Secretary of State
State Board of Elections Wins Court Order to Protect Military and Overseas Voters

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, May 19, 2015  
Contact Information:  Lynn Sowards Zellen
Director of Communications
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes
(502) 330-9839

The Kentucky State Board of Elections and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, the state’s chief election official, have sought and obtained a court order to extend the absentee ballot return deadline for select military and overseas voters in today’s Primary Election.

Twelve voters appropriately applied for absentee ballots using the state’s electronic portal for military and overseas voters, but the outside vendor that operates the portal did not send the ballots in a timely manner. The State Board of Elections became aware of the issue on May 18, and it worked diligently and expeditiously to ensure the voters’ ballots were sent to them. Grimes and the State Board of Elections sought and obtained an order from the Court that same day, which ensures the voters’ ballots may be counted.

State law requires that absentee ballots be received by voters’ county clerks before 6 p.m. prevailing time on Election Day in order to be counted. Although the vendor transmitted the ballots immediately after the State Board of Elections pointed out the error, due to the location of many of the affected military and overseas voters, it is unlikely the clerks would receive their ballots before the deadline. To ensure the affected voters’ ballots may be counted, the court’s order extends the return deadline by 11 days as long as the ballots are postmarked by 6 p.m. on Election Day. The extended deadline applies to the affected voters only.

The Kentucky Military and Overseas Voter Portal has been widely praised by Kentucky county clerks and its users. The portal was in full operation for the November 2014 General Election, and more than 700 voters have utilized its features, which include registering to vote and requesting and receiving absentee ballots electronically. 

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