Secretary of State
Grayson’s Legislation to Improve Voting in Kentucky Heads to Governor’s Desk
(Frankfort, KY) The Kentucky House of Representatives, today, unanimously concurred with changes by the Kentucky Senate to House Bill 479, which primarily gives voters greater access to the voting process in Kentucky. House Bill 479, sponsored by Chairman of the House Elections, Constitutional Amendments, and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, Darryl Owens (D-Louisville), modernizes Kentucky election law by allowing voters to request an absentee ballot application via email. The bill further modernizes Kentucky’s elections by allowing members of the military to return unvoted absentee ballots and still be eligible to vote on Election Day. The bill also includes provisions from House Bill 370 which addresses a host of other important legislative changes for election procedures in Kentucky.
“This legislation will again help move Kentucky’s elections into the 21st Century,” remarked Secretary of State Trey Grayson, the state’s chief election official. “It is important that we provide protected access to voting in as many ways as possible. I am grateful for the legislature’s foresight to pass this important legislation.”
The legislation also codifies important practices that either the Office of the Secretary State or State Board of Elections has implemented to provide further protection to the voters or greater access to the voting process. Such changes include a requirement that voting machines for absentee voting must undergo public examination before absentee voting begins, allows additional persons to be present in the voting room to repair malfunctioning voting equipment, and establishes protocol for the replacement of a running mate on a gubernatorial slate, among other numerous changes.
The legislation also addresses a number of major election filing and vacancy issues for city governments.
“This legislation ensures that city governments will be able to continue to operate without significant disruptions in the event of a resignation and guarantees the important right of our citizens to have the opportunity to elect candidates to fill vacancies in city offices,” said Sylvia Lovely, Executive Director/CEO of the Kentucky League of Cities. “I commend the Secretary of State for his leadership in addressing these issues on behalf of city governments and their citizens.”
The legislation was the top elections-related priority for Secretary of State Trey Grayson in the 2008 legislative session and now heads to Governor Beshear for his consideration
“My office and the State Board of Elections are continually working to clarify and strengthen Kentucky election laws and to bring them up to date. I appreciate Chairman Owens work on this bill, and I am confident that Governor Beshear will find this legislation of the utmost importance for the voters of Kentucky and will sign it into passage,” stated Grayson.
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