February 24, 2015
Today, (Monday) the Kentucky House of Representatives passed legislation based on Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes’ recommendations to modernize voter registration in Kentucky.
House Bill 214, a bill to allow voters to register to vote and update their voter registration electronically, passed 92-3. House Bill 212, which would allow in-person absentee voting on the basis of age, disability or illness, previously passed unanimously. Both bills are sponsored by Rep. Darryl Owens (D-Louisville).
Grimes has pursued the use of technology to protect the right to vote since being elected, successfully seeking in 2013 legislation to permit electronic voter registration for military and overseas voters. In 2014 she oversaw the implementation of the military and overseas voting portal, which has been praised nationally by voters and local election officials alike for how easy and convenient it is to use. Grimes also held roundtable discussions with elected officials and citizens around the state to discuss expanding electronic voter registration to all voters.
“Electronic voter registration is more convenient and secure, saves our county clerks time and money, and results in more accurate voting records,” said Grimes. “I’m glad the House has taken this important step in modernizing voter registration in the Commonwealth. I hope the Senate will do the same so Kentucky can join the 27 other states that have implemented or are in the process of implementing some form of electronic voter registration.”
Grimes’ proposal has enthusiastic, bipartisan support, including endorsements by all members of the Kentucky State Board of Elections and all living former secretaries of state. In addition, the 2013 Presidential Commission on Election Administration, a bipartisan commission tasked with identifying ways to improve the voting experience, made implementing electronic voter registration part of its number one recommendation to states. The practice has also been endorsed by both the Republican National Lawyers Association and The Pew Charitable Trusts.
On February 13, the House unanimously passed HB 212, legislation proposed by Grimes to allow voters who are unable to go to the polls on Election Day due to age, disability or illness to vote in the county clerk’s office prior to the day of the election.
House Bills 214 and 212 now move to the Senate for further action. To track their status, visit the Legislative Research Commission’s website.