In addition to allowing anyone to vote by mail, the new elections guidelines in Kentucky expanded early voting. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 14 (UPI) -- All voters in Kentucky will be allowed to vote by mail in the November election if they're concerned about the risks of catching COVID-19, Gov. Andy Beshear said Friday.
He and Secretary of State Michael Adams announced new voting procedures for this fall's election. While no-excuse absentee voting won't be allowed as it was in the June primary, voters can use fear of the coronavirus pandemic as a reason for requesting a mail-in ballot, regardless of their age.
"Secretary Adams and I were able to put partisanship aside and develop a plan for the General Election that puts the health and safety of Kentuckians first," Beshear said. "This plan provides more time and options to vote in this General Election than ever before."
The state plans to launch a website within a week which will allow voters to request a ballot through Oct. 9. Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by Nov. 6 to be counted.
Additionally, the state is expanding early voting, which will be allowed each work day between Oct. 13 and Election Day, as well as at least 4 hours each Saturday.
In addition to precinct voting locations, each county will have at least one voting super-center at which any resident of the county, regardless of their precinct, may go to vote.
Finally, the state loosened requirements for a driver's license or photo identification if a voter was unable to get one due to county clerk office closures or if they were afraid of exposing themselves to the virus.
"We kept the best of what worked in the June primary, especially giving voters options to safely cast their votes, and we built on that record with improvements -- more in-person voting locations, and faster election results," Adams said.
The announcement comes as the U.S. Postal Service warned states that some mail-in ballots may not be counted in time for the November election. Thomas Marshall, general counsel and executive vice president for the USPS, told the states their time frames and deadlines for mail-in voting would be "incongruous" with delivery standards, meaning some ballots might not arrive in time to be counted.