Kentucky secretary of state praises “most significant election-reform” legislation in 25 years

Published 5:09 am Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Legislation that would make early in-person voting a fixture in Kentucky’s elections won praise Tuesday from Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams.

Bills introduced this week in the House and Senate, both dominated by Republicans, would create four days of early in-person voting, including a Saturday, with no excuse required, Adams said. He called it Kentucky’s “most significant election-reform legislation in the past quarter-century.”

“It’s the General Assembly’s prerogative to make our election laws, and now I hope they will exercise their authority to make permanent improvements to our election system,” Adams said in a release.

Last year, pandemic-related rules for Kentucky’s general election included multiple weeks of in-person early voting, including Saturdays, to prevent a crush of Election Day voting. The rules applying to last year’s election were reached in a bipartisan agreement between Adams and Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear.

Adams said Tuesday that the measures now before lawmakers would enhance voter access and ballot integrity. The bills also would allow counties to establish vote centers, where any voter in the county may vote regardless of precinct, he said. The proposals also would enhance the ability of state election officials to remove nonresident voters from the voter rolls, he said.