Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R-Boone County) and Senator Bob Leeper (I-Paducah) announced their support today of Senate Bill 127, an act that would require any action commenced in a circuit court challenging candidates for office to be filed no later than 50 days prior to the general election. The bill already received bi-partisan support from Senator Richie Sanders, Jr. (R-Franklin) and Senator Johnny Ray Turner (D-Drift) who have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill.
“This bill can prevent much of the unnecessary haggling that comes with many election challenges,” stated Secretary Grayson. “Kentuckians deserve to know in advance who will be on their ballot and not have to worry about last minute challenges.”
Grayson noted that the bill provides a clear process for candidates to be challenged while supporting a framework that will allow the courts sufficient time to decide whether the candidate is bona fide before Election Day.
Previously, challenges could be filed at any time prior to the general election. Last minute challenges left voters open to disenfranchisement. Votes cast for candidates deemed ineligible for the office were suppressed.
“My hope is to prevent any voter from being disenfranchised on Election Day,” said Grayson.
The bill comes to the forefront of important issues facing lawmakers during the 2005 session due to a recent challenge in the 2004 election cycle, which is still pending in the courts.
Senator Leeper acknowledged the importance of the legislation and his full support of the legislation. “I am delighted to sponsor this legislation that will help protect Kentucky voters and candidates. This will provide the citizens of Kentucky with a more equitable election law for voters and for candidates.”
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