Alison Lundergan Grimes

Want to Vote in November? Get Registered Tuesday

Oct 11, 2016
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If you want to vote in November's election, the deadline to register is here.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is holding an event in Louisville with the League of Women Voters on Tuesday to mark the voter registration deadline. Grimes and other elected officials will be at the league's headquarters, where Grimes announced a year ago that Kentucky would allow voters to register online.

Grimes said in a statement that since the online registration portal opened, almost 90,000 people have registered to vote.

Kentuckians can use to register or update their registration. People must be registered by Tuesday to vote in the general election on Nov. 8.

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More than 36,000 Kentuckians have used the Commonwealth’s online voter registration system -- setting a new record five months since its launch.  

More than 10,000 people used the portal to register to vote for the first time, including more than 2,700 18-year-olds.  

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says online voter registration improves the accuracy of voter rolls and will lead to a major cost savings for the state.  

"The energy surrounding our new online voter registration system is amazing," said Grimes. "These new numbers prove that Kentuckians are excited about online registration." 

More than 26,000 have used the system to make a change or update to their registration. The system's oldest user was a 98-year-old.

Alix Mattingly

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes has portrayed Donald Trump as "an unsteady, unqualified bully" while offering insights about Hillary Clinton's personal side in a speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Grimes on Tuesday recounted her long friendship with Clinton, and stressed Clinton's support for equal pay for women, voting rights, affordable health care and pensions for retired coal miners.

Grimes described Clinton as a family-oriented grandmother who enjoys watching HGTV and eating buffalo wings. She recalled how Clinton checked up on her while she was in law school and was the first to call her after her grandmothers died.

She portrayed Trump as "an unsteady, unqualified bully who points fingers rather than offering a hand to those who are defenseless."

Grimes lost to Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell in a high-profile race in 2014.

Abbey Oldham, PBS Newshour

Kentucky’s Secretary of State says Americans can expect a big contrast between this week’s Democratic National Convention and last week’s Republican gathering in Cleveland.

Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is speaking at her party’s convention in Philadelphia. She told WKU Public Radio Democrats will offer a more positive view of the U.S. than the one described by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.

“You’re going to see people from all across this nation, and importantly, our nominee, that believe America is already great. And we need a President that recognizes that, and will build upon that—unite people, not dividing them with hateful rhetoric.”

Grimes called Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton a role model and friend for more than 24 years. The Clinton family is close with Grimes and her family, including Jerry Lundergan, Grimes' father and former chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party.

Grimes' mother, Charlotte Lundergan, is a superdelegate pledged to support Clinton.

Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes will speak to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia next week.

Grimes was one of dozens of speakers added to the agenda on Thursday. The secretary of state is in her second term in office, having narrowly won re-election in November.

Grimes gained national prominence in 2014 for her challenge to veteran U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell. McConnell won the race and would go on to become Senate majority leader.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton campaigned for Grimes several times in her Senate campaign. The Clinton family is close with Grimes and her family, including Jerry Lundergan, Grimes' father and former chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party.

Grimes' mother, Charlotte Lundergan, is a superdelegate pledged to support Clinton.

Grimes Predicts 20 Percent Turnout For Kentucky Primaries

May 11, 2016
Kevin Willis, WKU Public Radio

Kentucky’s top election official says she expects 20 percent of the state’s more than 3.2 million registered voters to cast ballots in Tuesday’s primary elections.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said more than 12,000 people have already cast absentee ballots for a host of local, state and federal races. Of those, 7,533 were cast by registered Democrats and 4,821 were cast by registered Republicans.

The race most likely to drive turnout will be the Democratic presidential primary between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Kentucky will not have a Republican presidential primary. The state party held a presidential caucus in March, which was won by Donald Trump.

Grimes said the lack of a Republican presidential race will likely drive down turnout on the Republican side.

Lisa Autry

One-third of eligible Kentuckians are not registered to vote, but the state’s chief election officer hopes to change that with online voter registration. 

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says more than 15,000 Kentuckians have logged on to to register or update their registration since launching three weeks ago. 

Speaking at Western Kentucky University Thursday, Grimes said online registration has several benefits.

"As other states have experienced, it will help us increase the accuracy of our voter registration rolls and offer the convenience that the voters have demanded, and allow us to reach those Kentuckians who aren't yet registered," Grimes explained.  "The accessibility is a great factor."

Eligible voters previously had to visit their county clerk’s office or mail a voter registration application.

Lisa Autry

An attorney for the father of Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says a federal grand jury has subpoenaed him and two of his businesses for records relating to his daughter's political campaigns.

Grimes, a Democrat, was re-elected in November. She lost a race for U.S. Senate against Republican Mitch McConnell in 2014. Her father, Jerry Lundergan, has been heavily involved in her campaigns.

Attorney Guthrie True said the subpoenas were issued last week. Grimes' attorneys, David Guarnieri and Jason Blandford, confirmed the U.S. Attorney's Office has requested "certain documents" from Grimes' campaigns.

U.S. Attorney spokesman Kyle Edelen said he could not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation.

Grimes' attorneys said she was not the target of an inquiry. Lundergan's attorney said prosecutors indicated he wasn't either.

Kentucky voters may be able to register to vote and update their information online during next year’s presidential election.

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced in Louisville Tuesday that her office will be extending online registration to all eligible voters in the state. The service is currently only available to military voters.

Grimes had advocated for a bill earlier this year creating online registration, but it didn’t pass through the Republican-controlled state Senate.

Grimes instead went through the state’s administrative regulation process, and now the program is effective law.

“Kentucky can’t wait any longer,” Grimes said. “We are finally entering the 21st Century as it relates to election administration.”

Owens said he appreciated Grimes’ efforts to get online registration approved in the state.

“This is probably, as far as I am concerned, one of the most monumental events taking place in our commonwealth today because we are now going to ensure that everyone will have an opportunity to register and update their registration electronically,” said state Rep. Darryl Owens, D-Louisville.


Ending speculation about her immediate political future, former U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes says she will run for re-election as Kentucky’s secretary of state. Grimes announced her decision Monday at a press conference in Lexington.

“Today I come before you and I ask you to humbly give that same faith and trust to continue to be your voice. It’s with excitement, it’s with energy that I tell you today I will be filing paperwork for reelection as Kentucky’s Secretary of State.”

Grimes was also considering a run for Kentucky Governor and Attorney General in 2015.

Grimes lost to Sen. Mitch McConnell in a grueling race for his U.S. Senate seat last year. Democrats had initially hoped she would oust McConnell from his seat, which he has held for five terms.

Final polls before the election suggested a close race, however Grimes lost by more than 15 percentage points in the final returns. She won the Democratic primary for that race with 77 percent of the vote.

So far, Grimes is the only Democrat to file to run for Secretary of State. Republican businessman Stephen Knipper has also filed for the position. The filing deadline is Tuesday.

Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

What’s next for Alison Lundergan Grimes? It’s a question some have been asking since the Secretary of State’s loss Tuesday night to incumbent Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell.  A Bluegrass Poll taken a week before the election suggests voter enthusiasm is tepid with regards to Grimes running for Kentucky governor next year.  The poll found 33 percent of respondents wanted her to run.  Fifty percent did not and 17 percent said they weren’t sure.

Attorney General Jack Conway is the only Democrat to enter the race so far.  Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and businessman Hal Heiner have entered the race on the GOP side.

Mitch McConnell isn’t the only Kentucky Senator basking in the afterglow of Tuesday night’s election results.

Rand Paul is using the election as an opportunity to criticize the woman many consider to be the next Democratic Presidential front-runner: Hillary Clinton.

Sen. Paul says he won’t formally decide on whether or not to launch a 2016 presidential bid until next spring. But the Bowling Green Republican is acting the part of a White House contender, and judging from recent comments, he firmly believes Hillary Clinton is his biggest obstacle to winning the presidential contest.

Paul has wasted no time in describing Tuesday night’s Republican victories around the nation as a “repudiation of Hillary Clinton.” In speeches and interviews following the election, Paul has pointed out that the former First Lady and New York Senator campaigned on behalf of several Democratic Senate candidates who ultimately lost—including Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky.

With a loss by Sen. Mark Pryor, the first Democratic incumbent fell in the 2014 midterms, setting off a chain of events that brought the Republicans a new Senate majority. The man who would lead them in Congress, Sen. Mitch McConnell, coasted to a win in Kentucky.

McConnell was projected to defeat Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes by a 15-point margin, 56 percent to 41 percent, with almost a third of the vote tallied.

In Arkansas, Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor lost to Republican Rep. Tom Cotton, a first-term member of Congress. Pryor has served in the Senate since 2003.

Alix Mattingly

Sen. Mitch McConnell has been reelected and is closing in on his goal of becoming the majority leader of the U.S. Senate.

McConnell defeated Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes quickly, with the Associated Press calling the race for McConnell at about 7 p.m., just as polls closed in the western part of the state.

“Secretary Grimes ran a spirited campaign, she won a lot of votes and she won my respect,” McConnell said during his victory speech Tuesday night.  “This was certainly a hard fought contest.”

This means Sen. McConnell will serve as U.S. Senator for six more years.  He was first elected as senator in 1985.

In his victory speech at the Marriott East in Louisville, Sen. McConnell made a pledge to constituents that their voice would "be heard in Washington."

Officials are encouraging Kentuckians to report any instances or suspicions of vote fraud on Election Day. The Kentucky Attorney General’s election fraud hotline will be open throughout Tuesday.

Spokeswoman Allison Martin says the most common complaints involve vote-buying or campaigning too close to a polling place.

Kentucky’s electioneering law was struck down by a federal judge earlier this year, but while the case is under appeal, it’s still illegal in most cases to promote any candidates within 300 feet of a polling place.

"The only change is that if you have private property that is across the street from a polling place, or near a polling place within that 300 foot boundary,  you do not have to take your sign down," Martin said.

Martin added the election fraud hotline received 205 calls from more than 60 counties during this year’s primary election.

The hotline number is 1-800-328-VOTE.