Secretary of State
Franklin Circuit Court Rules that “Innovative” Voter Database Matching Can Continue
(Frankfort, KY) The Franklin Circuit Court today found “database matching to be a necessary tool to maintain accurate voter registration information.” In his order, Judge Thomas Wingate ruled that the voters who have registered in multiple states may be placed on an inactive voter list to be purged if the voters do not participate in the next two federal election cycles.
“We are pleased that the court saw the value of clean election rosters and the role that database matching can play in that effort,” stated Secretary of State Trey Grayson, Chairman of the State Board of Elections. “Non-Kentuckians should not be allowed to vote in Kentucky elections – period, and we are pleased to see that the court's ruling will help to ensure that this doesn’t happen in the Commonwealth. These types of efforts must proceed in order to prevent a culture of fraud and corruption; to do otherwise would be reckless and damaging to the political process.”
Shortly after the 2000 presidential election, the country’s focus on elections sharpened due to many errors in the elections process in some states, notably Florida. At that time, many election observers noted that it was possible for citizens to vote in multiple states without election officials’ knowledge. It was also possible in many states, although not in Kentucky, to vote in multiple counties in the same manner.
In the wake of that election, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act, which required every state to implement a statewide voter registration database. This new technology made it possible to share data with other states to determine who was registered in multiple states. The State Board of Elections conducted a first in the nation pilot project to identify and remove voters who were illegally registered to vote in multiple states. The Attorney General’s office soon filed suit to stop such action.
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.”
The Court’s ruling “clarified” the process by which voters who were found to be more recently registered in another state may be removed from the voter rolls, and noted that the pilot program was an “innovative way to work with other states to produce more accurate voter rolls.”
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