Secretary of State
Kentucky Leads Nation in Implementing National Voter Registration Act
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes today
shared Kentucky’s standard-setting voter registration practices with
secretaries of state from across the country at the National Association of
Secretaries of State Summer Conference in Portland, Maine.
“Thanks to continued commitment by and communication
among state agencies, Kentucky truly is leading the way in implementing the
tenets of the 1993 National Voter Registration Act,” said Grimes. “Our efforts
are helping to fulfill the Act’s purpose of enhancing voter registration
opportunities, making sure our elections are accessible to all eligible voters.
I’m proud to share our practices with other election officials and hope our
experience helps them as they continue to hone their own voter registration
In 1973 Kentucky became one of the first four states
to implement a centralized statewide voter registration system. The system was
updated in 1985 and underwent a major overhaul in 1995 to provide electronic
data sharing with driver’s licensing and public assistance agencies following
the enactment of the National Voter Registration Act in 1993.
Most recently, in 2014 Grimes oversaw a redesign of
Kentucky’s voter registration system to streamline applications and make it
more user-friendly for county clerks. The modernization of the system was
completed internally, resulting in an estimated savings to taxpayers of
approximately $2 million.
"The implementation of the VRS has saved my
staff time and my office money," said Boyle County Clerk Trille Bottom,
"and thanks to the training opportunities and free communication Secretary
Grimes provided, the transition from our old system was seamless."
Even now, more than two decades after the NVRA was
passed and Kentucky began offering fully electronic voter registration through
motor vehicle agencies, it remains one of only 30 states that does so. The
success of Kentucky’s system is evident in the consistent increases in the rate
of voter registration through driver’s licensing and public assistance
agencies, with the majority of applications made through driver’s licensing.
“Kentucky truly is leading the way in modernizing
and optimizing voter registration,” said Grimes. “I look forward to continuing
to work with other agencies, county clerks, and the General Assembly to make
even greater advancements so that all Kentuckians have an opportunity to
participate in our elections.”
Grimes is Southern Region Vice President of the
National Association of Secretaries of State, which is the nation’s oldest,
nonpartisan professional organization for public officials. It fosters sharing
of information and cooperation in developing public policy, particularly with
respect to elections and voting and state business services.
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