Secretary of State
Grayson Announces Expansion of Election Services to Military and Overseas Citizens
(Frankfort, KY) With two military bases and nearly 8,500 soldiers and airmen in the National Guard, Kentucky has a large number of voters who are fighting to defend American rights, including our right to vote. Secretary of State Trey Grayson, chairman of the Kentucky State Board of Elections (SBE), announced today that the SBE has expanded its services to make it easier for citizens residing overseas and our soldiers in harm’s way to vote.
“It is imperative that Kentucky continue its long-standing tradition of making voting easier for our soldiers who are risking their lives,” said Secretary Grayson. “We are pleased that we can provide them with a secure way to cast their ballot but to do so in a way that reduces the amount of time it takes to get a ballot sent to them on the battlefield.”
Kentucky is 100% compliant with the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act which was recently passed by Congress and requires states to make it easier and faster for military and overseas citizens to request and cast their ballots. In 2008, over 6,500 military and overseas voters cast their ballots using absentee processes.
In response to the new federal Act, the SBE updated regulations to allow for the emailing of unvoted ballots to military and overseas voters. The SBE had already allowed for the faxing of those ballots since 1999, but email access will give Kentucky soldiers and overseas voters unprecedented access to the ballot as quickly as possible. Voters must deliver voted ballots by mail and the voted ballot must be received by the county clerk by 6 pm, local time, on election day to be counted.
SBE also created a web application that allows military and overseas voters the ability to determine the status of their absentee ballot showing the voter the date the ballot was sent to the voter and the date the voted ballot was received back to the county. The SBE also enhanced information on its webpage, www.elect.ky.gov, to make the process more easy to use for these voters.
“Electronic delivery of ballots, especially email, significantly improves the ability for military and overseas voters to successfully receive their ballots in time to vote and return them. My congratulations to Kentucky for taking this important step in complying with the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act of 2009 (MOVE Act) and for helping America's military and overseas voters," said Bob Carey, Executive Director of the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP).
Kentucky has a long history of providing better protections for military and overseas voters than other states. In 1984, Kentucky established that all absentee ballots must be sent to voters within 3 days of receipt of an application for an absentee ballot. In 1986, Kentucky established that absentee ballots must be printed 50 days prior to an election. Indeed, Kentucky has required absentee ballots to be delivered to all voters, who have applied by the ballot printing deadline, 47 days before an election for over 24 years. That is three days longer than the new MOVE Act’s requirement of 45 days before an election, a deadline many states are struggling to meet.
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