Secretary of State
State Board of Elections Acts to Prevent Voter Intimidation at Voting Locations

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, May 05, 2015  
Contact Information:  Lynn Sowards Zellen
Director of Communications
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes
(502) 330-9839
Email: lynn.zellen@ky.gov
 


Alison Lundergan Grimes, Secretary of State and Chief Election Official, is notifying the public that the State Board of Elections has approved and filed an emergency administrative regulation prohibiting electioneering within 100 feet of the entrance to a polling place on Election Day. The emergency administrative regulation, which is effective immediately, does not apply to private property.

Specifically, the emergency administrative regulation, which was authorized by Governor Beshear, prohibits individuals from displaying signs, distributing campaign literature, soliciting signatures to any petition, or soliciting votes for or against a candidate or issue on the ballot in a manner that expressly advocates the election or defeat of the candidate or approval or defeat of the ballot question within 100 feet of an entrance to a polling place that is being used by voters. The emergency administrative regulation also prohibits those activities in or on a building in which absentee voting is being conducted.

In addition to the private property exception, the emergency administrative regulation does not prohibit exit polling and does not apply to bumper stickers affixed to a vehicle that is within the 100-foot zone for a reasonable amount of time in which to vote.

The emergency administrative regulation comes in the wake of an April 28 Opinion by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit that a Kentucky statute prohibiting electioneering within 300 feet of a polling place was unconstitutional.

“A campaign-free zone around voting locations is necessary to prevent voter intimidation and election fraud,” said Grimes. “The ruling came just weeks before Election Day, and when absentee voting was already underway, so the State Board acted quickly to exercise its authority to put in place a ban that both helps ensure our elections are free and fair and complies with the Court’s ruling. I am proud of the Board’s response and its commitment to maintaining the integrity of Kentucky’s elections.”

###