A state website — GoVoteKy.com — that allows voters to request an absentee ballot for the June 23 primary went live Friday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced during his coronavirus press conference.

Ballots will not be mailed automatically to every registered voter. Instead, they must be requested.

Voters must make that request by midnight June 15, giving enough time for ballots to be mailed to homes.

Secretary of State Michael Adams spoke at length during Friday’s press conference. State officials hope they can reduce congestion and wait times at polling sites during the primary election by providing voters with several options.

“We have not taken anyone’s rights away,” Adams said. “... We actually have made voting easier than it was before under the unique circumstances we have at the moment.”

There are four ways to vote during the upcoming primary:

• In person on election day.

• Early at the county clerk’s office, beginning June 8.

• By mail with an absentee ballot.

• Hand delivering an absentee ballot to the county clerk’s office.

The state pays the return postage on ballots; however, Adams said some people may not trust their completed ballots to the mail system. Therefore, drop boxes will be placed at county clerk offices and will be under supervision for voters who prefer to hand deliver their ballots.

GoVoteKy.com is the most efficient way to request an absentee ballot to be mailed, Adams said, because county clerk offices are extremely busy right now.

Also, state officials designed a process that makes it hard to cheat, he said. For example, ballot envelopes will have barcodes so they can be tracked.

In other news, state guidance for youth sports was posted Friday to HealthyatWork.Ky.Gov.

On Wednesday, the state capitol building will open to groups of 10 or fewer. Visitors must apply for tours, which will be self-guided.

Beshear announced 141 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus Friday.

“We now think we have not just plateaued, but we are actually in a decline on the overall number of cases, especially when you look at the amount of testing we are doing,” the governor said.

The state’s total number of confirmed cases is 8,426.

Beshear also announced five more deaths from the virus, bringing the total number to 391.

Green River District Health Department officials reported five new confirmed COVID-19 cases — two in Daviess County, two in Henderson County and one in Ohio County.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the seven-county district now stands at 614.

Muhlenberg County Health Department officials reported no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 Friday. That county’s total cases remains 481.

Renee Beasley Jones, 270-228-2835, rbeasleyjones@messenger-inquirer.com

Renee Beasley Jones, 270-228-2835, rbeasleyjones@messenger-inquirer.com

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