Secretary of State
Bill to Fund Secretary Grimes' Address Confidentiality Program for Victims of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Signed by Governor
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and today Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes participated in a ceremony in which Governor Beshear signed House Bill 316, which creates a fund for the administration of Grimes’ address confidentiality program (“ACP”) for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.
The ACP, which Grimes established in 2014, keeps participants’ names and addresses out of publicly available voter records. Participants are also eligible to vote via mail-in absentee ballot.
House Bill 316, sponsored by Rep. Tom Burch (D-Louisville), prescribes a fee to be paid by perpetrators of sex crimes and other offenses and allocates a portion of that fee to a fund to operate and maintain the ACP.
“I firmly believe that no eligible voter should be discouraged from voting out of fear for his or her safety, so establishing an address confidentiality program to help ensure the safety of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault was a priority of mine when I took office,” said Grimes. “We successfully obtained legislation to create the program in 2013 and implemented it last year within my office’s existing budget. With the funding provided by HB 316, I am eager for the opportunity to provide even greater support and protection for participants.”
Grimes began working to create the ACP early in 2012, and legislation establishing the program was unanimously approved by the General Assembly in 2013. That bill was sponsored by Rep. Joni Jenkins (D-Louisville) and 18 other representatives, including a majority of the women in the House.
“Your vote is your voice,” said Grimes. “Together and through this program, we can ensure that Kentuckians’ voices are no longer silenced by their abusers and attackers.”
To be eligible to participate in the ACP, an individual must either have a current emergency protective order or domestic violence order under KRS Chapter 403, or be a victim of a specified offense, including domestic violence and abuse and sex crimes, in a criminal case that is ongoing or resulted in a conviction.
For more information about the ACP, visit www.sos.ky.gov.