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Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Secretary of State Launches "Easy to Vote" Bill


Today, Representative Jason Nemes (R-Louisville) filed House Bill 596, an election reform bill designed to make the voting experience easier both for voters and election officials. The bill is a top priority for Secretary of State Michael G. Adams, who ran for the Office on a platform of making it “easy to vote and hard to cheat.”



“I promised to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat,” Adams said. “Our Hard to Cheat bill, to require a Photo ID to vote, is well on its way to becoming law. Today we accompany that with our Easy to Vote bill, which will reduce counties’ election costs, shorten wait lines at the polls, and increase voter participation. I’m very grateful to Representative Nemes for sponsoring this bill.”

According to a release, the "Easy to Vote" bill proposes to change state law in the following ways:

- Extends polling hours to 7:00pm
- Extends voter registration deadline so prospective voters have more time to register before an election
- Makes voting by mail easier by permitting the choice of absentee voting in person or by mail
- Permits additional reasons for early voting: employment as “essential service personnel” such as first responders; bereavement; serious injury or illness of a family member
- Permits counties to establish “vote centers,” where any voter registered in a particular county may vote, rather than having to vote at his/her precinct. This benefits voters who may work on one side of the county and have a long work commute home to the other side of the county
- Allows counties who don’t adopt vote centers to more easily consolidate multi-precinct voting at one location
- Allows voters more time to change party affiliation prior to a primary election so they can vote in their preferred party’s primary
- Allows registered independents to serve as poll workers, addressing our poll worker crisis
- Permits poll workers to sign up for half-day shifts, further addressing our poll worker crisis
- Allows children and parents to obtain a medical-emergency absentee ballot, rather than just the voter and the voter’s spouse
- Reduce wait time for early voting by allowing a county clerk to place early-voting machines in any of the clerk’s office locations

To see the full bill go to https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/20rs/hb596.html




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