Absentee voting kicks off on Tuesday

Published 1:20 pm Friday, April 26, 2019

Voting is a responsibility given to all citizens as it provides individuals with a way to make their voice heard. It’s not always possible for everyone to make it to the polls on Election Day, whether it be because of prior engagements or declining physical health. Bell County Clerk Debbie Gambrel has made the process even more convenient with the addition of a second absentee voting location in Middlesboro.

Beginning Tuesday, both Bell County Clerk Office locations will be accepting absentee voters for the upcoming Primary Election between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays (at the Pineville office only). This will continue up until the day before the election.

“We encourage everyone to get out and vote, which is why there are now two locations to vote absentee which will better accommodate the voters of Bell County,” said Gambrel. “It is very important that if you can’t get out and go to the polls on Election Day you take advantage of the absentee voting process and let your vote be your voice.”

Anyone unable to visit the locations may request an absentee ballot to be mailed to their location before May 14, if they meet the qualifications. Qualifications to use machine absentee voting ballot include:

• Person who, due to age, disability, or illness, will be unable to go to the polls on Election Day;

• Voter who will be outside of the county on Election Day;

• Student who temporarily resides outside of the county in which he or she is registered who will be out of the county on Election Day;

• Voter who is a member of the Armed Forces or a dependent of a member of the Armed Forces and will be out of the county on Election Day;

• Voter who is a member of the Armed Forces who will be confined to a base on Election Day and learns of that confinement within seven days or less of the election;

• Voter who is a citizen residing overseas and will be out of the county on Election Day;

• Voter or spouse of voter who has surgery scheduled that will require hospitalization on Election Day;

• Precinct election officer serving in a precinct other than that in which he or she is registered or an alternate precinct election officer;

• Member or any staff for the County Board of Election; any deputy county clerk; and any staff for the State Board of Elections;

• A woman in her last trimester of pregnancy.

Qualifications to vote via mail-in absentee ballot:

• Person who, due to age, disability or illness, will be unable to go to the polls on Election Day;

• Voter who is a resident of Kentucky who is a covered voter as defined by KRS 117A.010;

• Student who temporarily resides outside the county in which he or she is registered (must be mailed to an out-of-state address);

• Person who is incarcerated and has been charged with a crime but has yet to be convicted;

• Person whose employment location requires him or her to be absent from the county all hours and all days absentee voting by machine is conducted;

• Military personnel confined to a military base on Election Day;

•Person who is a participant in the Office of the Secretary of State’s address confidentiality program.

If anyone has any further questions regarding the absentee voting process, feel free to contact Gambrel at the Bell County Clerk’s Office at 606-337-6307.