Election reform measures make way through Kentucky Legislature

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Secretary of State Michael Adams applauded state Sen Julie Raque Adams and state Rep. Jennifer Henson Decker for sponsoring bills to make permanent in law widely praised features of last year’s elections.

“This is the most significant election reform legislation in the past quarter-century. I’m grateful to Senator Adams and Representative Decker for their leadership. Kentuckians across party lines embraced many features of last year’s elections, especially expanded in-person voting,” Adams said. “It’s the General Assembly’s prerogative to make our election laws, and now I hope they will exercise their authority to make permanent improvements to our election system.”

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Both Senate Bill 259 and House Bill 574 make Kentucky’s elections more accessible and more secure in these ways:

  • Creating four days of early in-person voting, including a Saturday, with no excuse required
  • Enhancing the ability of state election officials to remove nonresident voters from the voter rolls
  • Transitioning toward universal paper ballots, statewide
  • Permitting counties to establish vote centers, where any voter in the county may vote regardless of precinct
  • Keeping the online voter portal, so absentee balloting is fully transparent both to voters and election officials
  • Expressly prohibiting and penalizing ballot harvesting
  • Retaining the signature cure process, so absentee voters whose signatures have changed over time have a chance to prove identity and have their ballots counted
  • Allowing registered voters who are not registered as Democrats or Republicans to serve as poll workers

The bills were drafted following extensive consultation with the Secretary of State, the State Board of Elections, and county clerks, with both Democrats and Republicans at the table.