear, 189 F. Supp. 2d 644, 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5215 (E.D. Ky. 2002 ), aff'd in part and rev'd in part, 356 F.3d 651, 2004 FED App. 0025P, 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS 586 (6th Cir. Ky. 2004 ).

2. Effect of Electioneering.

Where electioneering, which had not been authorized pursuant to this section, occurred in a primary election but did not interfere with the secrecy of the voting or affect the outcome and there was no disorganization or intimidation, the votes in the precinct would not be invalidated. Sims v. Atwell, 556 S.W.2d 929, 1977 Ky. App. LEXIS 826 (Ky. Ct. App. 1977).

3. Violations.

Where election was voided by Supreme Court for candidate’s violations of KRS 117.235 and 121.055 , the trial court had jurisdiction to enforce the order by ordering candidate to vacate the office. Ellis v. Jasmin, 968 S.W.2d 669, 1998 Ky. LEXIS 91 ( Ky. 1998 ).

4. Electioneering by Officials.

In a federal prosecution of a deputy clerk for participation in a vote buying conspiracy, the jury was incorrectly told that Kentucky law prohibited the clerk from supervising in-person absentee voting; because a challenger is not an election officer, a challenger’s presence did not result in equal representation of political parties, and the clerk’s supervision was proper. The error was not prejudicial because the jury was correctly instructed that the clerk could not lawfully assist voters. United States v. Risner, 737 Fed. Appx. 751, 2018 FED App. 0304N, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16252 (6th Cir. Ky. 2018 ).

It was a violation of law for a Republican judge, in handling ballots to voters, to explain how they could vote the straight Republican ticket, but in the absence of evidence as to how such voters voted, or that contestant was prejudiced thereby, the entire vote of the precinct would not be thrown out on that account. Pettit v. Yewell, 113 Ky. 777 , 68 S.W. 1075, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 565 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 97 ( Ky. 1902 ) (decided under prior law).

The fact that challengers and election officers indulged in electioneering in voting room would not require that vote of precinct be thrown out. Hill v. Mottley, 142 Ky. 385 , 134 S.W. 469, 1911 Ky. LEXIS 206 (Ky.), modified, Hill v. Motley, 143 Ky. 158 , 136 S.W. 134, 1911 Ky. LEXIS 345 ( Ky. 1911 ) (decided under prior law).

A candidate for alderman violated this section and KRS 121.055 by shaking hands with voters and making free food available to voters at ten (10) of fifteen (15) voting stations in his ward; as the candidate won by a mere eight (8) vote plurality, the election was set aside as possibly influenced or made unfair by the illegal electioneering. Ellis v. Meeks, 957 S.W.2d 213, 1997 Ky. LEXIS 101 ( Ky. 1997 ).

5. Purpose.

Former law which provided that persons other than officials or challengers were not permitted in the voting room while vote was being polled except for the purpose of voting or by the authority of election officials was directory and not mandatory; its purpose was to maintain secrecy of the ballot, and if the secrecy of the election was not violated, an election would not be set aside because of a technical violation. A general allegation that violation of former law changed the result of the election was insufficient to show invalidity of election, since it failed to show how and to what extent votes were affected. Feld v. Prewitt, 274 Ky. 306 , 118 S.W.2d 700, 1938 Ky. LEXIS 264 ( Ky. 1938 ); Fuson v. Helton, 314 Ky. 123 , 234 S.W.2d 496, 1950 Ky. LEXIS 1038 ( Ky. 1950 ) (decided under prior law).

6. Effect on Outcome Required.

In order to sustain a contest, violation of the 50-foot law must result in something that changes the outcome of the election and it must have invaded the secrecy of the ballot or have been of such character as to constitute intimidation, or otherwise have affected the fairness of the election. Adams v. Wakefield, 301 Ky. 35 , 190 S.W.2d 701, 1945 Ky. LEXIS 687 ( Ky. 1945 ), overruled, Barger v. Ward, 407 S.W.2d 397, 1966 Ky. LEXIS 152 ( Ky. 1966 ), overruled in part, Barger v. Ward, 407 S.W.2d 397, 1966 Ky. LEXIS 152 ( Ky. 1966 ), overruled on other grounds, Barger v. Ward, 407 S.W.2d 397, 1966 Ky. LEXIS 152 (Ky. 1966) (decided under prior law).

In election contest where it was contended that secrecy of ballot was not maintained because persons were permitted to congregate within less than 50 feet of the polling place in two precincts, such violation did not invalidate election as there was no showing that to any substantial degree it interfered with the secrecy of voting and there was no proof that such condition in any way affected its outcome. Stanley v. Goff, 324 S.W.2d 124, 1959 Ky. LEXIS 355 ( Ky. 1959 ) (decided under prior law).

7. Keeping Persons Fifty Feet From Polls.

The election officers have control of the polls and of the space within 50 feet of them and if a policeman necessarily comes into this space to preserve order, he should withdraw when the present necessity is removed. Skain v. Milward, 138 Ky. 200 , 127 S.W. 773, 1910 Ky. LEXIS 61 ( Ky. 1910 ) (decided under prior law).

8. Excessive Number of Voters.

Admitting 13 voters into voting room at one time would not invalidate votes in absence of showing that secrecy of ballot was violated or that someone was prejudiced. Land v. Land, 244 Ky. 126 , 50 S.W.2d 518, 1931 Ky. LEXIS 720 ( Ky. 1931 ) (decided under prior law).

9. Persons Other Than Voters in Room.

Where election officers permitted persons other than voters to remain in room during election, such conduct, coupled with other irregularities, was sufficient to invalidate entire vote of precinct. Banks v. Sergent, 104 Ky. 843 , 20 Ky. L. Rptr. 1024 , 48 S.W. 149, 1898 Ky. LEXIS 230 ( Ky. 1898 ), overruled in part, Widick v. Ralston, 303 Ky. 373 , 197 S.W.2d 261, 1946 Ky. LEXIS 880 (1946), overruled on other grounds, Widick v. Ralston, 303 Ky. 373 , 197 S.W.2d 261, 1946 Ky. LEXIS 880 ( Ky. 1946 ) (decided under prior law).

10. Maintaining Order.

A policeman should not take any part in maintaining order within 50 feet of the polls, unless it is necessary to preserve the peace or he is requested to do so by the sheriff of election; whatever he does within 50 feet of the polls he should do in assisting the sheriff, and he should under no circumstances interfere with the sheriff. Skain v. Milward, 138 Ky. 200 , 127 S.W. 773, 1910 Ky. LEXIS 61 ( Ky. 1910 ) (decided under prior law).

11. Violations.

A few isolated violations of former section which provided what persons were permitted in the voting room, not of such character as to substantially impair the secrecy of the ballot, would not have grounds for invalidating the entire vote of a precinct. Goodwin v. Anderson, 269 Ky. 11 , 106 S.W.2d 152, 1937 Ky. LEXIS 566 ( Ky. 1937 ), overruled, Barger v. Ward, 407 S.W.2d 397, 1966 Ky. LEXIS 152 ( Ky. 1966 ), overruled in part, Barger v. Ward, 407 S.W.2d 397, 1966 Ky. LEXIS 152 ( Ky. 1966 ), overruled on other grounds, Barger v. Ward, 407 S.W.2d 397, 1966 Ky. LEXIS 152 (Ky. 1966) (decided under prior law).

12. — Pleadings.

In order to establish violations of former section that provided what persons were permitted in the voting room and prohibited electioneering within 50 feet of the polling place as a ground of contest, there must have been specific allegations as to the acts committed, and that such acts changed the result of the election or resulted in such fraud or intimidation as to prevent a fair election. Goodwin v. Anderson, 269 Ky. 11 , 106 S.W.2d 152, 1937 Ky. LEXIS 566 ( Ky. 1937 ), overruled, Barger v. Ward, 407 S.W.2d 397, 1966 Ky. LEXIS 152 ( Ky. 1966 ), overruled in part, Barger v. Ward, 407 S.W.2d 397, 1966 Ky. LEXIS 152 ( Ky. 1966 ) decided under prior law, overruled on other grounds, Barger v. Ward, 407 S.W.2d 397, 1966 Ky. LEXIS 152 (Ky. 1966) (decided under prior law).

Where, in action challenging local option election on grounds of violation of former statute prohibiting electioneering within 50 feet of polls, the petition did not name any voters who were influenced by the illegal electioneering, did not state the number of such persons, and did not set forth that a number of voters sufficient to change the result of the election had been kept from the polls, the petition was insufficient, notwithstanding allegation that result of election was changed by reason of alleged violation of former statute. Fuson v. Helton, 314 Ky. 123 , 234 S.W.2d 496, 1950 Ky. LEXIS 1038 ( Ky. 1950 ) (decided under prior law).

Opinions of Attorney General.

The phrase “within fifty feet of the polls” contained in a former version of subsection (3) of this section meant within 50 feet of the door to the polling place. OAG 74-473 .

In counties where the fiscal court or legislative body of an urban-county government have not enacted a county wide electioneering ordinance, the providing of transportation and the hauling of voters to the polls on election day would not themselves constitute actions in violation of the statute. OAG 74-773 .

Challengers may stay within the voting room while the vote is being polled, the election judges having no authority to eject them therefrom, and the challengers may exercise reasonable discretion in deciding where in the room they will post themselves, including withdrawing from the voting room when they feel it necessary. OAG 75-95 .

It is clear that where the courtroom was selected as the voting place on election day, no one should have been permitted to have access to the room during the period that the polls were open other than the election officers, challengers and those persons desiring to cast their vote, which would exclude the city judge and members of the police force. OAG 75-408 .

The posting of political signs and posters in the vicinity of the polls does not appear to constitute “electioneering” as restricted by this section, but such material should be placed prior to the opening of the polls on election day. OAG 75-627 .

Political posters erected before the polls open would not constitute a form of electioneering, but during polling hours posters cannot be erected in or around the polling place or within the prohibited radius established pursuant to subsection (3) of this section. OAG 75-627 , 77-222.

The term “electioneering” means where a person, through some overt action, tries to sway a voter to vote for a particular candidate or public question by persuasion, harassment or intimidation and this definition would prevent the handing out of political cards and literature at the polling place or within the area outside established by law in which electioneering is prohibited. OAG 77-222 .

Political posters cannot be placed on the voting booth itself under any circumstances even though erected prior to the opening of the polls. OAG 77-222 .

People cannot congregate outside of the election booth and even the officers and challengers should not in any way interfere with the election process by congregating outside of the voting booth; of course, one of the judges must be there to operate the machine but the rest of the perimeter should be clear of the election officials and challengers. OAG 77-222 .

By this section the Legislature did not intend to bar electioneering throughout a county but rather to authorize the fiscal court to specifically establish a distance from the polling place beyond which electioneering may be permitted. OAG 77-318 .

By failing to establish a specific distance, beyond the minimum of 50 feet contained in a former version of subsection (3) of this section prior to amendment, from the polling place where electioneering may be permitted (as for example, 50, 100 or 200 feet), this section makes it impossible to determine this fact unless the intent is to bar electioneering throughout the county; the Legislature could not have intended this, since it would not only be unreasonable but also unenforceable. OAG 78-425 .

The electioneering statute poses a serious question as to its validity because of vagueness with respect to the distance from the polls, beyond the 50-foot minimum contained in a former version of subsection (3) prior to amendment, that electioneering may be permitted where the fiscal court or legislative body fails to enact appropriate legislation. OAG 78-425 .

A literal interpretation of subsection (1) of this section thwarts certain basic First Amendment rights of the media to gather and disseminate news; thus, the media should be allowed to enter the polling place for the very limited purpose of filming or observing the electoral process for a limited time. OAG 88-76 .

Electioneering, as defined in this section, broadly encompasses all activities, including such passive activities as wearing a campaign button, that solicit a vote for or against a candidate or issue. (overruling OAG 1984-94 ). OAG 92-73 .

This section may be fully enforced to prohibit electioneering by precinct officers, since the state’s compelling need to maintain orderly elections outweighs the first amendment rights of the precinct officers, but the first amendment prohibits enforcement of this section to prohibit voters from wearing items such as buttons or shirts that solicit a vote for or against a candidate or issue, although the first amendment does not allow a voter to disrupt the voting process by persistent appeals to other voters who do not wish to be subjected to such communication; passive communication such as wearing a hat, button, or shirt is permissible; oral solicitation of votes, or other more intrusive communication, is not. OAG 92-73 .

Research References and Practice Aids

Kentucky Law Journal.

Walker, Note, “Don’t Show Them Where to Click and Vote:” An Assessment of Electioneering Law in the United States as a Consideration in Implementing Internet Voting Regimes, 91 Ky. L.J. 715 (2002).

117.236. Prohibition against recording identity of voters — Exception, state-approved signature roster.

  1. For purposes of this section, “personal telecommunication device” means a device that emits an audible signal, vibrates, displays a message, or otherwise summons or delivers a communication to the possessor, including but not limited to a paging device or cellular telephone.
  2. No election officer, voter, or other person permitted by law within the voting room, except for challengers appointed under KRS 117.315 , shall use paper, telephone, a personal telecommunications device, or a computer or other information technology system for the purpose of creating a checkoff list or otherwise recording the identity of voters within the voting room, except for the official use of the precinct signature roster that is furnished or approved by the State Board of Elections and is otherwise permitted by law.

History. Enact. Acts 2005, ch. 71, § 1, effective June 20, 2005.

117.237. Request for Department of Kentucky State Police to patrol voting precinct during polling hours and investigate reported violations — Reports to prosecutors.

  1. A county board of elections, a clerk, judge/executive, sheriff, fiscal court, the Attorney General, grand jury, or the county chairman of either of the two (2) political parties which polled the largest vote in the preceding general election may request that the Department of Kentucky State Police patrol voting precincts in the county during the hours the polls are open on the day of any primary or regular or special election for the purpose of maintaining order and enforcing the election laws of the state. The Department of Kentucky State Police shall investigate any reported violations of the election laws. Candidates may petition any of the aforementioned officers or bodies to request State Police patrols of county voting precincts.
  2. The Department of Kentucky State Police shall report the results of their investigation to the appropriate Commonwealth’s and county attorneys.

History. Enact. Acts 1986, ch. 287, § 1, effective July 15, 1986; 1988, ch. 341, § 31, effective July 15, 1988; 2007, ch. 85, § 159, effective June 26, 2007.

117.245. Procedure when voter’s right to vote disputed. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

  1. The  fact that a person is registered constitutes only prima facie evidence of  his right to vote and does not prevent the officers of any election from refusing  to allow him to vote for cause.
  2. When  the officers of an election disagree as to the qualifications of a voter or  if his right to vote is disputed by a challenger, the voter shall sign a written  oath as to his qualifications before he is permitted to vote. The oath shall  be in such form as prescribed by the State Board of Elections and twenty (20)  printed copies shall be included in the election supplies of each precinct.
  3. The  subscribed oaths shall be returned to the county clerk who shall deliver them  to the Commonwealth’s attorney.
  4. The  Commonwealth’s attorney and county attorney shall investigate each of the  oaths and cause to be summoned before the grand jury the witnesses they or  either of them, deem proper, and the grand jury shall make a thorough investigation  of all votes so cast, and return indictments against all persons illegally  voting. The foreman of the grand jury shall return to the county clerk all  of the oaths upon which no indictments are found. The clerk shall safely keep  them as a part of the records of his office, and shall produce any or all  of them, when required, to any subsequent grand jury.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 38; 1976 (Ex. Sess.), ch. 14, § 130, effective January 2, 1978; 1982, ch. 394, § 15, effective July 15, 1982.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Oath.

The requirement of an oath is a reasonable one. Erwin v. Benton, 120 Ky. 536 , 87 S.W. 291, 27 Ky. L. Rptr. 909 , 1905 Ky. LEXIS 131 ( Ky. 1905 ) (decided under prior law).

Where voters who were challenged did not sign or offer to sign the oath, although they were notified that the blanks were available, they could not complain that they were not allowed to vote. Erwin v. Benton, 120 Ky. 536 , 87 S.W. 291, 27 Ky. L. Rptr. 909 , 1905 Ky. LEXIS 131 ( Ky. 1905 ) (decided under prior law).

Where the election officers refuse to permit a person to vote on the ground that he is not qualified, he may demand that he be permitted to take the oath and the officers must then permit him to take the oath. Campbell v. Commonwealth, 244 Ky. 328 , 50 S.W.2d 929, 1932 Ky. LEXIS 414 ( Ky. 1932 ) (decided under prior law).

In prosecution for making false oath where Commonwealth offered evidence that appellee was attending college in Kentucky, that he had referred to Chicago as his home and that he had said that after college he was going to a foreign country to preach, such evidence failed to establish falsity of statement as to residence. Commonwealth v. Jewell, 248 Ky. 630 , 59 S.W.2d 565, 1933 Ky. LEXIS 290 ( Ky. 1933 ) (decided under prior law).

2. Liability for Barring Voter.

Election officers were not liable to voter for denying him right to vote on ground of nonresidence, where voter did not insist that he be allowed to make affidavit, as provided in former similar section, and officers were not influenced by bad motives. Reynolds v. Perkins, 274 Ky. 808 , 120 S.W.2d 663, 1938 Ky. LEXIS 351 ( Ky. 1938 ) (decided under prior law).

Cited:

Commonwealth v. Kash, 967 S.W.2d 37, 1997 Ky. App. LEXIS 119 (Ky. Ct. App. 1997).

Opinions of Attorney General.

The procedure for executing the voter oath under the terms of this section is designed for use where there exists some record of the voter having been registered but nevertheless his right to be registered has been challenged; but if no registration record exists at the polls, he should not be permitted to vote under oath and must seek relief before the county board, county court or Circuit Court. OAG 75-409 .

Although registration constitutes only prima facie evidence of a person’s right to vote and does not prevent the officers of any election from refusing to allow him to vote for cause, if his right to vote is challenged, the voter may sign a written oath as to his qualifications and then be permitted to vote. OAG 76-304 .

Although a challenger can observe a voter signing the registration record, check the signature and challenge the qualifications of the voter, he cannot enter the voting booth to observe the voter casting his vote. OAG 77-401 .

A nonregistered voter would be required to appear before the county board on election day for permission to vote or, being refused the right, appeal to a Circuit Court. OAG 78-785 .

When a voter moves to another precinct but fails to notify the clerk to change his registration, he is still prima facie eligible to vote in his old precinct until purged by the board pursuant to KRS 116.115 (repealed); such voter can, of course, be challenged at the polls, however, he may execute the voter’s oath and proceed to vote under the terms of this section. OAG 80-466 .

117.245. Procedure when voter’s right to vote disputed. [Effective July 15, 2020]

  1. The fact that a person is registered constitutes only prima facie evidence of his or her right to vote and does not prevent the officers of any election from refusing to allow him or her to vote for cause.
  2. When the officers of an election disagree as to the qualifications of a voter or if his or her right to vote is disputed by a challenger, other than for failure to provide proof of identification as defined in KRS 117.375 , the voter shall sign a written oath as to his or her qualifications before he or she is permitted to vote. The oath shall be in such form prescribed and furnished by the State Board of Elections pursuant to administrative regulations promulgated under KRS Chapter 13A. Twenty (20) printed copies of these oaths shall be included in the election supplies of each precinct.
  3. The subscribed oaths shall be returned to the county clerk who shall deliver them to the Commonwealth’s attorney.
  4. The Commonwealth’s attorney and county attorney shall investigate each of the oaths and cause to be summoned before the grand jury the witnesses they or either of them, deem proper, and the grand jury shall make a thorough investigation of all votes so cast, and return indictments against all persons illegally voting. The foreman of the grand jury shall return to the county clerk all of the oaths upon which no indictments are found. The county clerk shall safely keep them as a part of the records of his or her office, and shall produce any or all of them, when required, to any subsequent grand jury.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 38; 1976 (Ex. Sess.), ch. 14, § 130, effective January 2, 1978; 1982, ch. 394, § 15, effective July 15, 1982; 2020 ch. 89, § 17, effective July 15, 2020.

117.255. Instruction of voters — Assistance and certification of voters requiring assistance — Manner of voting — Report of violations. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

  1. The voter shall be instructed by the officers of election, with the aid of the instruction cards and the model, in the use of the machine, if the voter so requests.
  2. Except for those voters who have been certified as requiring assistance on a permanent basis, no voter shall be permitted to receive any assistance in voting at the polls unless he makes and signs an oath that, because of blindness, other physical disability, or an inability to read English, he is unable to vote without assistance. The oath shall be upon a voter assistance form prescribed by the State Board of Elections. Any person assisting a voter shall complete the voter assistance form.
  3. Upon making and filing the oath with the precinct clerk, the voter requiring assistance shall retire to the voting machine or ballot completion area with the precinct judges, and one (1) of the judges shall, in the presence of the other judge and the voter, operate the machine or complete the ballot as the voter directs. A voter requiring assistance in voting may, if he prefers, be assisted by a person of his own choice who is not an election officer, except that the voter’s employer, an agent of the voter’s employer, or an officer or agent of the voter’s union shall not assist a voter.
  4. The precinct election clerk shall swear a person assisting a voter in voting to operate the voting machine or complete the ballot in accordance with the directions of the voter, and the person sworn shall enter the voting booth or ballot completion area and operate the machine or complete the ballot for the voter as the voter directs.
  5. A voter who requires voting assistance on a permanent basis because of blindness or other physical disability may apply to the county board of elections for certification. Application may be made when registering to vote or completing the voter assistance form by indicating that the reason for obtaining assistance is permanent. The county board of elections shall determine whether the applicant requires assistance on a permanent basis. The county board of elections shall notify the county clerk of persons certified as requiring permanent voting assistance and the county clerk shall enter the certification on the voter’s registration record. The State Board of Elections shall indicate on the precinct roster of voters those voters who are certified to receive assistance permanently without signing the voter assistance form at the precinct.
  6. “Voting booth” or “ballot completion area” means an area in which a voter casts his vote or completes his ballot which is designed to insure the secrecy of the vote. No voter shall be assisted under this subsection unless the judges and the sheriff of election are satisfied of the truth of the facts stated in the oath. The voter shall state in his oath the specific reason that requires him to receive assistance.
  7. No voter shall be permitted to occupy the voting machine more than two (2) minutes if other voters are waiting to use it, except that those voters who because of a disability need extra time to cast a ballot shall be given a reasonable amount of time to vote.
  8. In primary elections, before a voter is permitted to use the voting machine, a judge of the election shall adjust the machine so that the voter will only be able to vote for the persons for whom the voter is qualified to vote.
  9. If the machine is so constructed as to require adjustment after one person has voted before another person may vote, the judges of election shall adjust it after each person has voted.
  10. The election officers shall constantly maintain a watch in order to prevent any person from voting more than once.
  11. If supplemental paper ballots have been approved, as provided in KRS 118.215 , the voter shall vote his ballot in privacy in a booth provided for that purpose by the county clerk. If the voter spoils his ballot, he shall return the spoiled paper ballot to an election official who shall stamp the ballot “Spoiled,” initial and place the spoiled ballot in an envelope provided for that purpose. The voter shall be issued a second supplemental paper ballot. Upon completion of voting, the voter shall remove the numbered stub from the ballot, hand the stub to an election official and deposit the voted ballot in the locked ballot box in the presence of precinct election officials.
  12. The election sheriff shall be responsible for reporting violations of this section.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 39; 1976 (Ex. Sess.), ch. 1, § 8; 1982, ch. 360, § 40, effective July 15, 1982; 1986, ch. 287, § 9, effective July 15, 1986; 1986, ch. 470, § 14, effective July 15, 1986; 1988, ch. 341, § 32, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 48, § 28, effective July 13, 1990; 1994, ch. 394, § 17, effective July 15, 1994; 1994, ch. 405, § 15, effective July 15, 1994; 1996, ch. 270, § 1, effective July 15, 1996; 1998, ch. 243, § 11, effective April 1, 1998; 2007, ch. 133, § 1, effective April 5, 2007.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Constitutionality.

The provision of former similar section for assistance to blind, illiterate or disabled voters did not violate Ky. Const., § 147. Grauman v. Jefferson County Fiscal Court, 294 Ky. 149 , 171 S.W.2d 36, 1943 Ky. LEXIS 402 ( Ky. 1943 ) (decided under prior law).

2. Illiterate, Blind or Disabled Voter.

The illiterate voter who requests assistance must make and sign an oath in order to obtain help in voting by machine. Mills v. Broughton, 365 S.W.2d 315, 1962 Ky. LEXIS 291 ( Ky. 1962 ) (decided under prior law).

A person who has merely left his spectacles at home cannot vote as a blind voter. Smith v. Jones, 221 Ky. 546 , 299 S.W. 170, 1927 Ky. LEXIS 762 ( Ky. 1927 ) (decided under prior law).

3. — Oath.

The requirement of former section that an illiterate, blind or disabled voter be sworn was mandatory. Cole v. Nunnelley, 140 Ky. 138 , 130 S.W. 972, 1910 Ky. LEXIS 185 ( Ky. 1910 ). See Browning v. Lovett, 29 Ky. L. Rptr. 692 (1906); Muncy v. Duff, 194 Ky. 303 , 239 S.W. 49, 1922 Ky. LEXIS 163 ( Ky. 1922 ) (decided under prior law).

The clerk may mark the ballot only when the voter takes an oath that he is physically disabled. Allen v. Griffith, 160 Ky. 528 , 169 S.W. 1003, 1914 Ky. LEXIS 497 ( Ky. 1914 ) (decided under prior law).

A ballot which the voter stencils openly on the table should be rejected although the voter has taken the illiterate oath. Marilla v. Ratterman, 209 Ky. 409 , 273 S.W. 69, 1925 Ky. LEXIS 513 ( Ky. 1925 ) (decided under prior law).

If an election officer or other person stencils the ballot of a voter, it should be rejected, unless the voter is physically disabled and has taken an oath to that effect. Marilla v. Ratterman, 209 Ky. 409 , 273 S.W. 69, 1925 Ky. LEXIS 513 ( Ky. 1925 ) (decided under prior law).

If a person is so devoid of sight that he cannot see a pencil mark made on the ballot by the clerk, he is blind within the meaning of former section that provided the procedure for voting by a blind voter, but he must take the oath before receiving assistance in voting. Smith v. Jones, 221 Ky. 546 , 299 S.W. 170, 1927 Ky. LEXIS 762 ( Ky. 1927 ) (decided under prior law).

4. — — Failure to Take.

If the clerk marked a ballot for a voter without the voter having taken the oath of disability, the ballot would not be counted, even though the voter’s disability was apparent or was known to the election officers. Major v. Barker, 99 Ky. 305 , 35 S.W. 543, 18 Ky. L. Rptr. 104 , 1896 Ky. LEXIS 73 ( Ky. 1896 ). See Preston v. Price, 85 S.W. 1183, 27 Ky. L. Rptr. 588 (1905); Scholl v. Bell, 125 Ky. 750 , 102 S.W. 248, 31 Ky. L. Rptr. 335 , 1907 Ky. LEXIS 328 ( Ky. 1907 ); Cole v. Nunnelley, 140 Ky. 138 , 130 S.W. 972, 1910 Ky. LEXIS 185 ( Ky. 1910 ); Black v. Spillman, 185 Ky. 201 , 215 S.W. 28, 1919 Ky. LEXIS 269 ( Ky. 1919 ) (decided under prior law).

Votes cast openly on the table, without the voter taking the oath of disability, will not be counted if it is shown for whom they were cast. Major v. Barker, 99 Ky. 305 , 35 S.W. 543, 18 Ky. L. Rptr. 104 , 1896 Ky. LEXIS 73 ( Ky. 1896 ). See Neely v. Rice, 123 Ky. 806 , 97 S.W. 737, 29 Ky. L. Rptr. 1142 , 30 Ky. L. Rptr. 164 , 1906 Ky. LEXIS 218 (Ky. Ct. App. 1906); Allen v. Griffith, 160 Ky. 528 , 169 S.W. 1003, 1914 Ky. LEXIS 497 ( Ky. 1914 ); Kean v. Whittle, 210 Ky. 273 , 275 S.W. 818, 1925 Ky. LEXIS 658 ( Ky. 1925 ); Nunnelly v. Doty, 210 Ky. 642 , 276 S.W. 152, 1925 Ky. LEXIS 744 ( Ky. 1925 ); Stice v. Parsley, 217 Ky. 653 , 290 S.W. 471, 1926 Ky. LEXIS 109 ( Ky. 1926 ) (decided under prior law).

An election officer who willfully marked ballots for voters without their having taken the oath of disability, with the intent to hinder the objects of the election law, or in such a way as to be reasonably calculated to hinder the objects of the election law, was guilty of violating former law that provided penalty for violations of duty for which there was no other penalty. Commonwealth v. Kaufman, 126 Ky. 624 , 104 S.W. 740, 31 Ky. L. Rptr. 1064 , 1907 Ky. LEXIS 91 ( Ky. 1907 ) (decided under prior law).

Ballots marked by clerk with dots to indicate voter’s choice, without voter taking oath of illiteracy, were illegal and in such case, an examination of the ballots to determine which ones had dots upon them was the best method of identifying the illegal ballots. Hill v. Mottley, 142 Ky. 385 , 134 S.W. 469, 1911 Ky. LEXIS 206 (Ky.), modified, Hill v. Motley, 143 Ky. 158 , 136 S.W. 134, 1911 Ky. LEXIS 345 ( Ky. 1911 ) (decided under prior law).

Voting openly on the table, without taking the oath of disability, was illegal in primary elections as well as regular elections. Black v. Spillman, 185 Ky. 201 , 215 S.W. 28, 1919 Ky. LEXIS 269 ( Ky. 1919 ) (decided under prior law).

If an election officer or other person marked the ballot of a voter with a pen or pencil, or pointed out on the ballot where to stencil it, without the voter having been sworn, the ballot should have been rejected, although the voter went into the booth and stenciled the ballot himself. Marilla v. Ratterman, 209 Ky. 409 , 273 S.W. 69, 1925 Ky. LEXIS 513 ( Ky. 1925 ) (decided under prior law).

Where from 50 to 75 percent of ballots in a number of precincts were marked by the election officers to indicate where the voter should place the stencil, or were voted openly on the table, or were not folded before being deposited in the box, or were stenciled when an election officer was in the booth with the voter, without any voter being sworn, the entire vote in such precincts was thrown out. Marilla v. Ratterman, 209 Ky. 409 , 273 S.W. 69, 1925 Ky. LEXIS 513 ( Ky. 1925 ) (decided under prior law).

Unless the voter took the oath that he was physically disabled, the election clerk had no right to mark his ballot for him, and a ballot so marked would not be counted. Kean v. Whittle, 210 Ky. 273 , 275 S.W. 818, 1925 Ky. LEXIS 658 ( Ky. 1925 ). See Marilla v. Ratterman, 209 Ky. 409 , 273 S.W. 69, 1925 Ky. LEXIS 513 ( Ky. 1925 ) (decided under prior law).

A failure to make the prescribed oath invalidated the vote which was later cast. Mills v. Broughton, 365 S.W.2d 315, 1962 Ky. LEXIS 291 ( Ky. 1962 ) (decided under prior law).

5. — — Form and Sufficiency.

When a voter had been sworn as to physical disability, the judges had discretion to determine whether the voter’s sworn statements sufficiently established his disability, and if they permitted him to vote the vote would be counted although the judges made an error of judgment; the voter should have been sworn to answer truthfully such questions as might have been asked him, and the judges should then have interrogated him as to his disability. Preston v. Price, 85 S.W. 1183, 27 Ky. L. Rptr. 588 (1905) (decided under prior law).

6. — Casting “write-in” Vote.

The clerk may write in the name of a person whose name is not printed on the ballot, if the voter indicates his desire to vote for such person and has taken the oath prescribed by former section that provided the procedure for voting by an illiterate, blind or disabled voter. Hall v. Sumner, 194 Ky. 1 , 238 S.W. 197, 1922 Ky. LEXIS 114 ( Ky. 1 922) (decided under prior law).

7. — Illegal Votes.

The entire vote of a precinct would not be thrown out because votes were cast in violation of former section that provided the procedure for voting by an illiterate, blind or disabled voter where it could be shown, by testimony of the voters or of the election officers, for whom the votes were cast and the candidate attacking such votes must show for whom they were cast. Duff v. Crawford, 124 Ky. 73 , 97 S.W. 1124, 30 Ky. L. Rptr. 323 , 1906 Ky. LEXIS 232 ( Ky. 1906 ); Browning v. Lovett, 29 Ky. L. Rptr. 692 (1906) (decided under prior law).

A voter who voted in violation of former section that provided the procedure for voting by an illiterate, blind or disabled voter may testify as to how he voted, and unless he claimed immunity he may be compelled to testify how he voted. Black v. Spillman, 185 Ky. 201 , 215 S.W. 28, 1919 Ky. LEXIS 269 ( Ky. 1919 ). But see Duff v. Crawford, 124 Ky. 73 , 97 S.W. 1124, 30 Ky. L. Rptr. 323 , 1906 Ky. LEXIS 232 ( Ky. 1906 ) (decided under prior law).

Where it was not shown for whom votes cast by illiterate persons with illegal assistance of election officers were cast, the entire vote of the precinct would not be thrown out unless the number of such illegal votes would have changed the result of the election. Muncy v. Duff, 194 Ky. 303 , 239 S.W. 49, 1922 Ky. LEXIS 163 ( Ky. 1922 ) (decided under prior law).

Where many voters, some of whom were under no apparent disability and none of whom signed an affidavit of disability, were accompanied in the voting booth by an election officer, such open voting violated this section and the votes so cast were illegal. Sims v. Atwell, 556 S.W.2d 929, 1977 Ky. App. LEXIS 826 (Ky. Ct. App. 1977).

8. Stubs.

Mistake by clerk in entering name of voter on stub would not invalidate vote. Penny v. McRoberts, 163 Ky. 313 , 173 S.W. 786, 1915 Ky. LEXIS 223 ( Ky. 1915 ) (decided under prior law).

Use of post office stencil to stamp voters’ addresses on stubs was irregular, but would not invalidate ballots even though stencil left marks on margin of ballots. Campbell v. Little, 251 Ky. 812 , 66 S.W.2d 67, 1933 Ky. LEXIS 968 ( Ky. 1933 ) (decided under prior law).

9. Miscellaneous.

In a federal prosecution of a deputy clerk for participation in a vote buying conspiracy, the jury was incorrectly told that Kentucky law prohibited the clerk from supervising in-person absentee voting; because a challenger is not an election officer, a challenger’s presence did not result in equal representation of political parties, and the clerk’s supervision was proper. The error was not prejudicial because the jury was correctly instructed that the clerk could not lawfully assist voters. United States v. Risner, 737 Fed. Appx. 751, 2018 FED App. 0304N, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16252 (6th Cir. Ky. 2018 ).

Opinions of Attorney General.

No one, including an election officer, is authorized to assist a voter by entering the voting booth unless such voter is physically disabled and executes an oath to that effect, and any election officer violating this section is subject to prosecution under the penalty section of KRS 117.995 . OAG 76-91 .

This section clearly authorizes the disabled voter to select a person of his own choice other than the two election judges to assist him in voting and precinct challengers would qualify for selection by the disabled voter to assist him in voting if he so chooses. OAG 77-205 .

If a disabled voter is refused the assistance provided for in this section, he must either refer the matter to the county board of elections that is in session on election day or take the matter directly to Circuit Court. OAG 77-269 .

If a disabled voter chooses one of the election officers to assist him, that officer must execute the oath as any other individual that the voter might select. OAG 77-386 .

The word “disabled” as used in the third sentence of subsection (2) prior to amendment included illiterate voters. OAG 77-386 .

A disabled voter who wishes to cast a “write-in” vote could be assisted by one of the judges who, in the presence of the other, could write in the candidate’s name designated by the voter. OAG 77-404 .

Subsection (2) of this section permits a voter to be assisted in voting if he signs an oath that by reason of inability to read English or by reason of blindness or other physical disability he is unable to vote without assistance and, if the disabled voter prefers, he can be assisted by a person of his own choice. OAG 79-291 .

An individual who is unable to read English qualifies for assistance in casting his vote in a voting machine, despite the fact that he may be to a degree literate and able to understand certain words but is unable to read and understand the names of various candidates and the instruction in the voting machine, since this fact would not disqualify him from receiving assistance in voting as provided in this section; however, it is basically not the duty of the election officials to determine the extent of that person’s disability, if he is willing to swear or affirm that he possesses such disability. OAG 81-180 .

Both the disabled voter and the person assisting him may execute the oath by affirmation rather than by swearing. OAG 82-632 .

The County Clerk’s reliance on KRS 61.878(1)(a) as the basis for denying access to the voter assistance forms identified in the request was, with the exception of the protection it extends to social security numbers appearing on those forms, misplaced. The County Clerk should copy the voter assistance forms to which the requester requested access and permit him to inspect those copies after redacting the social security numbers appearing thereon. OAG 03-ORD-34.

117.255. Instruction of voters — Administrative regulations — Assistance and certification of voters requiring assistance — Manner of voting — Report of violations. [Effective July 15, 2020]

  1. The voter shall be instructed by the officers of election, with the aid of the instruction cards and the model, in the use of the machine, if the voter so requests.
  2. Except for those voters who have been certified as requiring assistance on a permanent basis, no voter shall be permitted to receive any assistance in voting at the polls unless the voter makes and signs an oath that, because of blindness, other physical disability, or an inability to read English, the voter is unable to vote without assistance. The oath shall be upon a voter assistance form prescribed and furnished by the State Board of Elections pursuant to administrative regulations promulgated under KRS Chapter 13A. Any person assisting a voter shall complete the voter assistance form.
  3. Upon making and filing the oath with the precinct clerk, the voter requiring assistance shall retire to the voting machine or ballot completion area with the precinct judges, and one (1) of the judges shall, in the presence of the other judge and the voter, operate the machine or complete the ballot as the voter directs. A voter requiring assistance in voting may, if the voter prefers, be assisted by a person of the voter’s own choice who is not an election officer, except that the voter’s employer, an agent of the voter’s employer, or an officer or agent of the voter’s union shall not assist a voter.
  4. The precinct election clerk shall swear a person assisting a voter in voting to operate the voting machine or complete the ballot in accordance with the directions of the voter, and the person sworn shall enter the voting booth or ballot completion area and operate the machine or complete the ballot for the voter as the voter directs.
  5. A voter who requires voting assistance on a permanent basis because of blindness or other physical disability may apply to the county board of elections for certification. Application may be made when registering to vote or completing the voter assistance form by indicating that the reason for obtaining assistance is permanent. The county board of elections shall determine whether the applicant requires assistance on a permanent basis. The county board of elections shall notify the county clerk of persons certified as requiring permanent voting assistance and the county clerk shall enter the certification on the voter’s registration record. The State Board of Elections shall indicate on the precinct roster of voters those voters who are certified to receive assistance permanently without signing the voter assistance form at the precinct.
  6. “Voting booth” or “ballot completion area” means an area in which a voter casts his or her vote or completes his or her ballot which is designed to insure the secrecy of the vote. No voter shall be assisted under this subsection unless the judges and the sheriff of election are satisfied of the truth of the facts stated in the oath. The voter shall state in his or her oath the specific reason that requires him or her to receive assistance.
  7. No voter shall be permitted to occupy the voting machine more than two (2) minutes if other voters are waiting to use it, except that those voters who because of a disability need extra time to cast a ballot shall be given a reasonable amount of time to vote.
  8. In primaries, before a voter is permitted to use the voting machine, a judge of the election shall adjust the machine so that the voter will only be able to vote for the persons for whom the voter is qualified to vote.
  9. If the machine is so constructed as to require adjustment after one (1) person has voted before another person may vote, the judges of election shall adjust it after each person has voted.
  10. The election officers shall constantly maintain a watch in order to prevent any person from voting more than once.
  11. For voters voting as federal provisional voters, or if supplemental paper ballots have been approved as provided in KRS 118.215 , the voter shall vote his or her federal provisional or supplemental ballot in privacy in a voting booth provided for that purpose by the county clerk. If the voter spoils his or her ballot, the voter shall return the spoiled paper ballot to an election officer who shall stamp the ballot “Spoiled,” initial and place the spoiled ballot in an envelope provided for that purpose. The voter shall be issued a second federal provisional or supplemental paper ballot. Upon completion of voting, the voter shall remove the numbered stub from the ballot, hand the stub to an election officer and deposit the voted ballot in the appropriate locked ballot box or locked receptacle in the presence of an election officer.
  12. The election sheriff shall be responsible for reporting violations of this section.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 39; 1976 (Ex. Sess.), ch. 1, § 8; 1982, ch. 360, § 40, effective July 15, 1982; 1986, ch. 287, § 9, effective July 15, 1986; 1986, ch. 470, § 14, effective July 15, 1986; 1988, ch. 341, § 32, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 48, § 28, effective July 13, 1990; 1994, ch. 394, § 17, effective July 15, 1994; 1994, ch. 405, § 15, effective July 15, 1994; 1996, ch. 270, § 1, effective July 15, 1996; 1998, ch. 243, § 11, effective April 1, 1998; 2007, ch. 133, § 1, effective April 5, 2007; 2020 ch. 89, § 18, effective July 15, 2020.

117.265. Write-in votes — Requirements — Persons ineligible to be write-in candidate — Certified lists of qualified candidates. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

  1. A voter may, at any regular or special election, cast a write-in vote for any person qualified as provided in subsection (2) or (3) of this section, whose name does not appear upon the ballot label for any office, by writing the name of his or her choice upon the appropriate device for the office being voted on provided on the voting machine as required by KRS 117.125 . Any candidate for city, county, urban-county, consolidated local government, charter county government, or unified local government office who is defeated in a partisan or nonpartisan primary shall be ineligible as a candidate for the same office in the regular election. Any voter utilizing an absentee ballot for a regular or special election may write in a vote for any eligible person whose name does not appear upon the ballot, by writing the name of his or her choice under the office.
  2. Write-in votes shall be counted only for candidates for election to office who have filed a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate with the Secretary of State or county clerk, depending on the office being sought, on or before the fourth Friday in October preceding the date of the regular election and not later than the second Friday before the date of a special election. In the case of a special election administered under KRS 118.730 , a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate shall be filed at least twenty-eight (28) days before the day of the election. The declaration of intent shall be filed no earlier than the first Wednesday after the first Monday in November of the year preceding the year the office will appear on the ballot, and no later than 4 p.m. local time at the place of filing when filed on the last date on which papers may be filed. The declaration of intent shall be on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State.
  3. A person shall not be eligible as a write-in candidate:
    1. For more than one (1) office in a regular or special election; or
    2. If his or her name appears upon the ballot label for any office, except that the candidate may file a notice of withdrawal prior to filing an intent to be a write-in candidate for office when a vacancy in a different office occurs because of:
      1. Death;
      2. Disqualification to hold the office sought;
      3. Severe disabling condition which arose after the nomination; or
      4. The nomination of an unopposed candidate.
  4. Persons who wish to run for President and Vice-President shall file a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate, along with a list of presidential electors pledged to those candidates, with the Secretary of State on or before the fourth Friday in October preceding the date of the regular election for those offices. The declaration of intent shall be filed no earlier than the first Wednesday after the first Monday in November of the year preceding the year the office will appear on the ballot, and no later than 4 p.m. local time at the place of filing when filed on the last date on which papers may be filed. Write-in votes cast for the candidates whose names appear on the ballot shall apply to the slate of pledged presidential electors, whose names shall not appear on the ballot.
  5. The county clerk shall provide to the precinct election officers certified lists of those persons who have filed declarations of intent as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section. Only write-in votes cast for qualified candidates shall be counted.
  6. Two (2) election officers of opposing parties shall upon the request of any voter instruct the voter on how to cast a write-in vote.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 40; 1976, ch. 247, § 6; 1982, ch. 394, § 16, effective July 15, 1982; 1986, ch. 287, § 10, effective July 15, 1986; 1990, ch. 48, § 29, effective July 13, 1990; 1990, ch. 366, § 2, effective July 13, 1990; 1992, ch. 288, § 57, effective July 14, 1992; 1992, ch. 454, § 1, effective July 14, 1992; 1998, ch. 243, § 12, effective April 1, 1998; 2002, ch. 34, § 1, effective July 15, 2002; 2005, ch. 71, § 4, effective June 20, 2005; 2008, ch. 79, § 4, effective July 15, 2008; 2010, ch. 176, § 7, effective July 15, 2010; 2012, ch. 8, § 1, effective March 28, 2012; 2015 ch. 70, § 1, effective June 24, 2015.

Legislative Research Commission Note.

(3/28/2012). 2012 Ky. Acts ch. 8, sec. 5, provides that the amendments to this statute in 2012 Ky. Acts ch. 8 shall be cited as “The Dewayne Bunch Act.”

(7/14/92) This section was amended by 1992 Acts chs. 288 and 454 which are in conflict. Pursuant to KRS 446.250 , Acts ch. 288 which was last enacted by the General Assembly prevails.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Who Must Write In.

A person whose name is not printed on the ballot can be voted for only by the voter himself writing in the name. Edwards v. Loy, 113 Ky. 746 , 68 S.W. 1091, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 545 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 102 ( Ky. 1902 ) (decided under prior law).

An election officer may not write the name of a person on the ballot for the purpose of enabling a voter to cast a write-in vote, unless the voter takes an oath that he is unable to write. Lewis v. Petrey, 216 Ky. 842 , 288 S.W. 755, 1926 Ky. LEXIS 1022 ( Ky. 1 926). See Hall v. Sumner, 194 Ky. 1 , 238 S.W. 197, 1922 Ky. LEXIS 114 ( Ky. 1922 ) (decided under prior law).

2. Error on Ballot.

Where the name of a candidate nominated by petition has wrongfully been printed on the ballot under the title and device of a political party required to nominate by primary, votes cast for such candidate cannot be treated as “write-in” votes, and will not be counted, whether marked opposite the candidate’s name or under the party emblem at the head of the ticket. King v. McMahon, 179 Ky. 536 , 200 S.W. 956, 1918 Ky. LEXIS 255 ( Ky. 1918 ), overruled, Bogie v. Hill, 286 Ky. 732 , 151 S.W.2d 765, 1941 Ky. LEXIS 323 ( Ky. 1941 ), overruled in part, Bogie v. Hill, 286 Ky. 732 , 151 S.W.2d 765, 1941 Ky. LEXIS 323 ( Ky. 1941 ), overruled on other grounds, Bogie v. Hill, 286 Ky. 732, 151 S.W.2d 765, 1941 Ky. LEXIS 323 (Ky. 1941) (decided under prior law).

Where, through mistake of printer, ballots for election of school board members in one educational division erroneously carried names of candidates from another division, instead of candidates from that division, neither election officers nor voters had right to strike out printed names and substitute written names of proper candidates, and all such ballots were void. Lakes v. Estridge, 294 Ky. 655 , 172 S.W.2d 454, 1943 Ky. LEXIS 509 ( Ky. 1943 ) (decided under prior law).

Where candidate ran an active and publicized write-in campaign and the county board of elections, prior to the election, approved by motion that the initials of the candidate would be counted as a vote, and 13% of the voters casting ballots utilized such an “initialed vote,” the Court would not disenfranchise the voters who acted in good faith, and the “initialed” votes were counted. McIntosh v. Helton, 828 S.W.2d 364, 1992 Ky. LEXIS 57 ( Ky. 1992 ) (decided under prior law).

3. Illegal Votes.

Where one political party had no candidate for sheriff, and election clerks, without authority, wrote name of person in blank line provided for write-in votes, ballots marked for such person would not be counted. Edwards v. Loy, 113 Ky. 746 , 68 S.W. 1091, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 545 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 102 ( Ky. 1902 ) (decided under prior law).

Where clerk of election wrote name of person in blank space provided for write-in votes, in Democractic column, no votes cast for such person would be counted, but votes for other persons properly on the ballot would be counted. Graham v. Graham, 68 S.W. 1093, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 548 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 425 (Ky. Ct. App. 1902) (decided under prior law).

Where a candidate’s name is printed on the ballot, a write-in vote cannot be cast for such candidate. If a voter writes in the name of such candidate the ballot will not be counted. Kash v. Hurst, 189 Ky. 233 , 224 S.W. 757, 1920 Ky. LEXIS 408 ( Ky. 1920 ) (decided under prior law).

4. Rights of Write-In Candidate.

A person for whom write-in votes have been cast is entitled to contest the election of another candidate. Huff v. Black, 259 Ky. 550 , 82 S.W.2d 473, 1935 Ky. LEXIS 326 ( Ky. 1935 ) (decided under prior law).

A candidate voted for by write-in votes is not ineligible to hold office merely because his name was not printed on the general election ballot; this is true even when the person voted for was defeated at the preceding primary election. Asher v. Arnett, 280 Ky. 347 , 132 S.W.2d 772, 1939 Ky. LEXIS 87 ( Ky. 1939 ) (decided under prior law).

5. Clear Expression of Intent.

The voters’ clear expression of intent in writing only a write-in candidate’s first name on the ballot was adequate under KRS 117.265 and votes cast using only the write-in candidate’s first name should have been counted for him. Waters v. Skinner, 237 S.W.3d 551, 2007 Ky. App. LEXIS 456 (Ky. Ct. App. 2007).

Opinions of Attorney General.

Where a school board member’s resignation is not tendered in writing to and accepted by the board prior to 55 days before the general election, there is no vacancy and the office need not be placed on the ballot until the following election; however, had such a vacancy existed, the office would have to be placed on the ballot for the purpose of write-in votes, even if no candidates had filed petitions. OAG 75-635 .

KRS 117.145 and this section were inserted to clarify “write-in” procedures for elections generally and would not apply to elections under KRS 89.440 (repealed). OAG 79-567 .

A voter may write in a candidate of his own selection for judge at the general election pursuant to this section, despite the fact that that candidate has not been nominated as required by subsection (1) of KRS 118A.060 , since KRS 118A.060 does not declare that a person must be nominated for a judicial office in order to be elected to that office. OAG 81-245 .

It would be improper for a write-in candidate to use a rubber stamp, paster, stencil or other type of marker to have voters write his name in, since it would violate this section to use any device other than the pencil or pen required to be attached to the voting machine by subsection (3) of KRS 117.145 . OAG 81-289 .

117.265. Write-in votes — Requirements — Persons ineligible to be write-in candidate — Certified lists of qualified candidates. [Effective July 15, 2020]

  1. A voter may, at any regular or special election, cast a write-in vote for any person qualified as provided in subsection (2) or (3) of this section, whose name does not appear upon the ballot label for any office, by writing the name of his or her choice upon the appropriate device for the office being voted on provided on the voting machine as required by KRS 117.125 . Any candidate for city, county, urban-county, consolidated local government, charter county government, or unified local government office who is defeated in a partisan or nonpartisan primary shall be ineligible as a candidate for the same office in the regular election. Any voter utilizing a federal provisional ballot, a federal provisional in-person absentee ballot, or a mail-in absentee ballot for a regular or special election may write in a vote for any eligible person whose name does not appear upon the ballot, by writing the name of his or her choice under the office.
  2. Write-in votes shall be counted only for candidates for election to office who have filed a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate with the Secretary of State or county clerk, depending on the office being sought, on or before the fourth Friday in October preceding the date of the regular election and not later than the second Friday before the date of a special election. In the case of a special election administered under KRS 118.730 , a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate shall be filed at least twenty-eight (28) days before the day of the election. The declaration of intent shall be filed no earlier than the first Wednesday after the first Monday in November of the year preceding the year the office will appear on the ballot, and no later than 4 p.m. local time at the place of filing when filed on the last date on which papers may be filed. The declaration of intent shall be on a form prescribed and furnished by the Secretary of State.
  3. A person shall not be eligible as a write-in candidate:
    1. For more than one (1) office in a regular or special election; or
    2. If his or her name appears upon the ballot label for any office, except that the candidate may file a notice of withdrawal prior to filing an intent to be a write- in candidate for office when a vacancy in a different office occurs because of:
      1. Death;
      2. Disqualification to hold the office sought;
      3. Severe disabling condition which arose after the nomination; or
      4. The nomination of an unopposed candidate.
  4. Persons who wish to run for President and Vice-President shall file a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate, along with a list of presidential electors pledged to those candidates, with the Secretary of State on or before the fourth Friday in October preceding the date of the regular election for those offices. The declaration of intent shall be filed no earlier than the first Wednesday after the first Monday in November of the year preceding the year the office will appear on the ballot, and no later than 4 p.m. local time at the place of filing when filed on the last date on which papers may be filed. Write-in votes cast for the candidates whose names appear on the ballot shall apply to the slate of pledged presidential electors, whose names shall not appear on the ballot.
  5. The county clerk shall provide to the precinct election officers certified lists of those persons who have filed declarations of intent as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section. Only write-in votes cast for qualified candidates shall be counted.
  6. Two (2) election officers of opposing parties shall upon the request of any voter instruct the voter on how to cast a write-in vote.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 40; 1976, ch. 247, § 6; 1982, ch. 394, § 16, effective July 15, 1982; 1986, ch. 287, § 10, effective July 15, 1986; 1990, ch. 48, § 29, effective July 13, 1990; 1990, ch. 366, § 2, effective July 13, 1990; 1992, ch. 288, § 57, effective July 14, 1992; 1992, ch. 454, § 1, effective July 14, 1992; 1998, ch. 243, § 12, effective April 1, 1998; 2002, ch. 34, § 1, effective July 15, 2002; 2005, ch. 71, § 4, effective June 20, 2005; 2008, ch. 79, § 4, effective July 15, 2008; 2010, ch. 176, § 7, effective July 15, 2010; 2012, ch. 8, § 1, effective March 28, 2012; 2020 ch. 89, § 19, effective July 15, 2020.

117.275. Counting and certification of votes — Return of keys and machines — Return of ballot box, ballot stubs, spoiled, and unvoted ballots — Authorized representatives and news media representatives to witness vote count. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

  1. At the count of the votes in any precinct, any candidate or slate of candidates and any representatives to witness and check the count of the votes therein, who are authorized to be appointed as is provided in subsection (9) of this section, shall be admitted and be permitted to be present and witness the count.
  2. As soon as the polls are closed, and the last voter has voted, the judges shall immediately lock and seal the voting equipment so that the voting and counting mechanism will be prevented from operation, and they shall sign a certificate stating:
    1. That the voting equipment has been locked against voting and sealed;
    2. The number of voters, as shown on the public counters;
    3. The number registered on the protective or accumulative counter or device, if any; and
    4. The number or other designation of the voting equipment, which certificate shall be returned by the judges of election to the officials authorized by law to receive it. The judges shall compare the number of voters, as shown by the counter of the voting equipment, with the number of those who have voted as shown by the protective or accumulative counter or device, if any.
  3. Where voting equipment is used which does not print the candidates’ names along with the total votes received on a general return sheet or record for that equipment, the procedure to be followed shall be as follows:
    1. The judges, in the presence of the representatives mentioned in subsection (1) of this section, if any, and of all other persons who may be lawfully within the polling place, shall give full view of all the counter numbers;
    2. The judges shall enter, in ink, the total votes cast for each candidate, and slate of candidates, and for and against each question on the return sheets; and
    3. Each precinct election officer shall sign the return sheets, and a copy of the return sheets shall be posted on the precinct door.
  4. Where voting equipment is used that prints the candidates’ names along with the total votes received on a return sheet or record for that equipment, the precinct election officers shall sign the return sheets or record for the voting equipment, which shall be posted on the door of the precinct.
  5. If any officer shall decline to sign the return sheets, he or she shall state the reason in writing, and a copy thereof, signed by the officer, shall be enclosed with the return sheets.
  6. Each of the return sheets, if applicable, and the record of the voting equipment shall be enclosed in an envelope. One (1) copy of the return sheets, if applicable, one (1) copy of the record of the voting equipment, and the write-in roll, if any write-in votes were cast in the precinct, shall be directed to the county board of elections of the county in which the election is being held. One (1) copy of the return sheets or record of the voting equipment shall be given to the county clerk of the county in which the election is being held and to each of the local governing bodies of the two (2) dominant political parties, but a local governing body of a dominant political party may decline a copy of the precinct election return by filing a written declination with the county board of elections prior to the election, and upon this declination, a printed copy shall not be issued to the political party so declining. The declination on file shall be effective for that election and any subsequent elections until revoked by the local governing body of a dominant political party by filing a written revocation with the county board of elections. The envelope shall have endorsed thereon a certificate of the election officers, stating the number of the machine, the precinct where it has been used, the number on the seal, and the number on the protective or accumulative counter or device at the close of the polls.
  7. Following the tabulation of all votes cast in the election, including absentee votes and write-in votes, the county board shall mail a copy of the precinct-by-precinct summary of the tabulation sheets showing the results from each precinct to the State Board of Elections and the county clerk shall mail or deliver the precinct signature rosters from each precinct to the State Board of Elections during the period established by KRS 117.355(3).
  8. As soon as possible after the completion of the count, the two (2) judges shall return to the county board of elections the keys to the voting machine received and receipted for by them, and the county clerk in which the precinct is located shall have the voting machine properly boxed or securely covered and removed to a proper and secure place of storage.
  9. In primaries, each candidate, slate of candidates, or group of candidates may designate to the county board of elections a representative to witness and check the vote count. In regular elections, the governing authority of each political party, each candidate for member of board of education, nonpartisan candidate, independent candidate, or independent ticket may designate a representative to the county board of elections to witness and check the vote count. The county board of elections shall authorize representatives of the news media to witness the vote count.
  10. If supplemental paper ballots have been approved, as provided in KRS 118.215 , after the polls are closed, the two (2) judges shall return to the county clerk’s office the locked ballot box, all ballot stubs, spoiled ballots, and unvoted ballots at the same time as the tabulation of votes from the voting machine is delivered. The county clerk shall issue a receipt for the number of ballot stubs, unvoted ballots, spoiled ballots and the ballot box.
  11. The county board of elections, or its designee, shall count and tally the paper ballots manually or with the use of tabulating equipment which does not involve an additional voting system. The results of the vote tally shall be certified by the county board of elections to the county clerk and to the Secretary of State.
  12. The county board of elections shall authorize the candidates, slates of candidates, or their representatives, and representatives of the news media to be present during the counting of the paper ballots.
  13. Except as otherwise required in this chapter that certain records and papers relating to specified elections be retained for twenty-two (22) months, the county clerk shall retain the voted paper ballots for twenty-two (22) months and the unvoted paper ballots for sixty (60) days after each election day, after which time they shall be destroyed in a manner to render them unreadable by the county board of elections if no contest or recount action has been filed.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 41; 1976, ch. 130, § 1; 1976 (Ex. Sess.), ch. 1, § 9; 1978, ch. 384, § 249, effective June 17, 1978; 1980, ch. 14, § 1, effective July 15, 1980; 1986, ch. 470, § 15, effective July 15, 1986; 1990, ch. 48, § 30, effective July 13, 1990; 1992, ch. 288, § 36, effective July 14, 1992; 2000, ch. 122, § 1, effective July 14, 2000; 2008, ch. 79, § 5, effective July 15, 2008; 2008, ch. 129, § 4, effective July 15, 2008; 2010, ch. 176, § 8, effective July 15, 2010.

Legislative Research Commission Notes.

(7/15/2020). This statute was amended by 2020 Ky. Acts chs. 88 and 89, which do not appear to be in conflict and have been codified together.

(7/15/2008). A reference to “subsection (7)” in subsection (1) of this statute has been changed in codification to “subsection (6).” 2008 Ky. Acts ch. 129, sec. 4, deleted a subsection from this statute, resulting in the renumbering of subsequent subsections, but did not make the necessary change to the internal reference in subsection (1). This oversight has been corrected by the Reviser of Statutes under the authority of KRS 7.136(1).

(7/15/2008). This section was amended by 2008 Ky. Acts chs. 79 and 129, which are in conflict. Under KRS 446.250 , Acts ch. 129, which was last enacted by the General Assembly, prevails.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. “Governing authority.”

The “governing authority” of the party was the county executive committee, not the state central committee. Taylor v. Chandler, 261 Ky. 7 , 86 S.W.2d 1038, 1935 Ky. LEXIS 585 ( Ky. 1935 ) (decided under prior law).

2. Duty of Clerk.

It was the duty of the county clerk to retain custody of the boxes and ballots, although he was a candidate for re-election and was contesting the election of an opponent; but it was permissible, by consent of the interested parties, for the clerk in such case to have placed the boxes in the custody of a bank or in some other safe depository, which the clerk must have, however, selected with the greatest care. Thomas v. Marshall, 160 Ky. 168 , 169 S.W. 615, 1914 Ky. LEXIS 420 ( Ky. 1914 ) (decided under prior law).

It was the duty of the county clerk to see that the ballot boxes and envelopes were properly protected at all times except when they were actually being counted by the election commissioners and he must deliver the boxes to the election commissioners and see that they are properly locked and returned to his office when the commissioners have completed the count; the election commissioners may not employ guards to perform such duties of the clerk. Ewing v. Hays, 257 Ky. 259 , 77 S.W.2d 946, 1934 Ky. LEXIS 553 ( Ky. 1934 ) (decided under prior law).

The county clerk was the custodian of the ballot boxes and envelopes at all times after they were delivered to him by the election officers, except while the ballots were actually being counted by the election commissioners. Taylor v. Chandler, 261 Ky. 7 , 86 S.W.2d 1038, 1935 Ky. LEXIS 585 ( Ky. 1935 ) (decided under prior law).

3. Duties of Commissioners.

The county board of election commissioners may be compelled by mandamus or by mandatory injunction to convene and perform their duties. Potter v. Campbell, 155 Ky. 784 , 160 S.W. 763, 1913 Ky. LEXIS 360 ( Ky. 1913 ) (decided under prior law).

4. Disqualification of Member of Board.

The fact that the sheriff is a candidate in the election does not disqualify him from acting as a member of the board of election commissioners, except that he shall have no voice in the decision of his own case. Potter v. Campbell, 155 Ky. 784 , 160 S.W. 763, 1913 Ky. LEXIS 360 ( Ky. 1913 ) (decided under prior law).

Where sheriff declined to act as member of board, under mistaken belief that his own candidacy disqualified him, the circuit clerk had no authority to act in his place, and where the Democratic member of the board was absent on account of illness the circuit clerk and the Republican member had no authority to canvass the returns or issue certificates; in such a case the members of the board could be compelled by mandatory injunction to convene and canvass the returns. Potter v. Campbell, 155 Ky. 784 , 160 S.W. 763, 1913 Ky. LEXIS 360 ( Ky. 1913 ) (decided under prior law).

Where county sheriff was a candidate for office of jailer, it was improper for him to serve on board of election commissioners in canvassing returns. Scott v. Roberts, 255 Ky. 34 , 72 S.W.2d 728, 1934 Ky. LEXIS 177 ( Ky. 1934 ) (decided under prior law).

5. Decision of Commissioner.

Where the canvassing board has performed the functions imposed upon it by law, a candidate who is dissatisfied with the results as certified by the board cannot compel the board by mandamus to reconvene and recount the ballots or change its decision as to whether certain ballots shall be counted or rejected; his only remedy is by contest. Houston v. Steele, 28 S.W. 662 ( Ky. 1894 ) (decided under prior law).

The board of election commissioners cannot be compelled by mandamus to reconvene and change their decision on questioned ballots; the only way of attacking the decision of the board on questioned ballots is by contest proceeding. Booe v. Kenner, 105 Ky. 517 , 49 S.W. 330, 20 Ky. L. Rptr. 1343 , 1899 Ky. LEXIS 240 ( Ky. 1899 ) (decided under prior law).

6. — Recount.

Where board of election commissioners refused or failed to canvass returns from certain precincts, the board could be compelled by mandamus to reconvene and canvass the returns of such precincts. Riddell v. Grinstead, 156 Ky. 319 , 160 S.W. 1069, 1913 Ky. LEXIS 433 ( Ky. 1913 ). See Louisville v. Board of Park Comm'rs, 112 Ky. 409 , 65 S.W. 860, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 38 , 1901 Ky. LEXIS 323 ( Ky. 1901 ) (decided under prior law).

Where the election commissioners have erroneously counted the votes, they cannot be compelled by mandamus to reconvene and correct their returns; the only remedy is by a contest or recount proceeding. Wolff v. Clark, 212 Ky. 435 , 279 S.W. 658, 1925 Ky. LEXIS 1128 ( Ky. 1925 ) (decided under prior law).

7. Disappearance of Stub Books.

Where election commissioners had completed canvass of returns, a subsequent theft of the stub books for certain precincts would not require the vote in those precincts to be thrown out in a contest proceeding, notwithstanding that ballots had not been preserved in such a manner as to enable court to make a recount. Ferguson v. Gregory, 216 Ky. 382 , 287 S.W. 952, 1926 Ky. LEXIS 935 ( Ky. 1926 ) (decided under prior law).

Where ballot boxes of two precincts were stolen after count by election commissioners, the county clerk could have testified in a contest proceeding, from the information shown by the stub books in his possession, how many votes were cast in such precincts, without having introduced the stubs in evidence, for the purpose of showing that more than 20 per cent of total vote in particular race was cast in such precincts. Scott v. Roberts, 255 Ky. 34 , 72 S.W.2d 728, 1934 Ky. LEXIS 177 ( Ky. 1934 ) (decided under prior law).

8. Validity of Candidacy.

The board of election commissioners has no jurisdiction to determine whether a candidate’s name has legally been printed on the ballot, and the board cannot be compelled by mandatory injunction to disregard votes for a candidate on the ground that his name was not lawfully on the ballot. Cheatham v. Williams, 212 Ky. 73 , 278 S.W. 139, 1925 Ky. LEXIS 1076 ( Ky. 1925 ) (decided under prior law).

9. Parol Evidence.

The result of an election cannot be established by parol but must be shown by the certificate of returns or by the ballots themselves, where the ballots have been properly preserved; moreover contents of ballots cannot be shown by parol, nor can a lost or destroyed ballot be supplied by parol for the purpose of counting the vote. Scholl v. Bell, 125 Ky. 750 , 102 S.W. 248, 31 Ky. L. Rptr. 335 , 1907 Ky. LEXIS 328 ( Ky. 1907 ) (decided under prior law).

Parol evidence was admissible to show condition of boxes and ballots when they were brought before court for recount. Browning v. Lovett, 29 Ky. L. Rptr. 692 (1906) (decided under prior law).

10. Clerical Help.

The election commissioners may employ such clerks as are necessary to make the count, and may fix their compensation within reasonable limits, but the commissioners may not employ clerks or guards to do any of the clerical work or duties with regard to protecting the ballots that are imposed by law on the county clerk. Ewing v. Hays, 257 Ky. 259 , 77 S.W.2d 946, 1934 Ky. LEXIS 553 ( Ky. 1934 ) (decided under prior law).

Employment by election commissioners of “guards,” “sheet writers,” “certificate writers,” “door men,” “sealers,” “representatives,” “certificate keepers,” “receipt takers,” “book carriers,” “box carriers” and “announcers,” and employment of persons for “clerical work,” was unauthorized, and such persons could not be paid from county funds. Ewing v. Hays, 257 Ky. 259 , 77 S.W.2d 946, 1934 Ky. LEXIS 553 ( Ky. 1934 ) (decided under prior law).

11. Inspectors.

A political group was not entitled to inspectors unless it was a distinct political party and had a ticket to elect. Weaver v. Toney, 107 Ky. 419 , 54 S.W. 732, 21 Ky. L. Rptr. 1157 , 1899 Ky. LEXIS 187 ( Ky. 1899 ) (decided under prior law).

A faction of the Democratic Party, not constituting in itself an established political party, was not entitled to inspectors. Weaver v. Toney, 107 Ky. 419 , 54 S.W. 732, 21 Ky. L. Rptr. 1157 , 1899 Ky. LEXIS 187 ( Ky. 1899 ) (decided under prior law).

The Circuit Court had no jurisdiction to issue a mandatory injunction compelling election officials to admit an inspector designated by a political party. Weaver v. Toney, 107 Ky. 419 , 54 S.W. 732, 21 Ky. L. Rptr. 1157 , 1899 Ky. LEXIS 187 ( Ky. 1899 ) (decided under prior law).

12. Witnessing Count.

Former section that provided for designation of representatives to witness the vote count was complied with where shortly before 6:00 p.m. on primary election day election commissioners took absentee ballot box into circuit clerk’s office and proceeded to count the ballots where it was shown that when unsuccessful candidate made inquiry as to where the ballots were being counted he was told, whereupon he went to the room, knocked and was given entrance even though when he entered the ballots had been taken out of the box and the envelopes, the secondary stubs had been detached and strung on a string in order of removal and tabulation of the ballots was partially completed. Jarboe v. Smith, 350 S.W.2d 490, 1961 Ky. LEXIS 108 ( Ky. 1961 ) (decided under prior law).

13. Integrity Preserved.

Opening ballot box to remove pen of election clerk which had accidentally fallen into box did not invalidate vote of precinct. Bailey v. Hurst, 113 Ky. 699 , 68 S.W. 867, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 504 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 94 ( Ky. 1902 ) (decided under prior law).

Opening ballot box during election to remove obstruction in vent did not invalidate vote of precinct, in absence of evidence that box thereafter remained unlocked. Graham v. Graham, 68 S.W. 1093, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 548 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 425 (Ky. Ct. App. 1902) (decided under prior law).

If it was shown that the ballot boxes had properly reached the hands of the county clerk and had remained in his custody, and that the boxes were apparently in the condition of preservation prescribed by former statute, there was a presumption, in a recount proceeding, that the integrity of the ballots had been maintained, but if there was evidence that the boxes had been tampered with, or that there had been an opportunity for tampering, the party seeking the recount had the burden of proving that there had actually been no tampering and that the ballots were the identical ones cast in the election. Edwards v. Logan, 114 Ky. 312 , 70 S.W. 852, 75 S.W. 257, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 1099 , 25 Ky. L. Rptr. 435 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 164 ( Ky. 1902 ) (decided under prior law).

Fact that there were chisel marks on ballot box would not have prevented a recount, where box had been properly protected, the ballots appeared to be regular, and there was nothing to indicate that box had actually been opened. Morgan v. Sparkman, 143 Ky. 27 , 135 S.W. 408, 1911 Ky. LEXIS 323 ( Ky. 1911 ) (decided under prior law).

Where it was shown that ballot boxes were delivered to county clerk by proper officers, were kept in a locked room by the clerk, and in addition were soldered shut under the clerk’s direction, and there was no evidence of tampering or opportunity to tamper, the integrity of the ballots was sufficiently shown to justify including them in a recount. Potter v. Campbell, 159 Ky. 328 , 167 S.W. 404, 1914 Ky. LEXIS 810 ( Ky. 1914 ) (decided under prior law).

The party seeking a recount was not required to prove that it was not possible for the ballots to have been tampered with, but only that they had been so preserved that it was not reasonably probable that their integrity had been violated. Covington v. Joiner, 200 Ky. 378 , 254 S.W. 1048, 1923 Ky. LEXIS 90 ( Ky. 1923 ) (decided under prior law).

Where election officers at primary held on Saturday were in doubt as to their duties concerning the ballot box, key and envelope, and therefore permitted one of their number to take the box, key and envelope to his home over the weekend, and such officer with an officer of the opposite party made delivery to the county clerk on Monday morning, such delay would not prevent the counting of the ballots where there was satisfactory proof that the integrity of the ballots had been preserved and the ballots tallied with the stubs. Raymer v. Willis, 240 Ky. 634 , 42 S.W.2d 918, 1931 Ky. LEXIS 469 ( Ky. 1931 ) (decided under prior law).

Where evidence was that ballot boxes on being received by county clerk were placed in a securely-locked room, and properly guarded, the integrity of the ballots was sufficiently preserved to permit a recount by the court, although several of the boxes were not securely locked and contained papers, stencils and other material usable for tampering with the ballots, and although some of the individual boxes bore evidence of having been tampered with. In such case the court would consider the integrity of each box individually. Land v. Land, 244 Ky. 126 , 50 S.W.2d 518, 1931 Ky. LEXIS 720 ( Ky. 1931 ) (decided under prior law).

Where there was no evidence of molestation or alteration of the ballots, the entire vote of a county would not be invalidated for failure to guard boxes as required by former statute, where no candidate nor representative of either political party requested that the boxes be guarded. Ward v. Salyer, 283 Ky. 294 , 140 S.W.2d 1016, 1940 Ky. LEXIS 305 ( Ky. 1940 ) (decided under prior law).

14. Integrity Not Preserved.

Where the ballot boxes had exposed hinges which could be removed with a screwdriver, and the county clerk in whose custody the boxes were placed was himself a party to a contest involving his re-election, a candidate seeking a recount of the ballots in regard to the office of county attorney had the burden of proving that the boxes had not been tampered with. Edwards v. Logan, 114 Ky. 312 , 70 S.W. 852, 75 S.W. 257, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 1099 , 25 Ky. L. Rptr. 435 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 164 ( Ky. 1902 ) (decided under prior law).

Where locks on boxes were of a type that could be opened by a number of standard padlock keys, the boxes were stored in the outer office of the clerk, to which access during the day or night was easy, and the clerk was proved to have made a substantial wager on the result of the election, the integrity of the ballots was so doubtful that they would not be counted. Hamilton v. Young, 81 S.W. 682, 26 Ky. L. Rptr. 447 (1904) (decided under prior law).

If a ballot box appeared to have been opened since its delivery to the clerk by the election officers, or if the ballots showed evidence of having been tampered with, the court would not have recounted the ballots but would have accepted the certificate of returns as evidence of the correct count. Browning v. Lovett, 29 Ky. L. Rptr. 692 (1906) (decided under prior law).

If the ballots had been changed, or so exposed as to afford opportunity to be tampered with, or had been left in the custody of a person so personally interested in the result of the election as to be subject to the temptation or inducement to tamper with them, they could not have been accepted as evidence of the vote in a contest proceeding. Scholl v. Bell, 125 Ky. 750 , 102 S.W. 248, 31 Ky. L. Rptr. 335 , 1907 Ky. LEXIS 328 ( Ky. 1907 ) (decided under prior law).

Where ballot box was taken from election officers at close of polls by group of armed men and delivered to county clerk sometime later by that group, the ballots would not have been counted. Scholl v. Bell, 125 Ky. 750 , 102 S.W. 248, 31 Ky. L. Rptr. 335 , 1907 Ky. LEXIS 328 ( Ky. 1907 ) (decided under prior law).

If the canvassing officers count a ballot that should not be counted, the fact that the validity of the ballot was not questioned before them will not prevent its being questioned in a contest proceeding. Stegeman v. Cook, 126 Ky. 114 , 102 S.W. 872, 31 Ky. L. Rptr. 564 , 1907 Ky. LEXIS 23 ( Ky. 1907 ) (decided under prior law).

Where there was evidence that ballot room had been entered on one occasion and one box stolen, and that several persons had entered the room on another occasion, a recount of the ballots would not be granted in the absence of convincing proof that there had been no actual tampering with the remaining boxes. Powell v. Horn, 159 Ky. 532 , 167 S.W. 928, 1914 Ky. LEXIS 862 ( Ky. 1914 ) (decided under prior law).

The fact that the count on a recount varied widely from the count as shown by the certificate of returns created a suspicion of tampering which the party seeking the recount must have overcome by convincing proof that there was no tampering. Thomas v. Marshall, 160 Ky. 168 , 169 S.W. 615, 1914 Ky. LEXIS 420 ( Ky. 1914 ) (decided under prior law).

Where ballot boxes were left on floor of county clerk’s office, to which several persons had keys and which had unlocked windows close to the ground, there were keys to the boxes available in the office, lights were seen in the office late at night, and there was evidence that the ballots had actually been tampered with, the integrity of the ballots was in such doubt that a recount would not be granted. Thomas v. Marshall, 160 Ky. 168 , 169 S.W. 615, 1914 Ky. LEXIS 420 ( Ky. 1914 ) (decided under prior law).

Where ballot boxes were stacked in outer office of county clerk, where people having regular business in office came and went, and persons were permitted to work in office alone at night, person seeking recount of ballots could not obtain recount without establishing by convincing proof that there had actually been no tampering. Thompson v. Stone, 164 Ky. 18 , 174 S.W. 763, 1915 Ky. LEXIS 327 ( Ky. 1915 ) (decided under prior law).

Where boxes were stacked against wall in clerk’s office, there were keys which would open boxes in the office, the doors and windows of the office were not securely fastened, and there was evidence that two of the boxes had been moved, a recount was properly denied. Hicks v. Kimbro, 210 Ky. 265 , 275 S.W. 814, 1925 Ky. LEXIS 657 ( Ky. 1925 ) (decided under prior law).

Where ballot boxes and envelopes, following canvass by election commissioners, were stored in basement room of courthouse which had an open window, boxes were locked only with ten-cent padlocks which could easily be opened, a number of official election seals were in the hands of outside persons, and the envelopes containing the stubs for certain precincts were stolen from the storeroom, there was such doubt as to whether the integrity of the ballots had been maintained that the court would not grant a recount. Ferguson v. Gregory, 216 Ky. 382 , 287 S.W. 952, 1926 Ky. LEXIS 935 ( Ky. 1926 ) (decided under prior law).

Where the integrity of the ballots has not been preserved, so a recount cannot be made, the number of votes shown on the certificate of returns must be accepted as correct. Land v. Land, 244 Ky. 126 , 50 S.W.2d 518, 1931 Ky. LEXIS 720 ( Ky. 1931 ) (decided under prior law).

Where staple holding one of locks had been sawed in two on ballot boxes of two precincts, and ballots in one race in one of such boxes had been altered, and one of the locks on box of another precinct was not fastened through the staple and the ballots in one race in such box had been altered, the ballots in such boxes would not be counted in any race, and where such precincts cast more than 20 percent of votes in any race the entire election in that race would be declared void. Scott v. Roberts, 255 Ky. 34 , 72 S.W.2d 728, 1934 Ky. LEXIS 177 ( Ky. 1934 ) (decided under prior law).

Where it was apparent that certain ballot boxes had been tampered with, it was proper for the election commissioners to disregard the ballots in those boxes. Scott v. Roberts, 255 Ky. 34 , 72 S.W.2d 728, 1934 Ky. LEXIS 177 ( Ky. 1934 ) (decided under prior law).

15. Public Questions.

In an election on a public question, the only power of the board of election commissioners is to certify how many votes were cast for and against the proposition; the board has no power to declare whether or not the question has been carried by the required majority. Denton v. Pulaski County, 170 Ky. 33 , 185 S.W. 481, 1916 Ky. LEXIS 9 ( Ky. 1916 ). See Smith v. Livingston County, 195 Ky. 382 , 242 S.W. 612, 1922 Ky. LEXIS 337 ( Ky. 1922 ) (decided under prior law).

16. Certification of Results.
17. — Sufficiency.

The certification by the State Board of Election commissioners to the canvass of the returns need not be in any specific form. Lay v. Rose, 177 Ky. 303 , 197 S.W. 921, 1917 Ky. LEXIS 603 ( Ky. 1917 ) (decided under prior law).

Certificate reciting that majority of board was present on designated day, and that it appeared that designated candidates received highest number of votes, was sufficient. Lay v. Rose, 177 Ky. 303 , 197 S.W. 921, 1917 Ky. LEXIS 603 ( Ky. 1917 ) (decided under prior law).

18. — Filing.

Filing of certificate of returns with county clerk by board of election commissioners did not constitute compliance with requirement that certificate of nomination be filed. Lewis v. Mosely, 215 Ky. 573 , 286 S.W. 793, 1926 Ky. LEXIS 766 ( Ky. 1926 ) (decided under prior law).

19. — Mistake in Entry.

An alleged mistake in entering the number of votes cast for a candidate on the certificate of returns for a precinct cannot be established by parol proof, but only by a recount of the ballots in a proper judicial proceeding, upon a proper showing that the integrity of the ballots has been preserved. Land v. Land, 244 Ky. 126 , 50 S.W.2d 518, 1931 Ky. LEXIS 720 ( Ky. 1931 ) (decided under prior law).

20. — Date.

Certificates of election are not required to be dated, and when they are dated it can be shown by parol evidence that the date is erroneous. Hodges v. Murray, 240 Ky. 127 , 41 S.W.2d 923, 1931 Ky. LEXIS 355 ( Ky. 1931 ), overruled, Johnson v. May, 305 Ky. 292 , 203 S.W.2d 37, 1947 Ky. LEXIS 785 ( Ky. 1947 ), overruled in part, Johnson v. May, 305 Ky. 292 , 203 S.W.2d 37, 1947 Ky. LEXIS 785 ( Ky. 1947 ), overruled on other grounds, Johnson v. May, 305 Ky. 292, 203 S.W.2d 37, 1947 Ky. LEXIS 785 (Ky. 1947) (decided under prior law).

21. — Parol Testimony.

Certificate of returns cannot be contradicted by parol testimony of election officials. Browning v. Lovett, 29 Ky. L. Rptr. 692 (1906) (decided under prior law).

The result of an election cannot be established by parol. It must be shown by the certificate of returns or by the ballots themselves, where the ballots have been properly preserved. Scholl v. Bell, 125 Ky. 750 , 102 S.W. 248, 31 Ky. L. Rptr. 335 , 1907 Ky. LEXIS 328 ( Ky. 1907 ) (decided under prior law).

22. Improper Marking.

Ballots marked with corner of stencil would be counted, and also those marked with butt of stencil, or with blurred mark apparently made by twisting stencil around. Houston v. Steele, 98 Ky. 596 , 34 S.W. 6, 17 Ky. L. Rptr. 1149 , 1896 Ky. LEXIS 19 ( Ky. 1896 ). See Pettit v. Yewell, 113 Ky. 777 , 68 S.W. 1075, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 565 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 97 ( Ky. 1902 ); Graham v. Graham, 68 S.W. 1093, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 548 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 425 (Ky. Ct. App. 1902); Bates v. Crumbaugh, 114 Ky. 447 , 71 S.W. 75, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 1205 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 172 ( Ky. 1902 ); Snowden v. Flanery, 159 Ky. 568 , 167 S.W. 893, 1914 Ky. LEXIS 847 ( Ky. 1914 ); Smith v. Jones, 221 Ky. 546 , 299 S.W. 170, 1927 Ky. LEXIS 762 ( Ky. 1927 ) (decided under prior law).

Ink blots and marks appearing to have been accidentally made will not invalidate ballot. Houston v. Steele, 98 Ky. 596 , 34 S.W. 6, 17 Ky. L. Rptr. 1149 , 1896 Ky. LEXIS 19 ( Ky. 1896 ) (decided under prior law).

Ballots marked with red or black pencil cross, instead of with the stencil, will be counted if otherwise regular. Houston v. Steele, 98 Ky. 596 , 34 S.W. 6, 17 Ky. L. Rptr. 1149 , 1896 Ky. LEXIS 19 ( Ky. 1896 ). See Graham v. Graham, 68 S.W. 1093, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 548 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 425 (Ky. Ct. App. 1902); Snowden v. Flanery, 159 Ky. 568 , 167 S.W. 893, 1914 Ky. LEXIS 847 ( Ky. 1914 ); Wright v. Crase, 273 Ky. 76 , 115 S.W.2d 318, 1938 Ky. LEXIS 577 ( Ky. 1938 ) (decided under prior law).

Ballot marked in circle at head of Democratic column, and also in square opposite name of first candidate in Republican column, would be counted for Republican candidate so marked and for balance of Democratic ticket. Houston v. Steele, 98 Ky. 596 , 34 S.W. 6, 17 Ky. L. Rptr. 1149 , 1896 Ky. LEXIS 19 ( Ky. 1896 ) (decided under prior law).

Ballots would be counted although stencil marks were not exactly within the circle or square. Pettit v. Yewell, 113 Ky. 777 , 68 S.W. 1075, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 565 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 97 ( Ky. 1902 ) (decided under prior law).

Ballot marked with pencil cross in circle under Democratic emblem, and also with stencil in squares opposite names of certain candidates in Republican column, would be counted for Republican candidates whose names were marked and for Democratic candidates for other offices. Edwards v. Logan, 114 Ky. 312 , 70 S.W. 852, 75 S.W. 257, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 1099 , 25 Ky. L. Rptr. 435 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 164 ( Ky. 1902 ) (decided under prior law).

Where voter placed stencil in circle under emblem of both parties, and also placed stencil in square opposite name of Republican candidate for county attorney, ballot would be counted for county attorney but not for any other office on either ticket. Edwards v. Logan, 114 Ky. 312 , 70 S.W. 852, 75 S.W. 257, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 1099 , 25 Ky. L. Rptr. 435 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 164 ( Ky. 1902 ) (decided under prior law).

Where two parties have candidates for same offices, ballot marked in circle at head of both tickets will not be counted. Bates v. Crumbaugh, 114 Ky. 447 , 71 S.W. 75, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 1205 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 172 ( Ky. 1902 ) (decided under prior law).

A cross mark made in the blank under a candidate’s name, rather than in the square opposite the name, will be counted, even where it constitutes a scratch vote. Bates v. Crumbaugh, 114 Ky. 447 , 71 S.W. 75, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 1205 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 172 ( Ky. 1902 ) (decided under prior law).

Where marks by which ballots were scratched for several Democratic candidates were apparently made with a thumb stencil during the count, and on some ballots there was evidence of erasures, the scratches would be ignored and the ballots counted as straight Republican ballots. Bates v. Crumbaugh, 114 Ky. 447 , 71 S.W. 75, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 1205 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 172 ( Ky. 1902 ) (decided under prior law).

Where there is only one candidate listed in the Independent column, a ballot marked in the circle at the head of that column and in the circle at the head of a party column will be counted for the Independent candidate and for the candidates for other offices in the party column. Bates v. Crumbaugh, 114 Ky. 447 , 71 S.W. 75, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 1205 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 172 ( Ky. 1902 ). See Little v. Hall, 114 Ky. 231 , 70 S.W. 642, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 1060 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 152 ( Ky. 1902 ); Herndon v. Farmer, 114 Ky. 200 , 70 S.W. 632, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 1045 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 149 (Ky. 1902) (decided under prior law).

Where there were seven town trustees to be elected, and one voter marked eight names on his ballot, the ballot would not be counted for any candidate. Stegeman v. Cook, 126 Ky. 114 , 102 S.W. 872, 31 Ky. L. Rptr. 564 , 1907 Ky. LEXIS 23 ( Ky. 1907 ) (decided under prior law).

Where six offices were to be voted for, and there were candidates for all six offices under the emblem of one party, and for only two of the offices under the emblem of another party, a ballot marked in the circle under the emblem of both parties would not be counted for any candidate. Baker v. Dinsmore, 138 Ky. 277 , 127 S.W. 997, 1910 Ky. LEXIS 70 ( Ky. 1910 ) (decided under prior law).

Where ballot was marked for two candidates for same office, but was otherwise properly marked, it would be counted for all offices except the one for which two candidates were marked. Weller v. Muenninghoff, 155 Ky. 77 , 159 S.W. 632, 1913 Ky. LEXIS 191 ( Ky. 1913 ) (decided under prior law).

Ballots will be counted although the stencil mark is above or below rather than in the square opposite the candidate’s name. Snowden v. Flanery, 159 Ky. 568 , 167 S.W. 893, 1914 Ky. LEXIS 847 ( Ky. 1914 ) (decided under prior law).

Ballot marked for two candidates for same office will be counted for neither. Snowden v. Flanery, 159 Ky. 568 , 167 S.W. 893, 1914 Ky. LEXIS 847 ( Ky. 1914 ) (decided under prior law).

Where ballot was marked in circle under Democratic emblem, also in square at end of blank line provided in Progressive column for writing in candidates for sheriff, also in square opposite name of Republican candidate for sheriff, it was counted for Republican candidate for sheriff. Snowden v. Flanery, 159 Ky. 568 , 167 S.W. 893, 1914 Ky. LEXIS 847 ( Ky. 1914 ) (decided under prior law).

Where voter was entitled to vote for two (2) candidates for city council, and the ballot was marked for three (3) candidates, the fact that one of the marks was blurred was not sufficient evidence that such mark was unintentional, and ballot would not be counted. Covington v. Joiner, 200 Ky. 378 , 254 S.W. 1048, 1923 Ky. LEXIS 90 ( Ky. 1923 ) (decided under prior law).

Where there was a clear stencil mark in the square for one candidate, and a blurred mark in the square for an opposing candidate, the ballot would not be counted for either. Covington v. Joiner, 200 Ky. 378 , 254 S.W. 1048, 1923 Ky. LEXIS 90 ( Ky. 1923 ) (decided under prior law).

Where there were two (2) stencil marks on ballot, one extending partly into square opposite name of one candidate, and the other extending partly into the square opposite the name of an opposing candidate, the ballot would not be counted for either. Covington v. Joiner, 200 Ky. 378 , 254 S.W. 1048, 1923 Ky. LEXIS 90 ( Ky. 1923 ) (decided under prior law).

Ballot marked in middle of blank space between two squares would not be counted. Smith v. Jones, 221 Ky. 546 , 299 S.W. 170, 1927 Ky. LEXIS 762 ( Ky. 1927 ) (decided under prior law).

Where an erasure is apparently made to correct an error and the intention of the voter is manifest, the vote should be counted. Brandenburg v. Hurst, 289 Ky. 155 , 158 S.W.2d 420, 1942 Ky. LEXIS 528 ( Ky. 1942 ) (decided under prior law).

Markings on ballots consisting of pen and ink crosses placed outside and to the right of the square in which the voter’s choice of candidates was indicated by a stencil rendered the ballots invalid and in the absence of evidence as to the purpose of the markings, it could not be assumed that they were made by the clerk to assist illiterate voters. Patton v. McWhorter, 292 Ky. 443 , 166 S.W.2d 997, 1942 Ky. LEXIS 120 ( Ky. 1942 ) (decided under prior law).

23. Intention of Voter.

Vote marked with pencil cross opposite word “Sheriff” above name of candidate for sheriff in Republican column was counted for him. Snowden v. Flanery, 159 Ky. 568 , 167 S.W. 893, 1914 Ky. LEXIS 847 ( Ky. 1914 ) (decided under prior law).

Where names of two candidates for office were printed on primary ballot one below the other, and below the bottom name there was a blank line with a square at the end, ballots marked with stencil in square at end of blank line were counted for candidate whose name was immediately above the blank line. Thompson v. Boling, 240 Ky. 340 , 42 S.W.2d 321, 1931 Ky. LEXIS 389 ( Ky. 1931 ) (decided under prior law).

If it appears that the voter has made an honest effort to indicate his choice, and it is reasonably probable that he intended to vote for a certain candidate, the ballot will be counted although the voter has not strictly complied with the statute. Thompson v. Boling, 240 Ky. 340 , 42 S.W.2d 321, 1931 Ky. LEXIS 389 ( Ky. 1931 ) (decided under prior law).

Where it is reasonably apparent that a mark in front of a candidate’s name was made by the voter to indicate his choice, the ballot will be counted; but where it appears that the mark was made inadvertently, as by the ink smearing when the ballot was folded, the ballot will not be counted. Wurts v. Newsome, 253 Ky. 38 , 68 S.W.2d 448, 1934 Ky. LEXIS 595 ( Ky. 1934 ) (decided under prior law).

The intentions of the voter must be considered in determining how a doubtful ballot shall be counted. Deckert v. Hesch, 296 Ky. 176 , 176 S.W.2d 397, 1943 Ky. LEXIS 135 ( Ky. 1943 ) (decided under prior law).

Where proper method of indicating the vote is to place stencil mark in square prepared therefor, the fact it was not so placed would not invalidate ballot, if voter’s intention could be discerned from mark placed elsewhere. Deckert v. Hesch, 296 Ky. 176 , 176 S.W.2d 397, 1943 Ky. LEXIS 135 ( Ky. 1943 ) (decided under prior law).

Where X-marks appeared in squares on ballot for both candidates for mayor, but mark in one square was smudged in an attempt to erase the mark, ballot was properly counted as showing voter’s intent to vote for such candidate after eradicating other mark. Deckert v. Hesch, 296 Ky. 176 , 176 S.W.2d 397, 1943 Ky. LEXIS 135 ( Ky. 1943 ) (decided under prior law).

Where the intention of the voters casting the ballots under consideration was not impossible to determine, but was clearly manifest, the duplicate markings under both party emblems may be ignored and the votes must be counted. Steel v. Meek, 312 Ky. 87 , 226 S.W.2d 542, 1950 Ky. LEXIS 596 ( Ky. 1950 ) (decided under prior law).

24. Torn Ballots.

Torn ballots will be counted if it can be determined how they were voted. Snowden v. Flanery, 159 Ky. 568 , 167 S.W. 893, 1914 Ky. LEXIS 847 ( Ky. 1914 ). See Bates v. Crumbaugh, 114 Ky. 447 , 71 S.W. 75, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 1205 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 172 ( Ky. 1902 ) (decided under prior law).

25. Voting Straight Ticket.

Where Republican Party did not have candidate for top office on ballot, and therefore the ballot contained a blank line with a square at the end in the Republican column, a ballot marked only with a cross mark in such square would not be counted as a straight ticket vote. Baker v. Dinsmore, 138 Ky. 277 , 127 S.W. 997, 1910 Ky. LEXIS 70 ( Ky. 1910 ). See Brandenburg v. Hurst, 289 Ky. 155 , 158 S.W.2d 420, 1942 Ky. LEXIS 528 ( Ky. 1942 ) (decided under prior law).

Where ballot contained names of candidates for county offices and city offices, but there were no candidates for city offices under emblem of Democratic Party, and no candidates for county offices under emblem of Citizens’ Party, a ballot marked in the circle under the emblem of both parties would be counted for all offices. Baker v. Dinsmore, 138 Ky. 277 , 127 S.W. 997, 1910 Ky. LEXIS 70 ( Ky. 1910 ) (decided under prior law).

Ballot which had stencil mark in circle under Democratic emblem, and also a stencil mark at top of ballot above and between Republican and Progressive emblems, was counted for Democrats. Snowden v. Flanery, 159 Ky. 568 , 167 S.W. 893, 1914 Ky. LEXIS 847 ( Ky. 1914 ) (decided under prior law).

Where one voter wrote in name of candidate for sheriff in Progressive column, but did not put stencil mark in square opposite the name, and another voter placed a stencil mark in the square at the end of the blank line provided in the Progressive column for writing in candidate for sheriff, but wrote in no name, and both voters also placed a stencil mark in the circle at the head of the Democratic column, the votes were counted for all Democratic candidates, including sheriff. Snowden v. Flanery, 159 Ky. 568 , 167 S.W. 893, 1914 Ky. LEXIS 847 ( Ky. 1914 ) (decided under prior law).

26. Requirements for Recount.

A recount of the ballots would not have been made unless the party seeking the recount introduced proof that the ballots came from the officer whose duty it was to have and preserve them, that they had been protected as provided by law since the election, and that they were apparently in the condition of preservation prescribed by former statute. Baker v. Dinsmore, 138 Ky. 277 , 127 S.W. 997, 1910 Ky. LEXIS 70 ( Ky. 1910 ) (decided under prior law).

The party who sought a recount of the ballots must have tendered, in connection with his motion for a recount, evidence that the boxes had been carefully and properly preserved and not tampered with since their return by the election officers. The evidence might have been either in the form of depositions or by oral testimony. Powell v. Horn, 159 Ky. 532 , 167 S.W. 928, 1914 Ky. LEXIS 862 ( Ky. 1914 ) (decided under prior law).

Before a recount would have been granted, the one seeking the recount must have proved clearly and satisfactorily that the ballot box had been kept as the statute requires, that the ballots had not been tampered with since the election, and that the ballots offered to have been recounted are the identical ones cast. Rich v. Young, 176 Ky. 813 , 197 S.W. 442, 1917 Ky. LEXIS 123 ( Ky. 1917 ) (decided under prior law).

The presumption that the county clerk had done his duty in preserving the ballot boxes was not sufficient to justify a recount. The party seeking the recount must have offered evidence to establish that the boxes have been properly preserved, that there had been no opportunity for tampering, and that the boxes were in the same condition as when received by the clerk. Rich v. Young, 176 Ky. 813 , 197 S.W. 442, 1917 Ky. LEXIS 123 ( Ky. 1917 ) (decided under prior law).

27. Grand Jury Examination.

During the time the ballot boxes were required to be kept locked in the custody of the county clerk the grand jury had no right to inspect the ballots. Bryan v. Yungblut, 136 Ky. 810 , 125 S.W. 251, 1910 Ky. LEXIS 546 ( Ky. 1910 ) (decided under prior law).

After the period fixed by former law for the preservation of the ballots and election papers had expired, the county clerk might have been compelled to submit the ballots and papers to the grand jury for examination. Miller v. Price, 260 Ky. 488 , 86 S.W.2d 152, 1935 Ky. LEXIS 499 ( Ky. 1935 ) (decided under prior law).

28. Circuit Court Jurisdiction.

Although Circuit Court would have jurisdiction to compel election commissioners to reconvene and canvass certain returns omitted by commissioners in making original canvass, court could not examine ballots itself and direct the commissioners how to count them. Anderson v. Likens, 104 Ky. 699 , 47 S.W. 867, 20 Ky. L. Rptr. 1001 , 1898 Ky. LEXIS 214 ( Ky. 1898 ) (decided under prior law).

Opinions of Attorney General.

The county board of elections shall authorize such representatives of the news media as it deems advisable to observe the vote counting in each precinct; this implies an affirmative duty on each county board of elections to authorize, by appropriate action duly noted in the board’s minutes, those representatives of the media who have been authorized to observe the vote counting in the various precincts. OAG 88-76 .

If a challenger has been designated to the county board, he or she must be permitted to check the vote count in accordance with subsection (1) of this section. OAG 91-190 .

117.275. Counting and certification of votes — Return of keys and machines — Return of ballot boxes federal provisional ballot receptacle, supplemental paper ballot box, ballot stubs, spoiled, and unvoted ballots — Authorized representatives and news media representatives to witness vote count — Tabulation and certification of valid federal provisional ballots and distribution of precinct-by-precinct summary of results — Retention schedule for documents. [Effective July 15, 2020]

  1. At the count of the votes in any precinct, any candidate or slate of candidates and any representatives to witness and check the count of the votes therein, who are authorized to be appointed as is provided in subsection (9) of this section, shall be admitted and be permitted to be present and witness the count.
  2. As soon as the polls are closed, and the last voter has voted, the judges shall immediately lock and seal the voting equipment so that the voting and counting mechanism will be prevented from operation, and they shall sign a certificate stating:
    1. That the voting equipment has been locked against voting and sealed;
    2. The number of voters, as shown on the public counters;
    3. The number registered on the protective or accumulative counter or device, if any; and
    4. The number or other designation of the voting equipment, which certificate shall be returned by the judges of election to the officials authorized by law to receive it. The judges shall compare the number of voters, as shown by the counter of the voting equipment, with the number of those who have voted as shown by the protective or accumulative counter or device, if any.
  3. Where voting equipment is used which does not print the candidates’ names along with the total votes received on a general return sheet or record for that equipment, the procedure to be followed shall be as follows:
    1. The judges, in the presence of the representatives mentioned in subsection (1) of this section, if any, and of all other persons who may be lawfully within the polling place, shall give full view of all the counter numbers;
    2. The judges shall enter, in ink, the total votes cast for each candidate, and slate of candidates, and for and against each question on the return sheets; and
    3. Each precinct election officer shall sign the return sheets, and a copy of the return sheets shall be posted on the precinct door.
  4. Where voting equipment is used that prints the candidates’ names along with the total votes received on a return sheet or record for that equipment, the precinct election officers shall sign the return sheets or record for the voting equipment, which shall be posted on the door of the precinct.
  5. If any officer shall decline to sign the return sheets, he or she shall state the reason in writing, and a copy thereof, signed by the officer, shall be enclosed with the return sheets.
  6. Each of the return sheets, if applicable, and the record of the voting equipment shall be enclosed in an envelope. One (1) copy of the return sheets, if applicable, one (1) copy of the record of the voting equipment, and the write-in roll, if any write-in votes were cast in the precinct, shall be directed to the county board of elections of the county in which the election is being held. One (1) copy of the return sheets or record of the voting equipment shall be given to the county clerk of the county in which the election is being held and to each of the local governing bodies of the two (2) dominant political parties, but a local governing body of a dominant political party may decline a copy of the precinct election return by filing a written declination with the county board of elections prior to the election, and upon this declination, a printed copy shall not be issued to the political party so declining. The declination on file shall be effective for that election and any subsequent elections until revoked by the local governing body of a dominant political party by filing a written revocation with the county board of elections. The envelope shall have endorsed thereon a certificate of the election officers, stating the number of the machine, the precinct where it has been used, the number on the seal, and the number on the protective or accumulative counter or device at the close of the polls.
  7. Following the tabulation of all votes cast in the election, including absentee votes and write-in votes, the county board shall mail a copy of the precinct-by-precinct summary of the tabulation sheets showing the results from each precinct to the State Board of Elections and the county clerk shall mail or deliver the precinct signature rosters from each precinct to the State Board of Elections during the period established by KRS 117.355(3).
  8. As soon as possible after the completion of the count, the two (2) judges shall return to the county board of elections the keys to the voting machine received and receipted for by them, and the county clerk in which the precinct is located shall have the voting machine properly boxed or securely covered and removed to a proper and secure place of storage.
  9. In primaries, each candidate or group of candidates may designate to the county board of elections a representative to witness and check the vote count. In regular elections, the governing authority of each political party, each candidate for member of board of education, nonpartisan candidate, independent candidate, or independent ticket may designate a representative to the county board of elections to witness and check the vote count. The county board of elections shall authorize representatives of the news media to witness the vote count.
  10. For all federal provisional ballots, if applicable, and supplemental paper ballots if approved as provided in KRS 118.215 , after the polls are closed, the two (2) judges shall return to the county clerk’s office the locked federal provisional ballot receptacle and the supplemental paper ballot box, all ballot stubs, spoiled ballots, and unvoted ballots at the same time as the tabulation of votes from the voting machine is delivered. The county clerk shall issue a receipt for the number of ballot stubs, unvoted ballots, spoiled ballots, and the ballot boxes or ballot receptacle.
  11. The county board of elections, or its designee, shall count and tally the supplemental paper ballots manually or with the use of tabulating equipment which does not involve an additional voting system. The results of the vote tally shall be certified by the county board of elections to the county clerk and to the Secretary of State.
  12. The county board of elections shall tabulate the valid federal provisional ballots. The results of the vote tally shall be certified by the county board of elections to the county clerk and to the Secretary of State. The county board shall mail a copy of the precinct-by-precinct summary of the valid federal provisional ballot tabulation sheets showing the results from each precinct to the State Board of Elections.
  13. The county board of elections shall authorize the candidates, slates of candidates, or their representatives, and representatives of the news media to be present during the counting of the supplemental and federal provisional paper ballots.
  14. Except as otherwise required in this chapter that certain records and papers relating to specified elections be retained for twenty-two (22) months, the county clerk shall retain the voted federal provisional ballots, voter affirmations, election official affirmations, and the supplemental paper ballots for twenty-two (22) months and the unvoted federal provisional ballots, the voter affirmations, election official affirmations, and the supplemental paper ballots for sixty (60) days after each election day, after which time they shall be destroyed in a manner to render them unreadable by the county board of elections if no contest or recount action has been filed.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 41; 1976, ch. 130, § 1; 1976 (Ex. Sess.), ch. 1, § 9; 1978, ch. 384, § 249, effective June 17, 1978; 1980, ch. 14, § 1, effective July 15, 1980; 1986, ch. 470, § 15, effective July 15, 1986; 1990, ch. 48, § 30, effective July 13, 1990; 1992, ch. 288, § 36, effective July 14, 1992; 2000, ch. 122, § 1, effective July 14, 2000; 2008, ch. 79, § 5, effective July 15, 2008; 2008, ch. 129, § 4, effective July 15, 2008; 2010, ch. 176, § 8, effective July 15, 2010; 2020 ch. 89, § 20, effective July 15, 2020; 2020 ch. 88, § 4, effective July 15, 2020.

117.285. Form of return sheets and statement — Delivery. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 42) was repealed by Acts 2010, ch. 176, § 13, effective July 15, 2010.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Delivery.

The requirement of former statute that the ballot box, key and envelope be conveyed to the county clerk “forthwith” was mandatory, and required that the conveyance be made without unnecessary delay, or as quickly as practicable, or with due diligence under the particular circumstances. A failure to comply might have subjected the election officers to criminal liability. However, an unreasonable delay would not have resulted in the ballots of the precinct being thrown out if evidence was produced establishing clearly and convincingly that the ballots had been preserved in the same condition they were in at the close of the polls. Raymer v. Willis, 240 Ky. 634 , 42 S.W.2d 918, 1931 Ky. LEXIS 469 ( Ky. 1931 ) (decided under prior law).

117.295. Period machines to remain locked — Custody of keys.

  1. For a period of ten (10) days following any primary election, and for a period of thirty (30) days following any general or special election, the voting machine shall remain locked against voting and the ballot boxes containing all paper ballots shall remain locked, except that the voting machines and the ballot boxes may be opened and all the data and figures therein examined, upon the order of any court of competent jurisdiction, or judge thereof, or by direction of any legislative committee authorized and empowered to investigate and report upon contested elections, and all the data and figures shall be examined by the court, judge, or committee in the presence of the officer having the custody of the machine and ballot boxes. In the event of a contest of election, the court in which the contest is pending or the committee before which the contest is being heard may, upon motion of any party to the contest, issue an order requiring that the voting machines and ballot boxes shall remain continuously locked for further time as may be reasonable or necessary, with due regard for the preparation of the machines for a succeeding primary, regular, or special election, but in no event shall the order compel that the machines remain locked to a time within thirty (30) days next preceding any approaching primary, regular, or special election.
  2. During the period when the machine and the ballot boxes are required to be kept locked, the keys thereto shall remain in the possession of the county board of elections. After that period, it shall be the duty of the county board of elections to return the keys to the custody of the county clerk.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 43; 1992, ch. 288, § 37, effective July 14, 1992; 2008, ch. 129, § 5, effective July 15, 2008; 2010, ch. 176, § 9, effective July 15, 2010.

Legislative Research Commission Note.

(7/15/2008). 2008 Ky. Acts ch. 129 eliminated the runoff primary in elections for Governor and Lieutenant Governor. In section 5 of that Act (this statute), a reference to “runoff primary” that was not deleted by the drafter has been deleted in codification as a manifest clerical or typographical error by the Reviser of Statutes.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Master Keys.

Where machines have three master keys, each member of the board of election commissioners should have custody of one key, the particular key that each is to have being determined by rules adopted by the board. Grauman v. Jefferson County Fiscal Court, 294 Ky. 149 , 171 S.W.2d 36, 1943 Ky. LEXIS 402 ( Ky. 1943 ) (decided under prior law).

2. Grand Jury Examination.

During the time the ballots are to be preserved by the county clerk the grand jury has no right to inspect them. Bryan v. Yungblut, 136 Ky. 810 , 125 S.W. 251, 1910 Ky. LEXIS 546 ( Ky. 1910 ) (decided under prior law).

After the expiration of the period for which the clerk is required to preserve the ballots and election papers, he may be compelled to submit them to the grand jury for examination. Miller v. Price, 260 Ky. 488 , 86 S.W.2d 152, 1935 Ky. LEXIS 499 ( Ky. 1935 ) (decided under prior law).

3. Impounding Machines.

Absent a showing that an effort had been made with the public officials to obtain or protect the evidence which petitioners claimed existed and absent a motion to allow an expert to examine the machines for the purpose of discovering the evidence desired, the trial court did not abuse its discretion by refusing to grant petitioners’ motion to impound the voting machines. Fletcher v. Graham, 479 S.W.2d 883, 1972 Ky. LEXIS 321 ( Ky. 1972 ) (decided under prior law).

117.305. Recanvass of votes — Test of machines — Candidates and representatives of political parties and news media to observe recanvass — Forms for reporting recanvassed vote — Administrative regulations for recanvass procedures. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

  1. The canvass and returns provided for in KRS 117.275 shall constitute the official returns of the precinct, unless before 4 p.m. on the Tuesday following a primary or regular election, or before 4 p.m. on the day following a special election held for the purpose of filling a vacancy, the county clerk or county board of elections takes notice of a discrepancy in the tally of votes cast in any precinct or number of precincts, or a candidate makes a written request to the county board of elections in the case of a candidate who has filed with the county clerk, or the Secretary of State in the case of a candidate who has filed with the Secretary of State, to check and recanvass the voting machines and absentee ballots of any precinct or any number of precincts involving his race. After this time period has elapsed and notice is taken, the county election board shall assemble at 9 a.m. on the Thursday following the filing deadline to request a recanvass, and not sooner, and recheck and recanvass each machine and make a proper return thereof to the county clerk, and the canvass and return shall become the official returns for the election. In making the recanvass, the board shall make a record of the number of the seal upon the voting machine and, without unlocking the machine against voting, recanvass the vote cast thereon. If, after a recanvass, it is found that the original canvass of the returns has been correctly made from the machine, and that there still remains a discrepancy unaccounted for, this discrepancy shall be noted. If, upon recanvass, it appears that the original canvass of the returns by the election officers was incorrect, the returns and all papers being prepared by the board shall be corrected accordingly. The county board of elections shall, immediately upon receipt of a request for a recanvass, notify each candidate for the office of the time and place of the recanvass. At the recanvass, each political party represented on the board may appoint a representative there to be its governing body, and also each candidate to be voted for may be present, either in person or by a representative or both. The county board of elections shall authorize representatives of the news media to observe the recanvass of the votes cast on the voting machine in each precinct. Nothing in this section shall prohibit an individual from requesting, in addition to a recanvass, a recount as authorized by KRS Chapter 120.
  2. The State Board of Elections shall prescribe forms to be used by county boards of election to report all recanvassed votes. The form shall include the following information:
    1. The name of the county in which the recanvass was conducted;
    2. The date of the report;
    3. The date of the election;
    4. The office for which the recanvass was conducted;
    5. The names of each candidate for the office being recanvassed; and
    6. The machine votes, absentee votes, and vote totals for each candidate, as well as write-in votes cast in a regular or special election for candidates whose names did not appear on the ballot.

      The report shall be signed by each member of the county board of elections.

  3. The county board of elections shall file its recanvass report as prescribed in administrative regulations promulgated by the State Board of Elections in conformity with KRS Chapter 13A.
  4. The State Board of Elections shall promulgate administrative regulations in accordance with KRS Chapter 13A to establish the proper procedures for conducting a recanvass for each type of voting system approved by the State Board of Elections and in use in Kentucky.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 44; 1976, ch. 130, § 2; 1978, ch. 384, § 250, effective June 17, 1978; 1982, ch. 268, § 1, effective July 15, 1982; 1982, ch. 394, § 17, effective July 15, 1982; 1986, ch. 470, § 16, effective July 15, 1986; 1990, ch. 48, § 51, effective July 13, 1990; 1992, ch. 296, § 5, effective July 14, 1992; 1992, ch. 421, § 1, effective July 14, 1992; 2000, ch. 494, § 1, effective July 14, 2000.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Costs.

A candidate who seeks a recheck and recanvass of the returns of voting machines is not required to pay the cost thereof, or to post a bond for the cost as is required of a candidate in an ordinary recount proceeding. The county must pay the cost. Young v. Jefferson County Election Com., 304 Ky. 81 , 200 S.W.2d 111, 1947 Ky. LEXIS 593 ( Ky. 1947 ) (decided under prior law).

Cited:

Kirby v. Wood, 558 S.W.2d 180, 1977 Ky. App. LEXIS 864 (Ky. Ct. App. 1977); Wood v. Kirby, 566 S.W.2d 751, 1978 Ky. LEXIS 364 ( Ky. 1978 ).

Opinions of Attorney General.

In view of KRS 446.030 and the fact that May 31 and June 1, 1975, were a Saturday and Sunday, any request for a recanvass of votes cast in the May 27, 1975, primary election must have been received not later than 6 p.m. June 2, 1975, to comply with the 96-hour deadline. OAG 75-390 .

The special procedure outlined in this section is limited to the recanvass of the votes recorded on the voting machines and any request for a recanvass must be limited to that extent and should not include a recount of absent ballots. OAG 77-386 .

The testing of an electronic voting machine during a recanvass should be accomplished by running the self-diagnostic routine supplied by the manufacturer of the machine. OAG 93-20 .

117.305. Recanvass of votes — Test of machines — Candidates and representatives of political parties and news media to observe recanvass — Forms for reporting recanvassed vote — Administrative regulations for recanvass procedures. [Effective July 15, 2020]

  1. The canvass and returns provided for in KRS 117.275 shall constitute the official returns of the precinct, unless before 4 p.m. on the Tuesday following a primary or regular election, or before 4 p.m. on the day following a special election held for the purpose of filling a vacancy, the county clerk or county board of elections takes notice of a discrepancy in the tally of votes cast in any precinct or number of precincts, or a candidate makes a written request to the county board of elections in the case of a candidate who has filed with the county clerk, or the Secretary of State in the case of a candidate who has filed with the Secretary of State, to check and recanvass the voting machines, valid federal provisional ballots, valid federal provisional absentee ballots, and absentee ballots of any precinct or any number of precincts involving his or her race. After this time period has elapsed and notice is taken, the county board of elections shall assemble at 9 a.m. on the Thursday following the filing deadline to request a recanvass, and not sooner, and recheck and recanvass each machine and make a proper return thereof to the county clerk, and the canvass and return shall become the official returns for the election. In making the recanvass, the board shall make a record of the number of the seal upon the voting machine and, without unlocking the machine against voting, recanvass the vote cast thereon. If, after a recanvass, it is found that the original canvass of the returns has been correctly made from the machine, and that there still remains a discrepancy unaccounted for, this discrepancy shall be noted. If, upon recanvass, it appears that the original canvass of the returns by the election officers was incorrect, the returns and all papers being prepared by the board shall be corrected accordingly. The county board of elections shall, immediately upon receipt of a request for a recanvass, notify each candidate for the office of the time and place of the recanvass. At the recanvass, each political party represented on the board may appoint a representative there to be its governing body, and also each candidate to be voted for may be present, either in person or by a representative or both. The county board of elections shall authorize representatives of the news media to observe the recanvass of the votes cast on the voting machine in each precinct. Nothing in this section shall prohibit an individual from requesting, in addition to a recanvass, a recount as authorized by KRS Chapter 120.
  2. The State Board of Elections shall prescribe and furnish forms to be used by county boards of election to report all recanvassed votes. The form shall include the following information:
    1. The name of the county in which the recanvass was conducted;
    2. The date of the report;
    3. The date of the election;
    4. The office for which the recanvass was conducted;
    5. The names of each candidate for the office being recanvassed; and
    6. The machine votes, absentee votes, valid federal provisional votes, valid federal provisional absentee votes, and vote totals for each candidate, as well as write-in votes cast in a regular or special election for candidates whose names did not appear on the ballot. The report shall be signed by each member of the county board of elections.
  3. The county board of elections shall file its recanvass report as prescribed in administrative regulations promulgated by the State Board of Elections in conformity with KRS Chapter 13A.
  4. The State Board of Elections shall promulgate administrative regulations in accordance with KRS Chapter 13A to establish the proper procedures for conducting a recanvass for each type of voting system approved by the State Board of Elections and in use in Kentucky.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 44; 1976, ch. 130, § 2; 1978, ch. 384, § 250, effective June 17, 1978; 1982, ch. 268, § 1, effective July 15, 1982; 1982, ch. 394, § 17, effective July 15, 1982; 1986, ch. 470, § 16, effective July 15, 1986; 1990, ch. 48, § 51, effective July 13, 1990; 1992, ch. 296, § 5, effective July 14, 1992; 1992, ch. 421, § 1, effective July 14, 1992; 2000, ch. 494, § 1, effective July 14, 2000; 2020 ch. 89, § 21, effective July 15, 2020.

Miscellaneous Provisions

117.315. Appointment of challengers and inspectors.

  1. Each political party is entitled to have not exceeding two (2) challengers at each precinct during the holding of the primary election. Any group of bona fide candidates, as defined in KRS 118.176 , of the same political party equal to twenty-five percent (25%) of all the candidates for that party to be voted for in a county in any primary, including state, district, and all other candidates, may recommend to the county committee or governing authority of the party for the county a list of persons whom they desire to have appointed as challengers in each precinct in the county. If more than two (2) such lists are furnished, the committee or governing authority, in making appointments of challengers, shall alternate between the several lists so furnished so as to give to each list an equal amount or proportion of the appointments, but in no event shall there be appointed more than one (1) challenger for any precinct from any one (1) list. The list of challengers shall be presented to the chair or secretary of the party committee of the county on or before the third Friday in April preceding the primary, and the committee or the chairman thereof shall make the appointments, certify to same, and present a list of certified challengers to the county clerk at least twenty (20) days before the date on which the primary is held. The appointment of challengers shall be certified in all respects as challengers at regular elections, except as otherwise provided in this section. The challengers shall be registered voters of the county in which the primary is held and shall be subject to the same penalties and possess the same rights and privileges as challengers at regular elections, except that the challengers of one political party shall not be entitled to challenge persons who offer to vote for candidates of any other party in the primary. The provisions of this section shall be enforceable against the chair of the political party committees by a mandatory summary proceeding instituted in the Circuit Court. The order of the court may be reviewed by the Court of Appeals as provided for the granting or dissolving of temporary injunctions.
  2. Any school board candidate, any independent ticket or candidate for city office, any nonpartisan city candidate, or candidate for an office of the Court of Justice at the primary or regular election may designate not more than one (1) challenger to be present at and witness the holding of primaries or elections in each precinct in the county. A candidate who designates a challenger shall present the county clerk with the name of the challenger at least twenty (20) days preceding the primary or regular election. The challenger shall be entitled to stay in the room or at the door. The challenger shall be a registered voter of the county in which the primary or election is held, shall be appointed in writing by the chair of the committee, independent candidate, or candidates representing a ticket, and shall produce written appointment on demand of any election officer.
  3. The county executive committee of any political party having a ticket to elect at any regular or special election may designate not more than two (2) challengers to be present at and witness the holding of the election in each precinct in the county. The challengers shall be entitled to stay in the room or at the door. The challengers shall be registered voters of the county in which the election is held, shall be appointed in writing signed by the chair of the committee, and shall produce written appointments on demand of any election officer. The committee or chair shall present the county clerk with a list of designated challengers at least twenty (20) days preceding a regular election and at least fifteen (15) days preceding a special election.
  4. Except as provided in KRS Chapter 242, not later than the fourth Tuesday preceding an election at which constitutional amendments or other public questions are to be submitted to the vote of the people, any committee that in good faith advocates or opposes an amendment or public question may file a petition with the clerk of the county asking that the petitioners be recognized as the committee entitled to nominate challengers to serve at the election at which the constitutional amendment or public question is to be voted on. If more than one (1) committee alleging itself to advocate or oppose the same amendment file such a petition, the county board of elections shall decide, and announce by certified mail, return receipt requested, to each committee not less than the third Tuesday preceding the election, which committee is entitled to nominate the challengers. The decision shall not be final, but any aggrieved party may institute proceedings with the county judge/executive and, upon hearing, the county judge/executive shall determine which of the committees shall be recognized as the one to select challengers at the election.
  5. The committee shall file the names of the persons nominated by it with the clerk of the county at least twenty (20) days before the primary and regular elections and not less that fifteen (15) days preceding the date of a special election. The county board of elections shall, not later than the Thursday preceding the election, certify the nominees of the committee for the respective precincts to serve as challengers at the election where any constitutional amendment or public question is to be voted upon. If more than one (1) amendment or question is to be voted upon, the county board of elections may designate, on the petition of the committee, one (1) person for each amendment and question to serve as challenger at the election.
  6. The challengers shall perform their duties in the same manner and be subject to the same privileges as other challengers at an election.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 45, effective June 21, 1974; 1976, ch. 54, § 22, effective March 10, 1976; 1976 (Ex. Sess.), ch. 20, § 6, effective January 2, 1978; 1978, ch. 384, § 251, effective June 17, 1978; 1980, ch. 114, § 13, effective July 15, 1980; 1986, ch. 470, § 17, effective July 15, 1986; repealed and reenact., Acts 1990, ch. 476, Pt. V, § 302, effective July 13, 1990; 1992, ch. 288, § 49, effective July 14, 1992; 1992, ch. 296, § 6, effective July 14, 1992; 1996, ch. 195, § 8, effective July 15, 1996; 2008, ch. 79, § 6, effective July 15, 2008; 2010, ch. 176, § 10, effective July 15, 2010.

Compiler’s Notes.

This section was formerly compiled as KRS 125.210 .

Legislative Research Commission Note.

(7/14/92). This section was amended by two 1992 Acts. Where those Acts are not in conflict, they have been compiled together. Where a conflict exists, the Act which was last enacted by the General Assembly prevails, pursuant to KRS 446.250 .

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Designation.

A party executive committee may delegate to its chairman the authority to designate challengers. Commonwealth v. Miller, 98 Ky. 446 , 33 S.W. 401, 17 Ky. L. Rptr. 1033 , 1895 Ky. LEXIS 79 ( Ky. 1895 ) (decided under prior law).

2. — By Political Group.

A faction of the Democratic Party, not constituting in itself an established political party, was not entitled to designate challengers. Weaver v. Toney, 107 Ky. 419 , 54 S.W. 732, 21 Ky. L. Rptr. 1157 , 1899 Ky. LEXIS 187 ( Ky. 1899 ) (decided under prior law).

A political group is not entitled to designate challengers unless it is a distinct political party and has a ticket to elect. Weaver v. Toney, 107 Ky. 419 , 54 S.W. 732, 21 Ky. L. Rptr. 1157 , 1899 Ky. LEXIS 187 ( Ky. 1899 ) (decided under prior law).

3. Disagreements of Challengers.

Arguments between challengers of opposing parties, involving threats of violence to each other, would not be cause for throwing out vote of precinct in absence of evidence that voters were intimidated or that an orderly election was interfered with. Land v. Land, 244 Ky. 126 , 50 S.W.2d 518, 1931 Ky. LEXIS 720 ( Ky. 1931 ) (decided under prior law).

4. Unauthorized Challenger.

Permitting unauthorized person to act as challenger would not invalidate election in absence of evidence that his presence in any way prevented a fair election or affected the result of the election. Muncy v. Duff, 194 Ky. 303 , 239 S.W. 49, 1922 Ky. LEXIS 163 ( Ky. 1922 ) (decided under prior law).

5. Exclusion.

The Circuit Court has no jurisdiction to issue a mandatory injunction compelling election officers to admit a challenger designated by a political party. Weaver v. Toney, 107 Ky. 419 , 54 S.W. 732, 21 Ky. L. Rptr. 1157 , 1899 Ky. LEXIS 187 ( Ky. 1899 ) (decided under prior law).

The election officers may exclude any person who does not produce evidence of his proper appointment as a challenger. Muncy v. Duff, 194 Ky. 303 , 239 S.W. 49, 1922 Ky. LEXIS 163 ( Ky. 1922 ) (decided under prior law).

6. Miscellaneous.

In a federal prosecution of a deputy clerk for participation in a vote buying conspiracy, the jury was incorrectly told that Kentucky law prohibited the clerk from supervising in-person absentee voting; because a challenger is not an election officer, a challenger’s presence did not result in equal representation of political parties, and the clerk’s supervision was proper. The error was not prejudicial because the jury was correctly instructed that the clerk could not lawfully assist voters. United States v. Risner, 737 Fed. Appx. 751, 2018 FED App. 0304N, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16252 (6th Cir. Ky. 2018 ).

Opinions of Attorney General.

Challengers may stay within the voting room while the vote is being polled, the election judges having no authority to eject them therefrom, and the challengers may exercise reasonable discretion in deciding where in the room they will post themselves, including withdrawing from the voting room when they feel it necessary. OAG 75-95 .

In view of the fact that there is no official form for the designation of challengers and that there is no requirement that such appointments be notarized, a procedure whereby the challenger’s name and precinct is designated in writing and signed by the chairman of the county party complies with this section. OAG 76-702 .

Aside from the regular election officers, a person must be designated a challenger at the polls in order for such person to challenge a voter who presents himself to vote. OAG 77-645 .

A write-in candidate who did not qualify as an independent candidate for the office of magistrate would not be entitled to designate challengers. OAG 77-654 .

At least 25 percent of all the candidates of a particular party in the primary must combine and agree to recommend challengers in order for such challengers to be appointed, and when it speaks of all the candidates of a party, it means every candidate for every office to be voted for in the primary including state, district and local candidates. OAG 79-145 .

There is no reason why challengers, designated in accordance with this section, could not serve as representatives to check the vote count; the statute plainly allows candidates to appoint such representatives with the only requirement being that the representatives must be designated to the county board of elections. OAG 91-190 .

117.316. Duties of challenger.

The duties of a challenger appointed and certified as provided in KRS 117.315 shall include:

  1. The  challenge of the eligibility of a voter who presents himself at the precinct  to vote, but who the challenger has reason to believe:
    1. Is  not a duly registered voter in the precinct;
    2. Is  not a resident of the precinct;
    3. Is  a convicted felon who has not had his civil rights restored; or
    4. Is  not the person he claims to be.
  2. If  the challenger attempts to challenge a person’s right to vote, he shall express  his challenge to the precinct election officer; he shall sign the oath of  voter executed by the voter if the voter’s name appears on the precinct roster  and state the reason for his challenge as required by KRS 117.245(2).

History. Enact. Acts 1992, ch. 288, § 51, effective July 14, 1992.

117.317. Acts prohibited to challengers.

A challenger appointed and certified as provided in KRS 117.315 shall not:

  1. Electioneer  or campaign on behalf of any candidate, issue, or political party;
  2. Handle  official election materials except as provided in KRS 117.187 ;
  3. Attempt  to intimidate or harass, verbally or otherwise, any voter who is being challenged  or any precinct election officer;
  4. Behave  in any manner to disrupt activities at the polling place; or
  5. Attempt  to interfere with the proper conduct of the election.

History. Enact. Acts 1992, ch. 288, § 52, effective July 14, 1992.

117.318. Ordering of challengers from polling places.

  1. It  shall be the duty of a precinct election officer to warn a challenger who  violates any provision of KRS 117.187 and 117.316 to 117.318 . If the challenger  continues to violate these provisions, the precinct election officer shall  order the challenger out of the polling place. Any challenger ordered from  the polling place shall be prohibited from acting as a challenger in any precinct  in any election for a period of five (5) years.
  2. The  provisions of KRS 117.187 and 117.316 to 117.318 shall apply to all challengers  in all elections conducted in the Commonwealth.

History. Enact. Acts 1992, ch. 288, § 53, effective July 14, 1992.

117.325. Marking of absent voter’s ballot — Deposit of returned ballots — Record. [Repealed and reenacted.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 46; 1978, ch. 71, § 2, effective June 17, 1978) was repealed and reenacted as KRS 117.086 by Acts 1980, ch. 73, § 2, effective July 15, 1980.

117.335. Counting procedure for absent voters’ ballots — Challenge — Disposal of ballots — News media representatives to observe. [Repealed and reenacted.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 47; 1976, ch. 130, § 3; 1976, ch. 247, § 5; 1978, ch. 71, § 3, effective June 17, 1978) was repealed and reenacted as KRS 117.087 by Acts 1980, ch. 73, § 3, effective July 15, 1980.

117.343. Reimbursement of county clerk by state board for certain election related expenses — Submission of claims.

The county clerk may request reimbursement from the State Board of Elections, for the cost of employing office personnel necessary for the conduct of elections, including the registration and purgation of voters in the county. Such reimbursement shall not exceed fifty cents ($0.50) per registered voter in the county per year. Claims for reimbursement shall be submitted to the state board by July 31 of each year for employment costs for the preceding fiscal year. Claims shall be on forms provided by the State Board of Elections and shall show in detail the employee time and costs. If the State Board of Elections determines that the claims are valid and reasonable, the state board shall submit the claims to the Treasury for payment and they shall be paid within thirty (30) working days. The state board may issue administrative regulations prescribing the method and forms for documenting and submitting the claims.

History. Enact. Acts 1988, ch. 341, § 10, effective July 15, 1988.

117.345. Cost of elections — Payment.

  1. The cost of all elections held in any county shall be allowed by the fiscal court and paid by the county treasurer, except as otherwise provided by law.
  2. When the cost of any election has been allowed by the fiscal court and paid by the county treasurer, and within sixty (60) days following the date of the election, the county treasurer shall certify a statement of the number of precincts in the county, the date, and kind of election to the State Board of Elections, including an election that was delayed or postponed in accordance with KRS 39A.100 . The certification shall be filed within ninety (90) days after the election. Upon receipt of the certification and upon being satisfied as to the correctness thereof, the State Board of Elections shall issue its warrant upon the State Treasurer in favor of the county treasurer for the amount of two hundred fifty-five dollars ($255) for each precinct in the county.
  3. Payments to any county under the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be terminated if and whenever it fails to renew a lease, contract, or lease and option with the State Property and Buildings Commission executed in connection with the acquisition of voting machines by the commission for the use of the county; and payments to any county shall be terminated whenever the county fails to pay any part of the rentals required for any effective period of the lease or if a county board of elections fails to provide training to precinct election officers required by KRS 117.187(2).

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 48; 1978, ch. 318, § 5, effective June 17, 1978; 1980, ch. 235, § 18, effective July 15, 1980; 1986, ch. 470, § 18, effective July 15, 1986; 1988, ch. 341, § 33, effective July 15, 1988; 1994, ch. 394, § 18, effective July 15, 1994; 1996, ch. 195, § 9, effective July 15, 1996; 2005, ch. 71, § 5, effective June 20, 2005; 2006, ch. 7, § 3, effective March 8, 2006.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Constitutionality.

Provisions of former statute stating that failure of county to provide in its budget for the payment of rentals for the machines would result in disapproval of the budget, regardless of whether the county had renewed its year-to-year lease contract with the commission offended Ky. Const., § 157. State Property & Bldg. Com. v. Hays, 346 S.W.2d 3, 1961 Ky. LEXIS 277 ( Ky. 1961 ) (decided under prior law).

2. Clerk's Fee.

The county clerk is not entitled to any fee from the county for delivering the ballots and election supplies to the precinct offices. Harlan County v. Blair, 243 Ky. 777 , 49 S.W.2d 1028, 1932 Ky. LEXIS 193 ( Ky. 1932 ) (decided under prior law).

The county clerk is not entitled to any fee for his services in preparing the ballot boxes for the election, but he is entitled to be reimbursed for his expenses in delivering the boxes to the precinct officers. Goodlett v. Anderson County, 267 Ky. 166 , 101 S.W.2d 421, 1936 Ky. LEXIS 761 ( Ky. 1936 ) (decided under prior law).

Opinions of Attorney General.

The repair and maintenance of election machines are inevitable and necessary expenses and are thus characterized judicially as a cost of elections, which cost must be funded out of the county treasury directly as this section permits, or it could be funded by way of extending credit to the former county clerk against his excess fees for the calendar year in question. OAG 75-38 .

Inasmuch as the state is only liable for its share of the expense of a special school tax election if the election is paid for by the county, the state would not be authorized to pay any portion of the election cost where the expense is paid by a citizens educational advisory committee. OAG 76-214 .

Based on the fact that this section simply refers to “cost of the election,” in the absence of legislative restrictions all the expenses incurred in connection with the holding of an election must be included in determining such cost. OAG 76-421 .

The statutory requirement pertaining to the printing of special ballots for absent voters, disabled voters and for voting in emergency situations constitutes an election expense to be paid for by the fiscal court pursuant to the terms of this section and such costs cannot be allowed as a necessary office expense of the county court clerk under KRS 64.345 . OAG 76-474.

Since KRS 83A.050 requires cities to pay the cost of city elections only where the city election is held at a time other than the law prescribes for elections generally and since city officers can only be elected at general elections in November pursuant to Ky. Const., § 167 and KRS 83A.040 , which is the time prescribed for elections generally for all state and local offices, cities whose officers were elected in the 1981 election would not be liable for any part of the election cost involved at the 1981 general election. OAG 82-167 .

Research References and Practice Aids

2018-2020 Budget Reference.

See State/Executive Branch Budget, 2018 Ky. Acts ch. 169, Pt. I, A, 16, (1a) at 1295.

2016-2018 Budget Reference.

See State/Executive Branch Budget, 2016 Ky. Acts ch. 149, Pt. I, A, 17, (1) at 1045.

117.355. Election reports to be made by the precinct election sheriff and county board of elections — Contents.

  1. Within three (3) days after any primary or general election, the precinct election sheriff shall file a report with the chairman of the county board of elections and with the local grand jury. The report shall include any irregularities observed and any recommendations for improving the election process.
  2. Within ten (10) days after any primary or general election, the county board of elections shall file a report with the State Board of Elections and the local grand jury. The report shall include any irregularities of which the county board has knowledge and any recommendations for improving the election process. The report shall also include a breakdown by precinct of the number of voters requiring assistance to vote and the reasons therefor; the number of special ballots cast by category; and any other information required by the state board.
  3. Within thirty (30) days after any primary or general election, the county board of elections shall transmit the information required by KRS 117.275(4) to (7).
  4. The State Board of Elections shall issue administrative regulations to prescribe the forms required by this section.

History. Enact. Acts 1988, ch. 341, § 11, effective July 15, 1988; 2002, ch. 129, § 2, effective July 15, 2002; 2010, ch. 176, § 11, effective July 15, 2010.

117.365. Presentation of voter assistance forms and absentee ballot applications by county clerk to grand jury — Certified photocopies. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

Upon the first day a grand jury convenes after a primary, general election, or special election, the county clerk shall present to the grand jury all voter assistance forms and all applications for absentee ballots which shall have been completed in the immediately preceding primary, general election, or special election. The county clerk may photocopy applications for absentee ballots and voter assistance forms, certify them as true copies of the originals, and present the grand jury with those certified copies instead of the originals. The county clerk shall retain all applications for absentee ballots and one (1) copy of each voter assistance form as part of the records of the office and shall produce certified copies of any or all of them, when required, to any subsequent grand jury.

History. Enact. Acts 1988, ch. 341, § 13, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 48, § 31, effective July 13, 1990; 1992, ch. 65, § 3, effective March 19, 1992; 1996, ch. 195, § 10, effective July 15, 1996.

117.365. Presentation of voter assistance forms, all voter and election official affirmations, and absentee ballot applications by county clerk to grand jury — Certified photocopies. [Effective July 15, 2020]

Upon the first day a grand jury convenes after a primary, regular election, or special election, the county clerk shall present to the grand jury all voter assistance forms, all voter and election official affirmations, and all applications for absentee ballots which shall have been completed in the immediately preceding primary, regular election, or special election. The county clerk may photocopy applications for absentee ballots, voter and election official affirmations, and voter assistance forms, certify them as true copies of the originals, and present the grand jury with those certified copies instead of the originals. The county clerk shall retain all applications for absentee ballots, voter and election official affirmations, and one (1) copy of each voter assistance form as part of the records of the office and shall produce certified copies of any or all of them, when required, to any subsequent grand jury.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1988, ch. 341, § 13, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 48, § 31, effective July 13, 1990; 1992, ch. 65, § 3, effective March 19, 1992; 1996, ch. 195, § 10, effective July 15, 1996; 2020 ch. 89, § 22, effective July 15, 2020.

Electronic Voting System

117.375. Definitions. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

  1. “Electronic  or electromechanical voting system” means a system of casting votes  by use of marking devices and tabulating ballots employing automatic tabulating  equipment or data processing equipment.
  2. “Automatic  tabulating equipment” means apparatus necessary to automatically examine  and count votes as designated on ballots and data processing machines which  can be used for counting ballots and tabulating results.
  3. “Voting  device” means either an apparatus in which paper ballots or ballot cards  are used in connection with an implement by which a voter registers his votes  with ink or other substance or by punching, or an apparatus by which such  votes are registered electronically, so that in either case the votes so registered  may be computed and tabulated by means of automatic tabulating equipment.
  4. “Ballot  card” means a tabulating card on which votes may be recorded by a voter  by use of a voting punch device or by marking with a pen or special marking  device.
  5. “Ballot  label” means the cards, papers, booklet, pages or other material on  which appear the names of candidates and the questions to be voted on by means  of ballot cards or voting machines.
  6. “Ballot”  or “official ballot” means the voting machine ballot label, ballot  cards, paper ballots, an absentee ballot, or a supplemental paper ballot which  has been authorized for the use of voters in any primary, general or special  election by the Secretary of State or the county clerk.
  7. “Voting  punch device” means an apparatus in which ballots or ballot cards are  inserted for the piercing of ballots by the voter. The hole may be in the  form of a round dot, rectangle, square, or any other shape that will clearly  indicate the intent of the voter.
  8. “Vote  marking device” means any approved device for marking a paper ballot  with ink or other substance which will enable the ballot to be tabulated by  means of automatic tabulating equipment.
  9. “Secrecy  envelope” means the envelope handed to the voter with his ballot into  which the voter shall place his voted ballot cards.
  10. “Precinct  ballot counter” means an automatic tabulating device used at the precinct  to tabulate and process ballots.
  11. “Voting  machine” or “machine” shall include lever machines and,  as far as applicable, any electronic or electromechanical unit and supplies  utilized or relied upon by a voter in casting and recording his votes in an  election.

History. Enact. Acts 1982, ch. 360, § 1, effective July 15, 1982; 1990, ch. 48, § 32, effective July 13, 1990.

117.375. Definitions for chapter. [Effective July 15, 2020]

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

  1. “Electronic or electromechanical voting system” means a system of casting votes by use of marking devices and tabulating ballots employing automatic tabulating equipment or data processing equipment.
  2. “Automatic tabulating equipment” means apparatus necessary to automatically examine and count votes as designated on ballots and data processing machines which can be used for counting ballots and tabulating results.
  3. “Voting device” means either an apparatus in which paper ballots or ballot cards are used in connection with an implement by which a voter registers his or her votes with ink or other substance or by punching, or an apparatus by which such votes are registered electronically, so that in either case the votes so registered may be computed and tabulated by means of automatic tabulating equipment.
  4. “Ballot card” means a tabulating card on which votes may be recorded by a voter by use of a voting punch device or by marking with a pen or special marking device.
  5. “Ballot label” means the cards, papers, booklet, pages or other material on which appear the names of candidates and the questions to be voted on by means of ballot cards or voting machines.
  6. “Ballot” or “official ballot” means the voting machine ballot label, ballot cards, paper ballots, an absentee ballot, a federal provisional ballot, a federal provisional absentee ballot, or a supplemental paper ballot which has been authorized for the use of voters in any primary or regular or special election by the Secretary of State or the county clerk.
  7. “Voting punch device” means an apparatus in which ballots or ballot cards are inserted for the piercing of ballots by the voter. The hole may be in the form of a round dot, rectangle, square, or any other shape that will clearly indicate the intent of the voter.
  8. “Vote marking device” means any approved device for marking a paper ballot with ink or other substance which will enable the ballot to be tabulated by means of automatic tabulating equipment.
  9. “Secrecy envelope” means the envelope handed to the voter with his or her ballot into which the voter shall place his or her voted ballot cards.
  10. “Precinct ballot counter” means an automatic tabulating device used at the precinct to tabulate and process ballots.
  11. “Voting machine” or “machine” shall include lever machines and, as far as applicable, any electronic or electromechanical unit and supplies utilized or relied upon by a voter in casting and recording his votes in an election.
  12. “Proof of identification” means a document that was issued by:
    1. The United States or the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and the document contains:
      1. The name of the individual to whom the document was issued; and
      2. A photograph of the individual to whom the document was issued;
    2. The United States Department of Defense, a branch of the uniformed services, the Merchant Marines, or the Kentucky National Guard, and if the document contains:
      1. The name of the individual to whom the document was issued; and
      2. A photograph of the individual to whom the document was issued;
    3. A public or private college, university, or postgraduate technical or professional school located within the United States, and contains:
      1. The name of the individual to whom the document was issued; and
      2. A photograph of the individual to whom the document was issued; or
    4. Any city government, county government, urban-county government, charter county government, consolidated local government, or unified local government, which is located within this state, and the document contains:
      1. The name of the individual to whom the document was issued; and
      2. A photograph of the individual to whom the document was issued.
  13. “Federal provisional voter” means a person:
    1. Who is registered to vote;
    2. Whose name appears on the precinct roster;
    3. Who has not provided proof of identification to the precinct election officer before voting in a federal election; and
    4. Who elects to proceed with voting during a federal provisional ballot under KRS 117.229 .
  14. “Federal provisional ballot” or “federal provisional absentee ballot” means ballots which have been authorized by the Secretary of State or the county clerk to be used by federal provisional voters in any federal primary or election.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1982, ch. 360, § 1, effective July 15, 1982; 1990, ch. 48, § 32, effective July 13, 1990; 2020 ch. 89, § 23, effective July 15, 2020.

117.377. Acquisition or abandonment of voting system subject to approval of State Board of Elections — Petition in emergency situation.

  1. The  fiscal court of any county, or any urban-county government, may acquire by  purchase or lease or lease-purchase agreement or abandon any voting system  covered by this chapter, if the equipment has been approved by the State Board  of Elections. The fiscal court shall notify the State Board of Elections that  a new voting system is being installed in the county.
  2. The  county clerk of any county may petition the State Board of Elections to allow  a new voting system in the county if an emergency exists. The petition must  state the reasons why the present equipment is inadequate. Within sixty (60)  days of the receipt of the petition the State Board of Elections shall notify  the county clerk whether the permission to obtain a new voting system is granted  or denied. The letter of approval shall be presented to the fiscal court for  its approval before any new voting system is acquired.

History. Enact. Acts 1982, ch. 360, § 2, effective July 15, 1982; 1990, ch. 48, § 33, effective July 13, 1990.

117.379. Examination of electronic voting system by State Board of Elections.

  1. Any  person or corporation owning, manufacturing or selling any electronic voting  system, may request the State Board of Elections to examine the system. Before  requesting an examination or reexamination, any person, persons, or corporation  shall pay to the State Treasurer an examination fee of five hundred dollars  ($500) and submit a test report from an independent testing authority approved  by the State Board of Elections. The report shall demonstrate that the system  meets all Federal Election Commission voting system standards. The State Board  of Elections may, at any time, reexamine any system already approved. The  State Board of Elections shall approve or disapprove any voting system within  sixty (60) days after the date of its initial submission.
  2. Upon  receipt of a request for examination or reexamination of an electronic voting  system, the State Board of Elections shall require that such system be examined  or reexamined by three (3) examiners. The State Board of Elections shall appoint  one (1) examiner who is an expert in computer science or electronic voting  systems, one (1) person who is knowledgeable in election procedures and law  in Kentucky, and one (1) person who is a present or former county clerk. The  three (3) examiners shall submit one (1) written report on each system examined  or reexamined to the State Board of Elections. The members of the State Board  of Elections shall also examine or reexamine the system. A system shall be  approved if the examiners’ report states that the system meets all the requirements  of KRS 117.381 and the State Board of Elections finds that the system meets  all of the requirements of KRS 117.381 . The report and a letter of approval  shall be filed in the office of the State Board of Elections.
  3. Any  electronic voting system not approved by the State Board of Elections shall  not be used at any election.
  4. When  an electronic voting system has been approved any improvement or changes in  the system shall render necessary the examination or approval of such system  or improvement.
  5. Neither  the members of the State Board of Elections, nor any examiner appointed by  the State Board of Elections, nor any member of a county board of elections  shall have any pecuniary interest in any electronic voting system.
  6. Each  examiner appointed by the State Board of Elections shall receive fair compensation  to be established by the State Board of Elections.

History. Enact. Acts 1982, ch. 360, § 3, effective July 15, 1982; 1996, ch. 195, § 11, effective July 15, 1996.

117.381. Requirements for approval.

No electronic voting system shall, upon any examination or reexamination, be approved by the State Board of Elections unless it shall be established that such system, at the time of examination or reexamination:

  1. Provides for voting in secrecy;
  2. Permits each voter to vote at any election for all candidates and questions for which he is lawfully entitled to vote, and no others;
  3. Permits each voter, at the general election to vote a straight political party ticket by one (1) or more marks or acts;
  4. Provides a method for write-in voting;
  5. Provides for a nonpartisan ballot;
  6. If it is of a type that registers the vote electronically, the voting system shall preclude each voter from voting for more persons for any office than he is entitled to vote for or upon any question more than once;
  7. Permits each voter at a primary election to vote only for the candidates seeking nomination by a political party in which such voter is registered, and for any candidate for nonpartisan nomination, and for any question upon which he is entitled to vote;
  8. If it is of a type that registers the vote electronically, the voting system shall permit each voter to change his vote for any candidate or upon any question appearing on the official ballot up to the time that he takes the final step to register his vote and to have his vote computed. If it is of a type that uses paper ballots or ballot cards to register the vote and automatic tabulating equipment to compute such votes, the system shall provide that a voter who spoils his ballot may obtain another ballot;
  9. Is suitably designed for the purpose used, is constructed of a durable material, and is safely transportable;
  10. Is so constructed that a voter may readily learn the method of operating it; and
  11. Meets or exceeds the standards for electronic voting equipment established by the Federal Election Commission; and
  12. Provides for tabulating votes at the precinct in accordance with the requirements of KRS 117.275 .

History. Enact. Acts 1982, ch. 360, § 4, effective July 15, 1982; 1992, ch. 421, § 2, effective July 14, 1992; 1996, ch. 195, § 12, effective July 15, 1996.

117.383. Rules and regulations. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

The State Board of Elections shall prescribe rules and regulations which shall include but not be limited to the following:

  1. Achieve  and maintain the maximum degree of correctness, impartiality, and efficiency  of the procedures of voting;
  2. Count,  tabulate, and record votes;
  3. Establish  a method for placing items on the electronic voting device, which shall, as  closely as possible, follow the requirements pertaining to ballot labels;
  4. Design  the ballot cards, including a numerical system to insure an accurate record  of all voting activities;
  5. Instruct  voters in the use of the voting device;
  6. Provide  for checking the accuracy of the equipment;
  7. Provide  necessary supplies, including those necessary for a write-in vote and secrecy  envelopes for punch cards or data processing cards to insure voter privacy;
  8. As  part of the official canvass, provide for a manual recount of randomly selected  precincts representing three percent (3%) to five percent (5%) of the total  ballots cast in each election;
  9. Provide  a method for maintaining sufficient documents and records so that votes can  be recounted. Such documents and records shall include any material other  than a ballot card which is imprinted with the names of candidates and issues  voted upon. Records shall be maintained in such a manner that a specific piece  of printed material listing issues and candidates can be matched with the  specific ballot cards which were marked in reliance upon such printed material.  Except as otherwise required in this chapter that certain records and papers  relating to specified elections be retained for twenty-two (22) months, such  documents and records shall be maintained for thirty (30) days following an  election.

History. Enact. Acts 1982, ch. 360, § 5, effective July 15, 1982; 1984, ch. 44, § 5, effective March 2, 1984; 1986, ch. 470, § 19, effective July 15, 1986.

117.383. Rules and regulations — Federal provisional voting to be conducted in compliance with KRS Chapters 116 to 120, unless contrary to federal law. [Effective July 15, 2020]

The State Board of Elections shall prescribe rules and promulgate administrative regulations under KRS Chapter 13A which shall include but not be limited to the following:

  1. Achieve and maintain the maximum degree of correctness, impartiality, and efficiency of the procedures of voting;
  2. Count, tabulate, and record votes;
  3. Establish a method for placing items on the electronic voting device, which shall, as closely as possible, follow the requirements pertaining to ballot labels;
  4. Design the ballot cards and federal provisional ballot cards, including a numerical system to ensure an accurate record of all voting activities;
  5. Instruct voters in the use of the voting device;
  6. Provide for checking the accuracy of the equipment;
  7. Provide necessary supplies, including those necessary for a write-in vote and secrecy envelopes for punch cards or data processing cards to insure voter privacy;
  8. As part of the official canvass, provide for a manual recount of randomly selected precincts representing three percent (3%) to five percent (5%) of the total ballots cast in each election;
  9. Provide a method for maintaining sufficient documents and records so that votes can be recounted. Such documents and records shall include any material other than a ballot card which is imprinted with the names of candidates and issues voted upon. Records shall be maintained in such a manner that a specific piece of printed material listing issues and candidates can be matched with the specific ballot cards which were marked in reliance upon such printed material. Except as otherwise required in this chapter that certain records and papers relating to specified elections be retained for twenty-two (22) months, such documents and records shall be maintained for thirty (30) days following an election; and
  10. Unless contrary to the Help America Vote Act of 2002, ensure that all federal provisional voting shall be conducted in a manner as prescribed by KRS Chapters 116 to 120.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1982, ch. 360, § 5, effective July 15, 1982; 1984, ch. 44, § 5, effective March 2, 1984; 1986, ch. 470, § 19, effective July 15, 1986; 2020 ch. 89, § 24, effective July 15, 2020.

117.385. Spoiled or defaced ballot card — Disposition of ballot card after voting. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

  1. A  voter who spoils or defaces a ballot card or marks it erroneously shall return  the card to the election officials. The election officials shall deliver to  the voter another ballot card, but no voter may receive more than three (3)  ballot cards including the one originally delivered to the voter. Upon return  of a defective ballot card, an election official shall cancel it by writing  in ink on the back the word “spoiled.” The canceled ballot card  shall be placed with spoiled ballots to be returned with the election returns.
  2. After  marking the ballot card, the voter shall place it inside the secrecy envelope  and return it to an election official, who shall deposit the ballot in the  ballot box. When precinct ballot counters are used the voter may either insert  his ballot contained in the secrecy envelope provided and deposit the emptied  ballot container envelope with the election official presiding over the ballot  counter or deposit the ballot in the ballot box for processing by precinct  election officials after the polls close.

History. Enact. Acts 1982, ch. 360, § 6, effective July 15, 1982.

117.385. Spoiled or defaced ballot card — Exception for federal provisional ballot — Disposition of ballot card after voting. [Effective July 15, 2020]

  1. A voter who spoils or defaces a ballot card or marks it erroneously shall return the card to an election officer.The election officer shall deliver to the voter another ballot card, but no voter may receive more than three (3) ballot cards including the one originally delivered to the voter. Upon return of a defective ballot card, an election officer shall cancel it by writing in ink on the back the word “spoiled.” The canceled ballot card shall be placed with spoiled ballots to be returned with the election returns.
    1. After marking the ballot card, the voter shall place it inside the secrecy envelope and return it to an election officer, who shall deposit the ballot in the appropriate ballot box. (2) (a) After marking the ballot card, the voter shall place it inside the secrecy envelope and return it to an election officer, who shall deposit the ballot in the appropriate ballot box.
    2. When precinct ballot counters are used, the voter, unless voting a federal provisional ballot, may either:
      1. Insert his or her ballot contained in the secrecy envelope provided and deposit the emptied ballot container envelope with the election officer presiding over the ballot counter; or
      2. Deposit the ballot in the ballot box; for processing by a precinct election officer after the polls close.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1982, ch. 360, § 6, effective July 15, 1982; 2020 ch. 89, § 25, effective July 15, 2020.

117.387. Absentee voting by electronic system.

  1. In  any county in which the fiscal court has adopted voting by means of an electronic  voting system, the county board of elections may elect to also conduct absentee  voting by the use of such a system.
  2. When  a ballot card is used for voting by mail it shall be accompanied by a stylus,  voter instructions, and a specimen ballot showing the proper positions to  vote on the ballot card for each candidate or question. The card shall be  mounted on material suitable to receive the punched out chip.

History. Enact. Acts 1982, ch. 360, § 7, effective July 15, 1982.

117.389. Testing of automatic tabulating equipment prior to election.

On any day not more than thirty (30) nor less than five (5) days prior to the election day, the county clerk shall have the automatic tabulating equipment tested in the manner prescribed by the State Board of Elections.

History. Enact. Acts 1982, ch. 360, § 8, effective July 15, 1982; 1992, ch. 421, § 3, effective July 14, 1992.

117.391. Application.

The provisions of all laws relating to elections not inconsistent with Acts 1982, Ch. 360 apply to elections in all counties in which electronic or electromechanical tabulation of ballots are used.

History. Enact. Acts 1982, ch. 360, § 9, effective July 15, 1982.

117.393. Biennial report on status of voting equipment and systems.

Beginning January 1, 1984, the State Board of Elections shall submit a biennial report to the Legislature concerning the status of various voting equipment and voting systems that are in use or are approved for use in this state. This report shall also contain any recommendations by the Secretary of State as to election law modifications relating to the acquisition and use of voting equipment and voting systems.

History. Enact. Acts 1982, ch. 360, § 10, effective July 15, 1982.

Acquisition of Voting Machines

117.405 to 117.525. Voting machines — Acquisition and financing. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

The following sections were repealed by Acts 1984, ch. 185, § 34, effective July 13, 1984:

117.405 Definitions. (Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 49, effective June 21, 1974.)

117.415 Powers and duties of commission as to voting machines. (Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 50, effective June 21, 1974.)

117.425 Financing of voting machine projects. (Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 51, effective June 21, 1974.)

117.435 Procedures for acquiring machines. (Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 52, effective June 21, 1974.)

117.445 Negotiable and tax-free character of bonds — Source of payment. (Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 53, effective June 21, 1974.)

117.455 Ways in which money received may be used. (Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 54, effective June 21, 1974.)

117.465 Sinking fund reserve. (Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 55, effective June 21, 1974.)

117.475 Separate bond issue — Procedure for two or more counties. (Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 56, effective June 21, 1974.)

117.485 Action after termination of lease. (Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 57, effective June 21, 1974.)

117.495 One or more separate bond issues for same county. (Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 58, effective June 21, 1974.)

117.505 Bondholder’s right to proceed. (Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 59, effective June 21, 1974.)

117.515 Refunding Bonds. (Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 60, effective June 21, 1974.)

117.525 Additional and alternate character of provisions as to acquisition of voting machines. (Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 61, effective June 21, 1974.)

Definitions For KRS 117.605 to 117.895

117.600. Definitions. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (Acts 1952, ch. 134, §§ 15, 32) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69.

Qualification

117.605, 117.610. Qualification of voters — Registration — Residence requirement. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

The following sections were repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69. For present law, see KRS 116.025 , 116.035 .

117.605 Qualification of voters in regular and special elections — Registration required. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 1; 1972, ch. 320, § 1; 1972 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 5, § 1.)

117.610 Residence requirement — How determined. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 2.)

Registration Generally

117.615, 117.620. Persons permitted to register — Registration procedure. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

The following sections were repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69. For present law, see KRS 116.045 .

117.615 Persons permitted to register. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 3, effective June 19, 1952; 1964, ch. 142, § 1, effective June 18, 1964; 1972, ch. 320, § 2, effective June 16, 1972; 1972 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 5, § 2, effective June 27, 1972.)

117.620 Time and place of registration — When books to be closed — Changing party affiliation without appearing in person. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 4, effective June 19, 1952; 1964, ch. 142, § 2, effective June 18, 1964; 1972, ch. 320, § 3, effective June 16, 1972; 1972 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 5, § 3, effective June 27, 1972.)

Registration Outside Cities of First Class

117.625 to 117.670. Registration procedures — Transfer — Duties of clerk. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

The sections listed below were repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69, effective December 1, 1972 except where otherwise noted.

117.625 Registrant to appear in person — Challenge. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 5, effective June 19, 1952.)

117.630 Forms for registration. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 6, effective June 19, 1952; 1954, ch. 218, § 2, effective June 17, 1954.)

117.635 Forms to be made out and signed — Preservation — Lists of voters. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 7, effective June 19, 1952.)

117.640 Replacement of lost or destroyed forms — Re-registration. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 8, effective June 19, 1952; 1970, ch. 208, § 2, effective June 18, 1970.)

117.645 Transferring registration. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 9, effective June 19, 1952.)

117.650 Register and list of voters to be delivered to election clerk. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 10, effective June 19, 1952.)

117.655 Application of KRS 117.745 to counties — Clerk to mark registration record — Officers my refuse to issue ballot. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 11, effective June 19, 1952.)

117.660 Right to inspect and obtain copies of registration books. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 12, effective June 19, 1952.)

117.665 Fees allowed county clerk. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 13, effective June 19, 1952), effective until the 1973 regular election.

117.670 Powers and liabilities of deputy county clerk. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 14, effective June 19, 1952.)

For present law, see KRS ch. 116.

Registration in Cities of First Class

117.675 to 117.750. Board of registration commissioners — Registration procedure. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

The sections listed below were repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69, effective December 1, 1972 except where otherwise noted.

117.675 Board of registration commissioners — Powers — Qualifications — Compensation. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 16, effective June 19, 1952.)

117.680 Appointment of board members — Term. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 17, effective June 19, 1952.)

117.685 Removals — Vacancies — Incompatible offices. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 18, effective June 19, 1952.)

117.690 Bond of board members. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 19, effective June 19, 1952.)

117.695 Registrar and assistant, appointment, duties, salary — Employes. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 20, effective June 19, 1952.)

117.700 Oath may be administered by board and employes. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 21, effective June 19, 1952.)

117.705 Appropriations for support of board — Business records — Fiscal year. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 22; 1954, ch. 165.)

117.710 Supplies — Purchase of — Officers not to be interested in contracts — No future charge to be created. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 23, effective June 19, 1952.)

117.715 Offices of board — Office hours — Registration supplies. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 24, effective June 19, 1952.)

117.720 Method of registration. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 25, effective June 19, 1952.)

117.725 Copies of registration records — Preservation and disposition — Loss or destruction. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 26, effective June 19, 1952; 1966, ch. 255, § 119, effective June 16, 1966.)

117.730 Transfer of registration on change of precinct boundaries. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 27, effective June 19, 1952.)

117.735 New registration required when name changed — Transfer of registration on change of residence — Utility companies to report change of address of customers. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 28; 1970, ch. 208, § 1.)

117.740 Precinct registers to be delivered to election clerks. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 29, effective June 19, 1952.)

117.745 Comparative signature books — Comparison of voter’s signature with registration record — Voting record. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 30), effective until the 1973 regular election.

117.750 Right to inspect and obtain copies of registration records. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 31, effective June 19, 1952.)

For present law, see KRS Ch. 116 and KRS 117.035 .

Purgation

117.755. State board of elections — Membership, oath. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 33) was repealed by Acts 1966, ch. 255, § 283. For present law see KRS 117.015 , 117.025 .

117.760 to 117.810. Purgation — State and county boards — Duties. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

The sections listed below were repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69:

117.760 General duties of state board. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 34, effective June 19, 1952.)

117.761 Printing of forms by state board. (Enact. Acts 1954, ch. 218, § 1, effective June 19, 1952.)

117.765 Compensation of members of state board — Supplies. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 35; 1968, ch. 152, § 91.)

117.770 Clerk of state board — Filling and disposing of complaints. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 36, effective June 19, 1952.)

117.775 Suits against state board — Appeals from its decisions. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 37, effective June 19, 1952.)

117.780 County boards of registration and purgation — Appointment — Qualifications — Removals — Vacancies — Proceeding to compel appointment ofcounty board. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 38, effective June 19, 1952.)

117.785 Certificate of appointment of county board members — Officers. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 39, effective June 19, 1952.)

117.790 General duties of county boards. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 40, effective June 19, 1952.)

117.795 Compensation of county boards — Time and place of meetings. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 41, effective June 19, 1952; 1956 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 5, § 3, effective March 12, 1956; 1964, ch. 42, § 1, effective June 18, 1964; 1966, ch. 151, § 1, effective June 16, 1966; 1968, ch. 152, § 92, effective June 13, 1968.)

117.800 Sessions of boards on election days — Appeals on election day. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 42, effective June 19, 1952; 1964, ch. 42, § 2, effective June 18, 1964.)

117.803 Report of number of voters and precincts by board to secretary ofstate — Compensation — County clerk’s duties. (Enact. Acts 1966, ch. 80, §§ 1, 2, effective June 16, 1966.)

117.805 Employes, supplies, payment. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 43, effective June 19, 1952.)

117.810 Purgation by county boards. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 44, effective June 19, 1952; 1960, ch. 59, § 1, effective June 16, 1960; 1966, ch. 239, § 125, effective June 16, 1966.)

For present law, see KRS 116.112 , 116.135 to 116.155 , 117.015 to 117.035 .

117.812. Notice to voters before primary for statewide officers of necessity of transferring registration record upon moving to another precinct. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (Enact. Acts 1960, ch. 185, §§ 1 to 3, effective June 16, 1960) was repealed by Acts 1964, ch. 47, § 1.

117.815 to 117.885. Purgation in cities of first class and outside cities of first class — Procedures — Records — Investigations — Fees. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

The sections listed below were repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69:

117.815 Purgation by board of registration commissioners in cities of first class on grounds of death, disqualification, marriage or failure to vote. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 45.)

117.820 Purgation for primary election in cities of first class by house-to-house canvass. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 46.)

117.825 Purgation for regular election in cities of the first class by house-to-house canvass. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 47.)

117.830 Purgation for primary or regular election in cities of the first class on application of citizen or party committee. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 48.)

117.835 Precinct purgation outside cities of first class. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 49.)

117.840 Purgation recommendation by precinct judges at primary election, outside cities of first class. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 50.)

117.845 Assistants to precinct judges in purgation. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 51.)

117.850 Purgation by county board, outside cities of first class — Notice and hearing. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 52.)

117.855 Written notices. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 53.)

117.860 No purging to be done later than twenty days before election. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 54.)

117.865 Appeals from decisions of purgation officers or boards. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 55.)

117.870 Suspended lists. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 56.)

117.875 Record of canceled registrations. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 57.)

117.880 Grand jury investigation. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 58.)

117.885 Fees of county clerk in connection with purgation. (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 59.)

For present law, see KRS 116.112 and 116.135 to 116.155 .

117.890. Old boards continued until successors appointed. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 60) was repealed by Acts 1966, ch. 255, § 283.

117.895. Validity of registration under prior law. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 61) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69.

Promotion of Voting

117.900. Election essay and slogan contests — Private sponsorship.

  1. The Secretary of State shall implement an annual statewide essay contest for students in grades nine (9) through twelve (12) and an annual statewide slogan contest, each to be relative to an elections-related topic to be chosen by the Secretary of State each year. The Secretary of State shall publicize the contests, present awards or certificates to the essay winner in each grade level and to the slogan contest winner in a public ceremony, and provide appropriate publicity for the winning entries.
  2. The Secretary of State shall solicit sponsorship for the essay and slogan contests so that, in addition to awards or certificates, winners shall receive a monetary award, as funds are available from sponsors.

History. Enact. Acts 1988, ch. 42, § 1, effective July 15, 1988; 2005, ch. 71, § 6, effective June 20, 2005.

Penalties

117.990. Penalties. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (Enact. Acts 1952, ch. 134, § 62) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69. For present law, see KRS 116.995 .

117.995. Penalties. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

  1. Any person appointed to serve as an election officer but who shall knowingly and willfully fail to serve and who is not excused by the county board of elections for the reasons specified in this chapter shall be guilty of a violation and shall be ineligible to serve as an election officer for a period of five (5) years.
  2. Any county clerk or member of the county board of elections who knowingly and willfully violates any of the provisions of this chapter, including furnishing applications for absentee ballots to persons other than those specified by the provisions of this chapter and failure to type the name of the voter on the application form as required by the provisions of this chapter, shall be guilty of a Class D felony.
  3. Any officer who willfully fails to prepare or furnish ballot labels or absentee ballots or fails to allow a qualified voter to cast his or her vote on the machine as required of the voter by this chapter shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
  4. Any election officer who knowingly and willfully violates any of the provisions of this chapter, including failure to enforce the prohibition against electioneering established by KRS 117.235 , shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class D felony for each subsequent offense.
  5. Any person who signs a name other than his or her own on an application for an absentee ballot or on the verification form for the ballot or on an emergency absentee ballot affidavit, or any person who votes an absentee ballot other than the one issued in his or her name, or any person who applies for the ballot for the use of anyone other than himself or herself or the person designated by the provisions of this chapter, or any person who makes a false statement on an application for an absentee ballot or on an emergency absentee ballot affidavit shall be guilty of a Class D felony.
  6. Any person who violates any provision of KRS 117.235 or 117.236 related to prohibited activities during absentee voting or on election day, after he or she has been duly notified of the provisions by any precinct election officer, county clerk, deputy county clerk, or other law enforcement official, shall, for each offense, be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
  7. Any person who knowingly and willfully prepares or assists in the preparation of an inaccurate or incomplete voter assistance form or fails to complete a voter assistance form when required shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class D felony for each subsequent offense; however, if a voter has been permanently certified as requiring voting assistance, there shall be no offense for the failure of the voter to complete the form.
  8. The members of a county board of elections that fails to provide the training to precinct election officers required by KRS 117.187(2) shall be subject to removal by the State Board of Elections.
  9. Any local or state election official, including the Secretary of State, employees of the Secretary, and members of the State Board of Elections and their staff, who knowingly and willfully uses the voter registration roster in violation of KRS 117.025(3)(a), shall, for each offense, be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 62; 1978, ch. 71, § 4, effective June 17, 1978; 1978, ch. 224, § 2, effective June 17, 1978; 1986, ch. 287, § 11, effective July 15, 1986; 1988, ch. 341, § 34, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 48, § 34, effective July 13, 1990; 1990, ch. 476, Pt. V, § 303, effective July 13, 1990; 1992, ch. 65, § 4, effective March 19, 1992; 1994, ch. 394, § 19, effective July 15, 1994; 2008, ch. 79, § 7, effective July 15, 2008; 2019 ch. 23, § 4, effective March 19, 2019.

Legislative Research Commission Note.

(7/13/90). The Act amending this section prevails over the repeal and reenactment in House Bill 940, Acts ch. 476, pursuant to Section 653(1) of Acts ch. 476.

Opinions of Attorney General.

The penalty provision of subsection (1) of this section authorizing a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000, or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or both, constitutes a misdemeanor, both as to the fine and jail sentence. OAG 79-519 .

117.995. Penalties. [Effective July 15, 2020]

  1. Any person appointed to serve as an election officer but who shall knowingly and willfully fail to serve and who is not excused by the county board of elections for the reasons specified in this chapter shall be guilty of a violation and shall be ineligible to serve as an election officer for a period of five (5) years.
  2. Any county clerk or member of the county board of elections who knowingly and willfully violates any of the provisions of this chapter, including furnishing applications for absentee ballots and federal provisional absentee ballots to persons other than those specified by the provisions of this chapter and failure to type the name of the voter on the application form as required by the provisions of this chapter, shall be guilty of a Class D felony.
  3. Any officer who willfully fails to prepare or furnish ballot labels, federal provisional ballots, federal provisional absentee ballots, or absentee ballots or fails to allow a qualified voter to cast his or her vote on the machine as required of the voter by this chapter shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
  4. Any election officer who knowingly and willfully violates any of the provisions of this chapter, including failure to enforce the prohibition against electioneering established by KRS 117.235 , shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class D felony for each subsequent offense.
  5. Any person who signs a name other than his or her own on an application for an absentee ballot, the verification form for the ballot, an emergency absentee ballot affidavit, a voter or election official affirmation, or any person who votes an absentee ballot other than the one issued in his or her name, or any person who applies for the ballot for the use of anyone other than himself or herself or the person designated by the provisions of this chapter, or any person who makes a false statement on an application for an absentee ballot or on an emergency absentee ballot affidavit shall be guilty of a Class D felony.
  6. Any person who violates any provision of KRS 117.235 or 117.236 related to prohibited activities during absentee voting or on election day, after he or she has been duly notified of the provisions by any precinct election officer, county clerk, deputy county clerk, or other law enforcement official, shall, for each offense, be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
  7. Any person who knowingly and willfully prepares or assists in the preparation of an inaccurate or incomplete voter assistance form or fails to complete a voter assistance form when required shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class D felony for each subsequent offense; however, if a voter has been permanently certified as requiring voting assistance, there shall be no offense for the failure of the voter to complete the form.
  8. The members of a county board of elections who fail to provide the training to precinct election officers required by KRS 117.187(2) shall be subject to removal by the State Board of Elections.
  9. Any local or state election official, including the Secretary of State, employees of the Secretary, and members of the State Board of Elections and their staff, who knowingly and willfully uses the voter registration roster in violation of KRS 117.025(3)(a) shall, for each offense, be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 62; 1978, ch. 71, § 4, effective June 17, 1978; 1978, ch. 224, § 2, effective June 17, 1978; 1986, ch. 287, § 11, effective July 15, 1986; 1988, ch. 341, § 34, effective July 15, 1988; 1990, ch. 48, § 34, effective July 13, 1990; 1990, ch. 476, Pt. V, § 303, effective July 13, 1990; 1992, ch. 65, § 4, effective March 19, 1992; 1994, ch. 394, § 19, effective July 15, 1994; 2008, ch. 79, § 7, effective July 15, 2008; 2019 ch. 23, § 4, effective March 19, 2019; 2020 ch. 89, § 26, effective July 15, 2020.

CHAPTER 117A Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act

117A.005. Short title.

This chapter may be cited as the Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act.

History. Enact. Acts 2013, ch. 131, § 1, effective July 1, 2014.

117A.010. Definitions for chapter.

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

  1. “Covered voter” means:
    1. A uniformed-service voter or an overseas voter who is registered to vote in the Commonwealth of Kentucky;
    2. A uniformed-service voter defined in subsection (9)(a) of this section whose voting residence is in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and who otherwise satisfies the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s voter eligibility requirements;
    3. An overseas voter who, before leaving the United States, was last eligible to vote in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and, except for his or her absence from the state, otherwise satisfies the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s voter eligibility requirements;
    4. An overseas voter who, before leaving the United States, would have been last eligible to vote in the Commonwealth of Kentucky had the voter then been of voting age and, except for his or her absence from the state, otherwise satisfies the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s voter eligibility requirements; or
    5. An overseas voter who was born outside the United States, is not described in paragraph (c) or (d) of this subsection, and, except for his or her absence from the state, otherwise satisfies the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s voter eligibility requirements, if:
      1. The last place where a parent or legal guardian of the voter was, or under this chapter would have been, eligible to vote before leaving the United States is within the Commonwealth of Kentucky; and
      2. The voter has not previously registered to vote in any other state;
  2. “Dependent” means an individual recognized as a dependent by a uniformed service;
  3. “Federal postcard application” means the application prescribed under the Registration and Voting by Absent Uniformed Services Voters and Overseas Voters in Elections for Federal Office Act, 52 U.S.C. secs. 20301 to 20311;
  4. “Federal write-in absentee ballot” means the ballot described in the Registration and Voting by Absent Uniformed Services Voters and Overseas Voters in Elections for Federal Office Act, 52 U.S.C. secs. 20301 to 20311;
  5. “Military-overseas ballot” means:
    1. A federal write-in absentee ballot;
    2. A ballot specifically prepared or distributed for use by a covered voter in accordance with this chapter; or
    3. A ballot cast by a covered voter in accordance with this chapter;
  6. “Overseas voter” means a United States citizen who is outside the United States;
  7. “State” means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States;
  8. “Uniformed service” means:
    1. Active and reserve components of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard of the United States;
    2. The Merchant Marine, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, or the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States; or
    3. The National Guard and state militia;
  9. “Uniformed-service voter” means an individual who is qualified to vote and is:
    1. A member of the active or reserve components of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard of the United States who is on active duty;
    2. A member of the Merchant Marine, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, or the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States;
    3. A member on activated status of the National Guard or state militia; or
    4. A spouse or dependent of a member referred to in this subsection; and
  10. “United States,” used in the territorial sense, means the several states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, and any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

History. Enact. Acts 2013, ch. 131, § 2, effective July 1, 2014; 2019 ch. 23, § 5, effective March 19, 2019.

117A.020. Elections to which voting procedures apply.

The voting procedures in this chapter apply to:

  1. A primary, regular, or special election for federal office;
  2. A primary, regular, or special election for statewide or state legislative office or concerning a state ballot measure; and
  3. A primary, regular, or special election for county or local government office, judicial office, Commonwealth’s attorney, property valuation administrator, school board members, and circuit clerk or concerning a local ballot measure for which in-person or mail-in absentee voting is available for other qualified voters.

History. Enact. Acts 2013, ch. 131, § 3, effective July 1, 2014.

117A.030. Powers and duties of State Board of Elections.

  1. The State Board of Elections is responsible for implementing this chapter and the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s responsibilities under the Registration and Voting by Absent Uniformed Services Voters and Overseas Voters in Elections for Federal Office Act, 52 U.S.C. secs. 20301 to 20311.
  2. The State Board of Elections shall have the authority to promulgate administrative regulations necessary to implement this chapter.
  3. The State Board of Elections shall make available to covered voters information regarding voter registration procedures for covered voters and procedures for casting military-overseas ballots.
  4. The State Board of Elections shall establish an electronic transmission system through which a covered voter may apply for and receive voter registration materials, military-overseas ballots, and other information authorized under this chapter.
  5. The State Board of Elections shall:
    1. Develop standardized absentee-voting materials, including privacy and ransmission envelopes and their electronic equivalents, authentication materials, and voting instructions, to be used with the military-overseas ballot of a voter authorized to vote in any jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Kentucky; and
    2. To the extent reasonably possible, coordinate with other states to carry out this section.
  6. The State Board of Elections shall prescribe the form and content of a declaration for use by a covered voter to swear or affirm specific representations pertaining to the voter’s identity, eligibility to vote, status as a covered voter, and timely and proper completion of a military-overseas ballot. The declaration shall be based on the declaration prescribed to accompany a federal write-in absentee ballot, as modified to be consistent with this chapter. The State Board of Elections shall ensure that a form for the execution of the declaration, including an indication of the date of execution of the declaration, is a prominent part of all balloting materials for which the declaration is required.

History. Enact. Acts 2013, ch. 131, § 4, effective July 1, 2014; 2019 ch. 23, § 6, effective March 19, 2019.

117A.040. Voting precinct and address of overseas voter — Administrative regulations.

  1. In registering to vote, an overseas voter who is eligible to vote in the Commonwealth of Kentucky shall use and shall be assigned to the voting precinct of the address of the last place of residence of the voter in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, or, in the case of a voter described by KRS 117A.010(1)(e), the address of the last place of residence in the Commonwealth of Kentucky of the parent or legal guardian of the voter. If that address is no longer a recognized residential address, the voter shall be assigned an address for voting purposes.
  2. The State Board of Elections shall promulgate administrative regulations covering the procedures for assigning an address for voting purposes for an overseas voter whose last place of residence is no longer a recognized residential address, provided that any regulations promulgated under this section shall specify that the overseas voter’s assigned address shall be located in the same voting precinct as the overseas voter’s last place of residence would have been located if the address were still a recognized residential address.

History. Enact. Acts 2013, ch. 131, § 5, effective July 1, 2014; 2019 ch. 23, § 7, effective March 19, 2019.

117A.050. Registration to vote — Postcard application or equivalent — Declaration accompanying federal ballot — Electronic transmission system.

  1. To apply to register to vote, in addition to any other approved method, a covered voter may use a federal postcard application, or the application’s electronic equivalent.
  2. A covered voter may use the declaration accompanying a federal write-in absentee ballot to apply to register to vote simultaneously with the submission of the federal write-in absentee ballot, if the declaration is received during the period registration is open under KRS 116.045 . If the declaration is received after the last day of registration under KRS 116.045 , it shall be treated as an application to register to vote for subsequent elections.
  3. The State Board of Elections shall ensure that the electronic transmission system described in KRS 117A.030(4) is capable of accepting both a federal postcard application and any other approved electronic registration application sent to the appropriate election official. The voter may use the electronic transmission system or any other approved method to register to vote.

History. Enact. Acts 2013, ch. 131, § 6, effective July 1, 2014; 2019 ch. 23, § 8, effective March 19, 2019.

117A.060. Application by covered voter — Declaration — Informing election official that voter is covered.

  1. A covered voter who is registered to vote in the Commonwealth of Kentucky may apply for a military-overseas ballot using either the regular absentee ballot application in use in the voter’s jurisdiction under KRS 117.085 , the federal postcard application, or the application’s electronic equivalent.
  2. A covered voter who is not registered to vote in the Commonwealth of Kentucky may use a federal postcard application, or the application’s electronic equivalent, to apply simultaneously to register to vote under KRS 117A.050 , and for a military-overseas ballot.
  3. The State Board of Elections shall ensure that the electronic transmission system described in KRS 117A.030(4) is capable of accepting the submission of both a federal postcard application and any other approved electronic military-overseas ballot application sent to the appropriate election official. The covered voter may use the electronic transmission system or any other approved method to apply for a military-overseas ballot.
  4. A covered voter may use the declaration accompanying a federal write-in absentee ballot as an application for a military-overseas ballot simultaneously with the submission of the federal write-in absentee ballot, if the declaration is received by the appropriate election official by the close of business hours seven (7) days before the election.
  5. To receive the benefits of this chapter, a covered voter shall inform the appropriate election official that the voter is a covered voter. Methods of informing the appropriate election official that a voter is a covered voter include:
    1. The use of a federal postcard application or federal write-in absentee ballot; and
    2. The use of the electronic transmission system established under KRS 117A.030(4).
  6. This chapter does not preclude a covered voter from voting using the regular absentee ballot provisions under KRS 117.077 , 117.085 , and 117.086 .

History. Enact. Acts 2013, ch. 131, § 7, effective July 1, 2014; 2019 ch. 23, § 9, effective March 19, 2019; 2019 ch. 112, § 6, effective June 27, 2019.

Legislative Research Commission Note.

(6/27/2019). This statute was amended by 2019 Ky. Acts chs. 23 and 112, which do not appear to be in conflict and have been codified together.

117A.070. Application for military-overseas ballot.

An application for a military-overseas ballot is timely if received by the close of business hours seven (7) days before the election. An application for a military-overseas ballot for a primary, whether or not timely, is effective as an application for a military-overseas ballot for the regular election.

History. Enact. Acts 2013, ch. 131, § 8, effective July 1, 2014; 2019 ch. 112, § 7, effective June 27, 2019.

Legislative Research Commission Note.

(6/27/2019). This statute was inadvertently included in 2019 Ky. Acts ch. 112, as sec.7, but was not amended.

117A.080. Transmission of ballot and balloting materials to covered voters — Electronic transmission.

  1. For an election described in KRS 117A.020 , not later than forty-five (45) days before the election or, if the forty-fifth day before the election is a weekend or holiday, not later than the business day preceding the forty-fifth day, the election official in each jurisdiction charged with distributing a ballot and balloting materials shall transmit a ballot and balloting materials to all covered voters who by that date submit a valid military-overseas ballot application.
  2. A covered voter who requests that a ballot and balloting materials be sent to the voter by electronic transmission may choose facsimile transmission or the electronic transmission system established under KRS 117A.030(4). The election official in each jurisdiction charged with distributing a ballot and balloting materials shall transmit the ballot and balloting materials to the voter using the means of transmission chosen by the voter.
  3. If a ballot application from a covered voter arrives fewer than forty-five (45) days before the election, the official charged with distributing a ballot and balloting materials shall transmit them to the voter not later than three (3) business days after the application arrives.

History. Enact. Acts 2013, ch. 131, § 9, effective July 1, 2014.

117A.090. Deadline for valid military-overseas ballot.

To be valid, a military-overseas ballot shall be received by the appropriate local election official not later than the time established by the election laws generally for the closing of the polls, which time shall not include the extra hour during which those voters may vote who were waiting in line to vote at the scheduled poll closing time.

History. Enact. Acts 2013, ch. 131, § 10, effective July 1, 2014.

117A.100. Use of federal write-in absentee ballot.

A covered voter may use a federal write-in absentee ballot to vote for all offices and ballot measures in an election described in KRS 117A.020 .

History. Enact. Acts 2013, ch. 131, § 11, effective July 1, 2014.

117A.110. Counting of valid military-overseas ballot.

A valid military-overseas ballot cast in accordance with KRS 117A.090 shall be counted if it is received by the appropriate local election official not later than the time established by the election laws generally for the closing of the polls, which time shall not include the extra hour during which those voters may vote who were waiting in line to vote at the scheduled poll closing time, and the ballot may not be rejected on the basis that it has a late postmark, an unreadable postmark, or no postmark.

History. Enact. Acts 2013, ch. 131, § 12, effective July 1, 2014.

117A.120. Declaration concerning material misstatement of fact.

A military-overseas ballot shall include or be accompanied by a declaration signed by the voter that a material misstatement of fact in completing the ballot may be grounds for a conviction of perjury under the laws of the United States or the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

History. Enact. Acts 2013, ch. 131, § 13, effective July 1, 2014.

117A.130. Electronic information about receipt of application and ballot.

The State Board of Elections, in coordination with local election officials, shall implement an electronic free-access system by which a covered voter may determine by telephone, electronic mail, or Internet whether:

  1. The voter’s federal postcard application or other registration or military-overseas ballot application has been received and accepted; and
  2. The voter’s military-overseas ballot has been received.

History. Enact. Acts 2013, ch. 131, § 14, effective July 1, 2014; 2019 ch. 23, § 10, effective March 19, 2019.

117A.140. Electronic mail address — Standing request for electronic delivery.

  1. The local election official shall request an electronic mail address from each covered voter who applies to register to vote after July 1, 2014. An electronic mail address provided by any voter may not be made available to the public or any individual or organization other than an authorized agent of the local election official and is exempt from disclosure under the Kentucky Open Records Act, KRS 61.870 to 61.884 . The address may be used only for official communication with the voter about the voting process, including transmitting military-overseas ballots and election materials if the voter has requested electronic transmission, and verifying the voter’s mailing address and physical location. The request for an electronic mail address shall describe the purposes for which the electronic mail address may be used and include a statement that any other use or disclosure of the electronic mail address is prohibited.
  2. A covered voter who provides an electronic mail address may request that the voter’s application for a military-overseas ballot be considered a standing request for electronic delivery of a ballot for all elections held after the date of the application through the next regular election or December 31 of the year of the application, whichever is later, or another shorter period the voter specifies. An election official shall provide a military-overseas ballot to a voter who makes a standing request for each election to which the request is applicable. A covered voter who is entitled to receive a military-overseas ballot for a primary under this subsection is entitled to receive a military-overseas ballot for the regular election.

History. Enact. Acts 2013, ch. 131, § 15, effective July 1, 2014.

117A.150. Sample ballot.

  1. At least fifty (50) days before a regularly scheduled election and forty-five (45) days before an election not regularly scheduled, an official in each jurisdiction charged with printing and distributing ballots and balloting material shall make available a sample ballot that includes all of the ballot measures and federal, state, and local offices provided in KRS 117A.020 that will be on the ballot on the date of the election, and shall provide an electronic copy of the sample ballot to the Secretary of State and to the State Board of Elections.
  2. The State Board of Elections, Secretary of State, and any local election jurisdiction that maintains an Internet Web site shall make the sample ballot required under subsection (1) of this section available on their Web sites.
  3. A covered voter may request a copy of a sample ballot from the Secretary of State, the local election official, or the State Board of Elections, who shall send the sample ballot to the voter by facsimile, electronic mail, or regular mail, as the voter requests.

History. Enact. Acts 2013, ch. 131, § 16, effective July 1, 2014; 2019 ch. 23, § 11, effective March 19, 2019.

117A.160. Mistakes and omissions that do not invalidate documents or ballots — Notarization or authentication not required.

  1. If a voter’s mistake or omission in the completion of a document under this chapter does not prevent determining whether a covered voter is eligible to vote, the mistake or omission does not invalidate the document. Failure to satisfy a nonsubstantive requirement, such as using paper or envelopes of a specified size or weight, does not invalidate a document submitted under this chapter. In a write-in ballot authorized by this chapter or in a vote for a write-in candidate on a regular ballot, if the intention of the voter is discernible under the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s uniform definition of what constitutes a vote, an abbreviation, misspelling, or other minor variation in the form of the name of a candidate or a political party shall be accepted as a valid vote.
  2. Notarization is not required for the execution of a document under this chapter. An authentication, other than the declaration specified in KRS 117A.120 or the declaration on the federal postcard application and federal write-in absentee ballot, is not required for execution of a document under this chapter. The declaration and any information in the declaration may be compared with information on file to ascertain the validity of the document.

History. Enact. Acts 2013, ch. 131, § 17, effective July 1, 2014.

117A.170. Injunction and other equitable relief.

A court may issue an injunction or grant other equitable relief appropriate to ensure substantial compliance with, or enforce, this chapter on application by:

  1. A covered voter alleging a grievance under this chapter; or
  2. An election official in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

History. Enact. Acts 2013, ch. 131, § 18, effective July 1, 2014.

117A.180. Application and construction.

In applying and construing this uniform act, consideration shall be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among states that enact it.

History. Enact. Acts 2013, ch. 131, § 19, effective July 1, 2014.

117A.190. Chapter may modify or supersede federal act.

To the extent permitted by Section 102 of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, Pub. L. No. 106-229, 15 U.S.C. sec. 7002 , this chapter may modify or supersede provisions of that act.

History. Enact. Acts 2013, ch. 131, § 20, effective July 1, 2014.

CHAPTER 118 Conduct of Elections

118.010. “Election” defined — Application of chapter. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (1437) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69. For present law, see KRS 118.015 .

118.015. Definitions. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

  1. A  “political party” is an affiliation or organization of electors  representing a political policy and having a constituted authority for its  government and regulation, and whose candidate received at least twenty percent  (20%) of the total vote cast at the last preceding election at which presidential  electors were voted for;
  2. The  word “election” used in reference to a state, district, county,  or city election, includes the decisions of questions submitted to the qualified  voters as well as the choice of officers by them;
  3. A  “ballot” or “official ballot” means the voting machine  ballot label, ballot cards, paper ballots, an absentee ballot, or a supplemental  paper ballot which has been authorized for the use of the voters in any primary,  general, or special election by the Secretary of State or the county clerk;
  4. “Ballot  label” means the cards, papers, booklet, pages, or other material on  which appear the names of candidates and the questions to be voted on by means  of ballot cards or voting machines;
  5. “Ballot  card” means a tabulating card on which votes may be recorded by a voter  by use of a voting punch device or by marking with a pen or special marking  device;
  6. “Voting  machine” or “machine” shall include lever machines and,  as far as applicable, any electronic or electromechanical unit and supplies  utilized or relied upon by a voter in casting and recording his votes in an  election;
  7. The  word “resident” used in reference to a candidate in a state, district,  county, or city election shall mean actual resident, without regard to the  residence of the spouse of the candidate;
  8. “Political  organization” means a political group not constituting a political party  within the meaning of subsection (1) of this section but whose candidate received  two percent (2%) or more of the vote of the state at the last preceding election  for presidential electors; and
  9. “Political  group” means a political group not constituting a political party or  a political organization within the meaning of subsections (1) and (8) of  this section.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 97; 1976 (Ex. Sess.), ch. 1, § 1; 1978, ch. 384, § 252, effective June 17, 1978; 1982, ch. 295, § 2, effective July 15, 1982; 1982, ch. 360, § 41, effective July 15, 1982; 1982, ch. 402, § 6, effective January 1, 1984; 1990, ch. 48, § 35, effective July 13, 1990; 1998, ch. 2, § 1, effective July 15, 1998; 2002, ch. 63, § 9, effective July 15, 2002.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Contesting Elections.

An action contesting the primary election of city commissioners for a second-class city with a city manager form of government was dismissed, since KRS 118.015 to 118.035 , and 118.105 to 118.255 make no provision for such proceedings and KRS 118.105 (4) expressly excludes this type of office from the provisions of the chapter. Thompson v. Kenton County Board of Election Com., 535 S.W.2d 68, 1975 Ky. LEXIS 4 ( Ky. 1975 ), cert. denied, 423 U.S. 1083, 96 S. Ct. 873, 47 L. Ed. 2d 94, 1976 U.S. LEXIS 1215 (U.S. 1976).

2. Residence.

The proper statutory standard to determine the residence of a nonpartisan judicial candidate is set out in subsection (7) of this section, which states that the word “residence,” used in reference to a candidate, shall mean actual residence of the candidate, without regard to the residence of the spouse of the candidate. Noble v. Meagher, 686 S.W.2d 458, 1985 Ky. LEXIS 207 ( Ky. 1985 ).

In determining the residency of a candidate, the principal focus must be on the residence of the candidate, as distinguished from the location of his family. Noble v. Meagher, 686 S.W.2d 458, 1985 Ky. LEXIS 207 ( Ky. 1985 ).

The appellant was not a resident of the county in which he wished to run for judicial office where (1) he moved to a different county and obtained a driver’s license there, and (2) although he maintained a law office in the county in which he wished to run and sometimes spent nights there or at a nearby hotel, he did not actually live at either of those places. Mobley v. Armstrong, 978 S.W.2d 307, 1998 Ky. LEXIS 108 ( Ky. 1998 ).

3. Judicial Officers.

As respects judicial officers there is no requirement that the nomination be made by a major political party nor by a minor political party. Mann v. Cornett, 445 S.W.2d 853, 1969 Ky. LEXIS 185 ( Ky. 1969 ) (decided under prior law).

4. Judicial Notice.

The court will take judicial notice of the fact that a certain political organization did not cast 20 percent of the votes at the last presidential election. Eagle v. Cox, 268 Ky. 58 , 103 S.W.2d 682, 1937 Ky. LEXIS 411 ( Ky. 1937 ) (decided under prior law).

5. Investigation by Court.

Courts will not investigate the government, usages, rules or doctrines of a political party or attempt to determine between conflicting claimants rights growing out of its government, since political parties are voluntary associations for political purposes governed by their own usages and rules. Smith v. Howard, 275 Ky. 165 , 120 S.W.2d 1040, 1938 Ky. LEXIS 387 ( Ky. 1938 ) (decided under prior law).

6. City Elections.

Elections for city officers must be held under general election laws. Rice v. Mountz, 123 Ky. 590 , 96 S.W. 887, 29 Ky. L. Rptr. 1035 , 1906 Ky. LEXIS 188 ( Ky. 1906 ). See Fidelity Trust & Safety Vault Co. v. Mayor, etc. of Morganfield, 96 Ky. 563 , 29 S.W. 442, 16 Ky. L. Rptr. 647 , 1895 Ky. LEXIS 126 ( Ky. 1895 ), overruled, Belknap v. Louisville, 99 Ky. 474 , 36 S.W. 1118, 18 Ky. L. Rptr. 313 , 1896 Ky. LEXIS 122 ( Ky. 1896 ) (decided under prior law).

7. Miscellaneous.

In a case in which two minor political parties primarily challenged the inability of a political association to convert from political group to political organization status without obtaining two percent of the presidential vote, Kentucky's current ballot access scheme did not impose a severe burden on the parties, and the challenged restriction did not completely deprive them of ballot access. Libertarian Party of Ky. v. Grimes, 194 F. Supp. 3d 568, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88633 (E.D. Ky.), aff'd, 835 F.3d 570, 2016 FED App. 0212P, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15772 (6th Cir. Ky. 2016 ).

Opinions of Attorney General.

“Independent” is not, strictly speaking, a “political party” as defined in subsection (1) of this section. OAG 75-185 .

In order for a political party to be listed on the individual income tax form for the purpose of a political party fund check-off, the party must meet the definition provided in this section. OAG 77-153 .

Where a person files as an independent candidate for the primary for justice of the peace, but the last preceding presidential election did not have an independent party, the candidate could not file, since under the terms of this section, KRS 118.105 and 118.125 , only qualifying members of the major parties, defined as those receiving at least 20 percent of the vote in the last election for presidential electors, may participate in the May primary election. OAG 81-126 .

The Reform Party was not entitled to utilize a presidential preference primary in the year 2000, regardless of whether it garnered more than 10% of the vote for Governor and Lieutenant Governor in the 1999 general election or had registration equal to ten (10) percent of the total registered voters in Kentucky since it received less than 20% of the total votes cast in the last presidential general election. OAG 00-1 .

Research References and Practice Aids

Kentucky Bench & Bar.

Bartlett, The Selection and Election of Judges in Kentucky, Vol. 53, No. 3, Summer 1989, Ky. Bench & Bar 26.

ALR

Power to enjoin holding of an election. 33 A.L.R. 1376; 70 A.L.R. 733.

Administrative or executive boards or officers, availability of writ of prohibition as means of controlling — elections, matters relating to. 115 A.L.R. 24; 159 A.L.R. 627; 159 A.L.R. 634.

Political principles or affiliations as ground for refusal of government officials to take steps necessary to representation of party or candidate upon official ticket. 130 A.L.R. 1471.

Election as game of chance. 135 A.L.R. 167.

Excess or illegal ballots, treatment of, when it is not known for which candidate or upon which side of a proposition they were cast. 155 A.L.R. 677.

Notice of election to fill vacancy in office at general election. 158 A.L.R. 1184.

Compelling election officers to withdraw or change returns, as affected by nonexistence of power of officer to withdraw or change. 168 A.L.R. 864.

Effective date of census — election matters. 43 A.L.R.2d 1358.

118.015. Definitions for chapter. [Effective July 15, 2020]

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

  1. A “political party” is an affiliation or organization of electors representing a political policy and having a constituted authority for its government and regulation, and whose candidate received at least twenty percent (20%) of the total vote cast at the last preceding election at which presidential electors were voted for;
  2. The word “election” used in reference to a state, district, county, or city election, includes the decisions of questions submitted to the qualified voters as well as the choice of officers by them;
  3. A “ballot” or “official ballot” means the voting machine ballot label, ballot cards, paper ballots, an absentee ballot, a federal provisional ballot, a federal provisional absentee ballot, or a supplemental paper ballot which has been authorized for the use of the voters in any primary or regular or special election by the Secretary of State or the county clerk;
  4. “Ballot label” means the cards, papers, booklet, pages, or other material on which appear the names of candidates and the questions to be voted on by means of ballot cards or voting machines;
  5. “Ballot card” means a tabulating card on which votes may be recorded by a voter by use of a voting punch device or by marking with a pen or special marking device;
  6. “Voting machine” or “machine” shall include lever machines and, as far as applicable, any electronic or electromechanical unit and supplies utilized or relied upon by a voter in casting and recording his or her votes in an election;
  7. The word “resident” used in reference to a candidate in a state, district, county, or city election shall mean actual resident, without regard to the residence of the spouse of the candidate;
  8. “Political organization” means a political group not constituting a political party within the meaning of subsection (1) of this section but whose candidate received two percent (2%) or more of the vote of the state at the last preceding election for presidential electors; and
  9. “Political group” means a political group not constituting a political party or a political organization within the meaning of subsections (1) and (8) of this section.

HISTORY: Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 97; 1976 (Ex. Sess.), ch. 1, § 1; 1978, ch. 384, § 252, effective June 17, 1978; 1982, ch. 295, § 2, effective July 15, 1982; 1982, ch. 360, § 41, effective July 15, 1982; 1982, ch. 402, § 6, effective January 1, 1984; 1990, ch. 48, § 35, effective July 13, 1990; 1998, ch. 2, § 1, effective July 15, 1998; 2002, ch. 63, § 9, effective July 15, 2002; 2020 ch. 89, § 27, effective July 15, 2020.

118.020. Voting to be by secret ballot. [Repealed.]

Compiler’s Notes.

This section (1446) was repealed by Acts 1972, ch. 188, § 69. For present law, see KRS 118.025 .

118.025. Voting to be by secret ballot on voting machines — General laws applicable — Time for holding elections. [Effective until July 15, 2020]

  1. Except as otherwise provided by law, voting in all elections shall be by secret ballot on voting machines.
  2. The general laws applying to regular, special, and primary elections shall apply to elections conducted with the use of voting machines, and all provisions of the general laws applying to the custody of ballot boxes shall apply, as far as applicable, to the custody of the voting machine.
  3. Primary elections for the nomination of candidates or slates of candidates to be voted for at the next regular election shall be held on the first Tuesday after the third Monday in May of each year.
  4. The election of all officers of all governmental units shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
  5. If the law authorizes the calling of a special election on a day other than the day of the regular election in November, the election shall be held on a Tuesday.
  6. If the law requires that a special election be held within a period of time during which the voting machines must be locked as required by KRS 117.295 , the special election shall be held on the fourth Tuesday following the expiration of the period during which the voting machines are locked.

History. Enact. Acts 1974, ch. 130, § 98; 1982, ch. 402, § 3, effective January 1, 1984; 1984, ch. 44, § 6, effective March 2, 1984; 1986, ch. 29, § 12, effective July 15, 1986; 1990, ch. 431, § 1, effective July 13, 1990; 1992, ch. 288, § 38, effective July 14, 1992; 1992, ch. 296, § 7, effective July 14, 1992; 1994, ch. 394, § 20, effective July 15, 1994; 1996, ch. 195, § 13, effective July 15, 1996; 2000, ch. 261, § 2, effective July 14, 2000; 2002, ch. 262, § 1, effective July 15, 2002; 2008, ch. 129, § 6, effective July 15, 2008.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Secrecy.

The secrecy of the ballot is the fundamental idea of all elections. Banks v. Sergent, 104 Ky. 843 , 20 Ky. L. Rptr. 1024 , 48 S.W. 149, 1898 Ky. LEXIS 230 ( Ky. 1898 ), overruled in part, Widick v. Ralston, 303 Ky. 373 , 197 S.W.2d 261, 1946 Ky. LEXIS 880 (1946), overruled on other grounds, Widick v. Ralston, 303 Ky. 373 , 197 S.W.2d 261, 1946 Ky. LEXIS 880 ( Ky. 1946 ) (decided under prior law).

Where election officers permitted such irregularities that secrecy of ballot was not preserved, entire vote of precinct would be disregarded. Banks v. Sergent, 104 Ky. 843 , 20 Ky. L. Rptr. 1024 , 48 S.W. 149, 1898 Ky. LEXIS 230 ( Ky. 1898 ), overruled in part, Widick v. Ralston, 303 Ky. 373 , 197 S.W.2d 261, 1946 Ky. LEXIS 880 (1946), overruled on other grounds, Widick v. Ralston, 303 Ky. 373 , 197 S.W.2d 261, 1946 Ky. LEXIS 880 ( Ky. 1946 ) (decided under prior law).

An essential requirement of a valid election is that the ballot shall be secret, and statutes necessary to effect that end are mandatory, but mere irregularities of election officers and voters, which do not affect the secrecy of the ballot, will not vitiate the election nor affect the validity of a vote. Marilla v. Ratterman, 209 Ky. 409 , 273 S.W. 69, 1925 Ky. LEXIS 513 ( Ky. 1925 ) (decided under prior law).

2. Testimony as to Vote.

A voter may testify as to how he voted. Tunks v. Vincent, 106 Ky. 829 , 51 S.W. 622, 21 Ky. L. Rptr. 475 , 1899 Ky. LEXIS 111 ( Ky. 1899 ) (decided under prior law).

Illegal votes cast by secret ballot may be relied on to show the general uncertainty of an election, without proving for whom they were cast. Scholl v. Bell, 125 Ky. 750 , 102 S.W. 248, 31 Ky. L. Rptr. 335 , 1907 Ky. LEXIS 328 ( Ky. 1907 ) (decided under prior law).

An illegal voter may testify as to how he voted, and a legal voter may testify as to how he voted on a ballot illegally cast. A voter who has voted illegally may be compelled to testify how he voted, unless there is a criminal penalty for the particular kind of illegality involved and the voter claims immunity on the ground of self-incrimination. Vansant v. McPherson, 155 Ky. 34 , 159 S.W. 630, 1913 Ky. LEXIS 190 ( Ky. 1913 ). See Tunks v. Vincent, 106 Ky. 829 , 51 S.W. 622, 21 Ky. L. Rptr. 475 , 1899 Ky. LEXIS 111 ( Ky. 1899 ); Scholl v. Bell, 125 Ky. 750 , 102 S.W. 248, 31 Ky. L. Rptr. 335 , 1907 Ky. LEXIS 328 ( Ky. 1907 ); Skain v. Milward, 138 Ky. 200 , 127 S.W. 773, 1910 Ky. LEXIS 61 ( Ky. 1910 ); Heitzman v. Voiers, 155 Ky. 39 , 159 S.W. 625, 1913 Ky. LEXIS 189 ( Ky. 1913 ); Black v. Spillman, 185 Ky. 201 , 215 S.W. 28, 1919 Ky. LEXIS 269 ( Ky. 1919 ) (decided under prior law).

A voter who cast his vote after closing time may be compelled to testify for whom he voted, since there is no criminal penalty for voting after hours. Vansant v. McPherson, 155 Ky. 34 , 159 S.W. 630, 1913 Ky. LEXIS 190 ( Ky. 1913 ). See Hogg v. Caudill, 254 Ky. 409 , 71 S.W.2d 1020, 1934 Ky. LEXIS 105 ( Ky. 1934 ) (decided under prior law).

A voter in a primary election may be compelled to testify as to how he cast his vote. Runyon v. Trent, 270 Ky. 134 , 109 S.W.2d 396, 1937 Ky. LEXIS 40 ( Ky. 1937 ) (decided under prior law).

3. Secondary Evidence on Voting.

Where there was conflicting evidence as to whether a certain voter was of sound mind, the mere proof that he was a member of a certain political party would not be sufficient to establish that he voted for the candidates of that party. Edwards v. Logan, 114 Ky. 312 , 70 S.W. 852, 75 S.W. 257, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 1099 , 25 Ky. L. Rptr. 435 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 164 ( Ky. 1902 ) (decided under prior law).

Proof that a voter made statements after election that he had voted for a certain candidate, or for all of the candidates of a certain party, was hearsay evidence and not admissible to prove how such voter voted. Edwards v. Logan, 114 Ky. 312 , 70 S.W. 852, 75 S.W. 257, 24 Ky. L. Rptr. 1099 , 25 Ky. L. Rptr. 435 , 1902 Ky. LEXIS 164 ( Ky. 1902 ) (decided under prior law).

Evidence that a voter was a member of a certain political party was not sufficient to establish that he voted for the candidates of that party at a general election. Felts v. Edwards, 181 Ky. 287 , 204 S.W. 145 ( Ky. 1918 ). But see Tunks v. Vincent, 106 Ky. 829 , 51 S.W. 622, 21 Ky. L. Rptr. 475 , 1899 Ky. LEXIS 111 ( Ky. 1899 ) (decided under prior law).

The fact that voters subpoenaed by contestant did not appear, though coupled with evidence that they were friends of contestee, was not sufficient to establish that they had voted for contestee. Alsip v. Perkins, 236 Ky. 5 , 36 Ky. 5 , 32 S.W.2d 565, 1930 Ky. LEXIS 684 ( Ky. 1930 ) (decided