Beshear must decide on Voter ID bill


FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The state House and Senate Thursday night sent Gov. Andy Beshear a Voter ID bill that has been months in the making.

The final bill provides that, starting with the November election, a voter must produce a photo ID when voting, with limited exceptions.

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Asked Friday evening about whether he will sign the bill, Beshear said he will sign the Voter ID but said he will need time to analyze the law, especially when it takes effect and how long office closures and driver’s license delays continue.

He said if the CDC guidelines still are in place in May and June, he said we “will absolutely have to consider” widespread mail-in ballots and other voting mechanisms.

He said the same things apply because many poll workers are older and high-risk of the coronavirus.

Under the law, a voter who owns a photo ID but does not possess it can vote by provisional ballot and later produce photo ID so the provisional ballot will be counted – or, if the voter is recognized by a poll worker, the voter may vote if the poll worker executes a written affirmation of personal recognition.

To ensure no one is disenfranchised, the bill provides for persons without a photo ID to get one for free, and if the voter still cannot obtain a photo ID because of a hardship, the voter may vote regardless by showing a non-photo ID and signing a “reasonable impediment” affidavit.

“I ran for this office to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat,” Secretary of State Michael Adams said. “While we’re taking steps to make it easy to vote and ensure a successful primary election, we cannot lose sight of the importance of ballot integrity.”

The bill’s final version includes changes made duing months of negotiation. Adams praised the final form, noting it received votes from Democratic legislators who previously opposed the bill.

The bill now heads to Governor Beshear’s desk for his consideration.