Michael G. Adams attended McCracken County public schools and was the first in his family to get a bachelor's degree. After graduating from the University of Louisville, Michael attended Harvard Law School on low-income aid. Returning to Kentucky, Michael clerked for Chief U.S. District Judge John Heyburn, worked on Senator Mitch McConnell's 2002 reelection campaign, and served as Deputy General Counsel to Governor Ernie Fletcher, before moving to Washington to accept an appointment as Counsel to the U.S. Deputy General in the second Bush Administration.
In 2007, Adams began full-time private practice in election law, first as General Counsel to the Republican Governors Association, and later opening a national practice in the field. He has represented several national political committees, numerous national poltical figures, and statewide campaign efforts in all 50 states. Because of this unique election experience, in 2016, Adams was appointed to the Kentucky State Board of Elections, where he gained critical preparation for serving as the Commonwealth's chief election official.
Inaugurated as Secretary of State on January 6, 2020, Adams first pushed his highest legislative priority, Kentucky's first Photo ID to Vote law, through the General Assembly, then pivoted to saving the primary and general elections from the problems that befell other states during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing required the implementation of early voting, expanded absentee ballot availability & election oversight. As a result, a record-setting 2 million Kentuckians cast their ballot in the November presidential election. In a news release after the votes were tabulated, Secretary Adams stated, "I'm proud of the millions of Kentuckians who defied a pandemic to participate in a historic election, and I'm grateful to the bipartisan coalition who worked with me---the Governor, the State Board of Elections, our tireless county clerks, and our heroic poll workers--over many months to make Kentucky's election again a national model."