By Victoria Doll —

Vote Everywhere, a student organization at the University of Louisville, recently hosted Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams to discuss the upcoming 2020 election and address concerns about voting during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adams, a U of L alum, said that Kentucky is ranked number one in the country for ease of voting during the pandemic due to the work of him and Gov. Andy Beshear.

However, Adams has faced backlash from his Republican colleagues about ensuring integrity in the election. To address these concerns, he and his team have created a voting portal on the Kentucky Secretary of State website.

This portal matches voter’s signatures on their licenses to the signature on their absentee ballot. Once the voter has requested an absentee ballot, the voter is flagged in the system and cannot vote in person.

This way, voters have more ways to vote in elections along with confidence that the election is honest.

For this election, there are four different ways to vote in November. They include: in-person voting on election day, in-person voting before election day, absentee ballots by mail and absentee ballot by drop-off.

The cut off time for voting on election day, Nov. 3, is 6 p.m. Adams stressed the importance of voting before that cut off.

“That is a strict cut off that is in our constitution. There is nothing I can do to change that,” Adams said.

Voters who arrive in line before 6 p.m. will still be able to vote as long as they stay in line.

He also said that early in-person voting starts on Oct. 13. No prior excuse or appointment will be needed to utilize this voting method. Early voting stations in Jefferson County are still being decided.

Absentee voting is still open to be requested. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 9 at 11:59 pm.

Adams said that these four ways to vote are only in place for this election year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Kentuckians have voiced strong approval of these more convenient voting methods.

He mentioned that there is a push for the absentee voting portal to remain open and active after the 2020 election and he hopes to help pass legislation to make voting easier in the future.

Adams concluded the session with a piece of advice for U of L students.

“Please vote! People listen on election day,” he said. “This is an opportunity to get [your elected officials’] attention!”

Photo Courtesy // Kentucky Secretary of State Office