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Voter registration deadline approaches

As the May primary election nears, the time for voter registration is coming to a close.

Harlan County Clerk Donna Hoskins explained the deadline for those wishing to register to vote in the primary election in May is April 22 at 4 p.m.

“You can register online, through the secretary of state’s website, or at the Harlan County Clerk’s Office,” Hoskins said.

Hoskins added those needing to apply for a mail-in absentee ballot must also do so. She went on to explain there are certain qualifications a person must meet in order to apply for the ballot, but those with disabilities, illness or those enrolled in school are generally accepted.

According to the Kentucky State Board of Elections website, the qualifications for a mail-in ballot include those who are:

• Advanced in age, disabled or ill;

• Military personnel, their dependents, or overseas citizens;

• A student who temporarily resides outside the county;

• A voter who temporarily resides outside of Kentucky and who maintains eligibility to vote in Kentucky, such as a “snowbird;”

• Incarcerated, but not yet convicted of a crime;

• Prevented from voting in person at the polls on election day and from casting an in-person absentee ballot in the county clerk’s office on all days in-person absentee voting is conducted because of his or her employment location.

For those that will be out of town and do not qualify for the mail-in absentee ballot, Hoskins said there will be an absentee voting machine open.

“We will have an absentee voting machine available to people voting as absentee,” Hoskins said. “The machine will open on May 3 around noon.”

Once the absentee voting machine is open. It will be available during normal business hours.

The Kentucky State Board of Elections website states to be qualified to vote by in-person absentee ballot, you must be:

• Out of the county on election day;

• Advanced in age, disabled or ill;

• Military, their dependents, or an overseas citizen;

• Military personnel confined to base and learn of your confinement within seven days or less of an election;

• Student or resident who temporarily resides outside of the county;

• Voter, or the spouse of a voter, who has surgery scheduled that will require hospitalization on election day;

• A pregnant woman in her third trimester;

Or you are the following:

• Precinct election officer appointed to serve in precinct other than his own;

• Alternate precinct election officer;

• County Board of Elections’ members;

• County Board of Elections’ staff;

• Deputy county clerk;

• State Board of Elections’ staff.

Hoskins asks for as many Harlan Countians as possible to come out and vote.

“We want Harlan County to have the biggest voice possible during the election,” Hoskins said. “We want to be heard statewide.”

For more information on voter registration, contact the Harlan County Clerk’s Office at 606-573-3636.