Clerk advises absentee voters to get applications in now

If you’re not going to be able to get to the polls on Nov. 8, there are steps you need to take right now. Anyone who is out of town, disabled or temporarily lives out of the area on Election Day can cast an absentee ballot.

Thomas Rideout is one of more than 2,000 McCracken County voters expecting to need absentee ballots for the general election.

He went to the voter registration office on Wednesday to get information on absentee voting, because he’ll be on the East Coast with his sister on election day.

"She called me and said, ‘Do you realize we’re going to be gone on Election Day?’ and I hadn’t realized that," Rideout said.

If you’ll be out of town on Election Day, you can go to the county courthouse starting on Oct. 7 to vote. If you have a disability and temporarily live out of town, you’ll have to fill out an application and vote by mail.

You can get the applications in the mail by contacting the clerk’s office. McCracken County Clerk Julie Griggs says the sooner you fill it out and send it back, the better.

"The main thing I want to stress is: Time is of the essence," Griggs said.

Because this is a federal election, the county won’t receive ballots until about five weeks before Election Day. Griggs says that cuts her time short to get absentee ballots out, and your ballot needs to reach the clerks office by 6 p.m. on Election Day.

"Any that come in afterward, their vote is not counted, which is sad. They had the intent to vote," Griggs said.

It’s Rideout’s first Election Day out of town, and he says it’s important that his vote counts.

"Very, and I think this year more than other years in the past," Rideout said.

If you’re out of town on Election Day, you can go vote in at the McCracken County Clerk’s Office Oct. 7 to Nov.7. Every county is different, so make sure you reach out to your election office.

If you have a disability or temporarily live out of the county, you have until Oct. 21 in Kentucky to turn in your application for a mail-in ballot. In Missouri you have until 5 p.m. on Nov. 2. The application deadline is Nov. 3 in Illinois and Nov. 1 in Tennessee.

You can register to vote in person, online or by mail. To make sure you’re registered in your state, choose one of the following: Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee.

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