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Kentucky residents will soon vote in the 2024 primaries. Know these key election dates

Lexington Herald-Leader
With lasting spring weather on the horizon and primaries already conducted across several U.S. states, the 2024 presidential election cycle is well underway.

In Kentucky, voters will have their first crack at a ballot in May, when they make primary selections across a number of races. But there are several other significant milestones on the calendar this year.

Here are some highlights of the 2024 election in Kentucky, including deadlines for registering to vote, requesting a ballot by mail, when you can vote early and more.

Additionally, we’d like to use your questions and concerns to enrich our reporting this election season. You can send tips, inquiries and more about 2024 to

2024 important primary election dates in Kentucky

Saturday, April 6: Kentucky’s online portal to request a mail-in ballot for the 2024 primary opens. Once open, you will be able to enter basic information about your voter registration and have a ballot mailed to your residence.

Monday, April 22: It’s the final day to register to vote in Kentucky for the primary. The online portal to do so closes at 4 p.m. local time, and mail-in registrations must be postmarked by this date. The registration portal is already live and can be accessed now.

If you are not registered or need to check or update your registration, don’t wait. Additionally, 17-year-old residents who will be 18 by Nov. 5 can cast a ballot in the primary and should ensure they are correctly registered to vote.

Kentucky conducts closed primaries, meaning only those registered with a party are able to vote in that party’s primary. Unaffiliated voters can only vote in nonpartisan races during the primary. The deadline to change your party affiliation for the May primary has already passed.

Tuesday, May 7: This is the final day to request a ballot by mail in Kentucky. You can do so through 11:59 p.m. local time online.

After May 7 and through May 21, voters or their “legally authorized agent” can still request an absentee ballot with a notarized application to their county clerk if they are subject to a medical emergency that would prevent them from voting in person.

May 8-10 and May 13-15: During these six business days, voters who meet one of several qualifying conditions can visit their clerk’s office to vote early.

Under Kentucky law, valid excuses to vote during this period include:

  • Those who will not be in their county of residence on Election Day and during the three-day early voting period

  • Voters and spouses who have medical appointments that will prohibit them from participating during no-excuse early voting and Election Day

  • Voters temporarily residing out of state

  • Those confined to military base on Election Day and during no-excuse early voting

  • Voters in the last trimester of pregnancy

  • Voters who will be prohibited from visiting the polls otherwise due to age, illness or disability

  • A student voter who will be out of town for the early voting period and Election Day

  • A voter scheduled to work during all polling hours on Election Day and during no-excuse early voting

  • A voter working as an election officer this cycle.

Tuesday, May 14: This date is the deadline for UOCAVA voters, or those who cast their ballot in accordance to the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, to request a ballot.

If a voter who requested a mail-in ballot decides they would rather vote in person, May 14 is the final day to return it. If you opt to return it, you can deliver it blank to your county clerk’s office.

Thursday, May 16 to Saturday, May 18: This is Kentucky’s no-excuse-needed early voting period for the 2024 primary. During these three days, any registered voter can visit their county’s early voting site or sites to cast a ballot.

You will need a photo ID, but not a qualifying excuse.

Tuesday, May 21: Primary Election Day in Kentucky. Polls will be open statewide from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and mail-in ballots must be received by your clerk by 6 p.m. that day.

Friday, May 24: County boards will canvass and certify their votes with the secretary of state’s office no later than noon May 24.

Tuesday, May 28: This is the last day to request a recanvass.

2024 important presidential election dates in Kentucky

Saturday, Sept. 21: The mail-in ballot request portal for the November election reopens.

Monday, Oct. 7: 4 p.m. Oct. 7 is the registration deadline for Kentucky residents to participate in the November 2024 presidential election.

Tuesday, Oct. 22: This is the final day to request to a mail-in ballot for November’s election. The commonwealth’s absentee request portal will close at 11:59 p.m. local time.

Oct. 23-25 and Oct. 28-30: This is the six-day early voting window for those with a qualifying excuse.

Thursday, Oct. 31 to Saturday, Nov. 2: This is Kentucky’s three-day early voting period for November’s General Election. During this early voting period, register voters do not need any excuse to cast an early ballot.

Tuesday, Nov. 5: Election Day across the U.S. for the 2024 presidential election. Polls in Kentucky will be open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time. County clerks must have received all absentee-by-mail ballots by 6 p.m. this day.

Friday, Nov. 8: Canvass day for Kentucky counties. The office must certify votes with the secretary of state’s office by noon.

Tuesday, Nov. 12: The final day to request a recanvass of votes for the November election.

Monday, Dec. 16: Meeting day for presidential electors.

Tuesday, Dec. 31: This is the final day for Kentucky voters to change their party registration for any primaries in 2025.

You can find the complete Kentucky State Board of Elections’ 2024 calendar, including important deadlines for candidates online.

Do you have a question about the 2024 election in Kentucky for our service journalism team? We’d like to hear from you. Fill out our Know Your Kentucky form or email

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