Secretary of State
Facts about Provisional Voting in Kentucky
(Frankfort, KY) Earlier today at a press conference, individuals falsely claimed that the Office of the Secretary of State was suppressing voters’ rights. At the press conference, they claimed that “Grayson’s office will not allow voters to use provisional ballots in this year’s election despite their use during federal elections in 2004 and 2006.” What the individuals failed to mention was that state laws and regulations have never allowed provisional ballots to be used for non-Federal races and that those provisions were adopted in a bi-partisan manner during the administration of former Democratic Secretary of State John Y. Brown, III upon the approval of the Help America Vote Act Advisory Committee for Kentucky.
On November 24, 2003, the State Board of Elections unanimously passed the motion to adopt 31 KAR 6:020E and 31 KAR 6:020. The Board consisted of 4 Democrats and 3 Republicans with Secretary Brown serving as its chair.
On November 26, 2003, a copy of 31 KAR 6:020E was received by the Legislative Research Commission signed by Democratic Governor Paul Patton and Secretary Brown.
In the regulation, it states that a provisional ballot “means a ballot cast for a federal office…” There are no federal offices on the ballot for 2007.
“It is apparent that these individuals were clearly misleading the public when they stated that Secretary Grayson was trying to suppress the vote. It is patently false, and it is crystal clear that this decision was made before Secretary Grayson took office. To accuse him of something so reprehensible is disappointing and reckless,” stated Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Les Fugate.
The individuals also issued misleading statements about Judge Thomas Wingate’s decision to allow Kentucky to continue its “innovative” database matching program to ensure that voters who do not reside in Kentucky are not allowed to vote. The Franklin Circuit Court found “database matching to be a necessary tool to maintain accurate voter registration information.” In his order, Judge Wingate ruled that the voters who have registered in multiple states could be placed on an inactive voter list to be purged if the voters do not participate in the next two federal election cycles.
The Court also ruled that the Attorney General’s claim that the Secretary of State acted without approval from the State Board of Elections, was “without merit,” and noted that the State Board of Elections and the Secretary of State were “not malicious or partisan,” and that they were “carrying out their constitutional and statutory mandates.”
“Kentucky has one of the best records of election administration in the country. We serve as a model for other states,” said Fugate. “The facts speak for themselves, and hopefully, citizens will ignore false and misleading accusations that may cause distrust in our elections process.”
# # #