Senate Bill 127 came one step closer to becoming law after the House Elections, Constitutional Amendments, and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee passed the bill unanimously today.
“I laud the efforts of the Committee to pass this bill which provides a clear process for challenging the bona fides of candidates before Election Day,” stated Secretary of State Trey Grayson, a strong proponent of the bill. “It is my hope, through efforts such as this, no voter will be disenfranchised on Election Day.”
The bill is sponsored by Senator Bob Leeper (I-Paducah) and co-sponsored by Senator Richie Sanders, Jr. (R-Franklin), Senator Julie Rose Denton (R-Louisville), and Senator Johnny Ray Turner (D-Drift). 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.
Senate Bill 127 requires 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 establishes parameters that allow 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.
“I am encouraged by the actions of the committee and implore the full House of Representatives to act in an expeditious manner in order to strengthen Kentucky’s election laws.”
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