Secretary of State
House Passes Grayson Initiative for Early Voting

Press Release Date:  Friday, March 14, 2008  
Contact Information:  Les Fugate, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
Office of the Secretary of State
Office: (502) 564-3490
Cell: (502) 229-3803

(Frankfort, KY) The Kentucky House of Representatives voted today to allow early voting in Kentucky, a voting procedure backed by Secretary of State Trey Grayson that allows voters to vote absentee ballots without having an excuse as currently required in the Commonwealth. The historic vote on House Bill 138 is the first time that early voting has passed out of a chamber in the Kentucky Legislature and is sponsored by Rep. Milward Dedman (D-Harrodsburg) and co-sponsored by Rep. Rob Wilkey (D-Scottsville).

"Kentuckians should be allowed to vote the way that they live. This legislation would bring Kentucky in line with 35 other states who currently allow some form of early voting," remarked Secretary of State Trey Grayson. "It is high time that Kentucky modernizes its voting procedures to reflect the way that we interact in the 21st Century."

Under the proposal, Kentucky counties would be required to allow voters to cast their ballot in-person at a location designated by the county clerk at least 12 working days prior to Election Day. The legislation mirrors the current absentee rules in Kentucky but allows voters to voter without having an excuse. Currently, voters must meet one of eight excuses to be able to cast a ballot at the county clerks’ offices before Election Day.

Grayson, during his 2007 campaign, noted the difficulty that some workers face in voting under Kentucky’s restrictive absentee voting laws. For instance, a healthcare worker who has a 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. shift at a location within the county in which he or she is registered to vote might face a situation where he or she cannot vote because he or she may not have time to vote when the polls open at 6:00 a.m. and still make it to work on time.

Secretary Grayson noted that he is looking forward to working with the sponsors to move this legislation forward in the Senate. "Rep. Dedman and Rep. Wilkey’s leadership on this issue is a great benefit to all Kentucky voters. For the first time, Kentucky has a real chance of making our elections process more accessible to all Kentucky voters, and I am hopeful that, with their help, we can get this legislation through the Senate during this session."

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