Governor vetoes voter ID bill; not worried about travel lawsuit

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Gov. Andy Beshear has vetoed the state’s new Voter ID law, primarily because of the coronavirus, although he opposes the concept regardless of the epidemic.

As for a lawsuit filed challenging the governor’s out of state travel ban as part of coronavirus protections, Beshear said simply: “I haven’t seen it, I’m not worried about it and we will win it.”

On voter ID, Beshear also was pretty direct.

“It’s just the wrong move right now. But I’d be against the bill, even it weren’t for the coronavirus,” the governor said during his daily briefing Friday.

The legislature passed the measure — SB 2 — two weeks ago at the request of Secretary of State Michael Adams.

Beshear said even though the bill wouldn’t take effect until the November election, too many uncertainties remain and people can’t get IDs now and may not be able to for weeks if not months, Beshear noted.

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

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.


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