Here’s what Christian County voters need to know about casting a ballot in the May primary

Primary election day is May 17, but all voters may also cast a ballot early on May 12, 13 or 14.

The days of having to vote in one specific polling place on one specific day are likely gone for good in Christian County — and residents can thank the pandemic for ushering in at least a few more choices about when and where to cast their ballots. 

When state and local election officials had to implement major changes to ensure social distancing in 2020, it became clear there were different ways of running elections that would also make sense after the threat of COVID-19 had passed. 

For example, having dozens of polling places was not necessarily more convenient for voters when each person was limited to voting in their specific precinct. If someone lives in Crofton but works in Oak Grove, voting at the precinct closest to home would not be the best option for most people. 

“I think it is much better to have eight major locations,” said Christian County Mike Kem, whose office oversees elections.

Kem said the clerk’s office chose one polling place in each of the county’s eight magisterial districts to ensure the sites were spread across the county.

Voter may cast their ballot at any of those sites between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on primary election day, Tuesday, May 17. 

The locations are:

  • James E. Bruce Convention Center, 303 Conference Center Drive
  • Christian County Courthouse, 511 S. Main St.
  • Christian County Senior Citizens Center, 1402 W. Seventh St.
  • Valor Hall, 105 Walter Garrett Lane, Oak Grove
  • Sinking Fork Baptist Church, 5800 Princeton Road
  • Pembroke Baptist Church, 144 S. Main St., Pembroke
  • Crofton City Hall, 101 E. Mill St., Crofton
  • South Christian Elementary School, 12340 Herndon-Oak Grove Road, Herndon

Changes to state  law adopted by the General Assembly after the 2020 election also give voters more leeway about voting early. Previously, voters needed an approved reason — such as a medical procedure scheduled on Election Day — to vote early. 

Now everyone will be eligible to vote between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 12, Friday, May 13, or Saturday, May 14, at the Christian County Senior Center and the James E. Bruce Convention Center. 

Voters who have qualifying reasons may vote absentee by mail or absentee in-house. 

Mail ballots must be requested online by Wednesday, May 3, and must be returned by Tuesday, May 17. 

In-house absentee voting will be conducted at the courthouse from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 4, 5, 6, 9, 10 and 11. 

Voters must have registered in Kentucky by April 18 to be eligible to cast a ballot in primary.

Kentuckians can check the status of their voter registration here.

Here’s what Christian County voters need to know about casting a ballot in the May primary

Jennifer P. Brown | Hoptown Chronicle

Jennifer P. Brown is co-founder, publisher and editor of Hoptown Chronicle. You can reach her at editor@hoptownchronicle.org. She spent 30 years as a reporter and editor at the Kentucky New Era. She is a co-chair of the national advisory board to the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, governing board president for the Kentucky Historical Society, and co-founder of the Kentucky Open Government Coalition.