Kentucky military personnel could get their election ballots electronically—but the ballots would have to be printed and returned to county clerks via snail mail, under changes made to a bill Thursday in a state Senate committee meeting.
The bill—a priority for Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes—originally called for military personnel to be able to get and return ballots electronically.
Senate President Robert Stivers, the bill's sponsor, said concerns for the security of completed ballots returned electronically led him to amend it.
The bill, as amended, advanced Thursday through the Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection committee to the senate floor.
Senate President Robert Stivers kept a pledge Friday by sponsoring legislation aimed at ensuring Kentucky soldiers deployed overseas can cast their ballots back home through an electronic transmission system that the secretary of state will be required to develop.
The bill was given the designation "Senate Bill 1," signifying it is the Senate's top priority in the legislative session.
Secretary of State Alison Grimes, who backs the legislation, said 121 soldiers from Kentucky didn't have their ballots counted in last year's election because they didn't arrive back in the state by Election Day.
The biggest proposed change is that soldiers would no longer have to rely on traditional mail to return their ballots. The bill also would allow late ballots to be counted as long as they're back in the state before elections are certified, which happens three days after Election Day.
Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says she wants to make it easier for the state's military personnel to participate in elections. But a major provision is coming under fire from some groups that worry that allowing ballots cast online opens voters to fraud.
The Courier-Journal reports that the chairman of Common Cause of Kentucky delivered a letter to Grimes’ office Wednesday. The letter said the group "strongly recommend against allowing ballots to be cast online via email, efax, or through Internet portals.”
Ashley Judd is the most discussed potential Democratic candidate to challenge U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell' for his seat in 2014, but not all Kentucky Democratic statewide officers are supporting the idea. Auditor Adam Edelen said he'll be encouraging and supporting Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Kentucky secretary of state, for the 2014 senate race -- because of Grimes' focus on state, not national, issues.
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is expecting a record number of voters to cast ballots in next week's general election. Grimes, the top state election officer, said Tuesday that legislative races seem to be generating enthusiasm among Kentucky voters.
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is asking lawmakers to pass legislation next year to ensure that Kentucky soldiers deployed overseas are able to cast ballots. One of the measures Grimes proposed during a Capitol press conference on Wednesday would allow soldiers to return absentee ballots via email, lifting a requirement that ballots be send back via the U.S. Postal Service.
Kentucky's secretary of state is one of a half-dozen from across the country going the Middle East to assist soldiers to vote. The Lexington Herald-Leader says the Federal Voting Assistance Program and the Department of Defense asked Alison Lundergan Grimes to spend two weeks in September traveling in Afghanistan, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to meet with American uniformed soldiers.