Secretary of State
Voting Machines on Display at State Fair, Reagan Voted Most Popular President in 20th Century

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, August 26, 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, Kentucky) Late President Ronald Reagan still holds a warm place in many Kentuckians hearts according to results released today from a straw poll by the Office of the Secretary of State at the 2008 Kentucky State Fair.  Fairgoers were asked to vote for their “favorite President of the 20th Century” from a list of Presidents that included five Democrats and five Republicans.  The straw poll was part of the Office of the Secretary of State’s efforts to teach voters about the voting machines used across the Commonwealth. 

            “We were delighted to meet so many Kentuckians and to witness their excitement about the electoral process in Kentucky,” said Secretary of State Trey Grayson, Kentucky Chief Election Official.  “Thousands of Kentuckians viewed their voting machines and hundreds registered to vote over the 11-day fair.  I hope this is an indication of heightened interested in the upcoming election.”

            Complete results of the straw poll include:

Candidate                                 Votes               Percentage


Ronald Reagan-                        363                  33.24%

John F. Kennedy-                     182                  16.16%

Bill Clinton-                              113                  10.04%

George H.W. Bush-                 101                  8.97%

Theodore Roosevelt-                96                    8.53%

Franklin Roosevelt-                  83                    7.73%

Gerald Ford-                            77                    6.84%

Dwight Eisenhower-                 40                    3.55%

Woodrow Wilson-                   37                    3.29%

Harry Truman-             34                    3.02%


Total Votes -                            1126

            The Office of the Secretary of State has displayed the voting machines for the last five years but the demonstrations took on new meaning this year as over thirty counties are expected to move to digital scan voting equipment at the polls.

“This new equipment is user-friendly and provides voters with a very important tool in today’s elections—a voter verified paper record,” said Secretary of State Trey Grayson.  “I applaud the County Clerks and Fiscal Courts in these counties for taking the lead in moving to these systems.  I will continue to work with these officials to highlight the new voting systems as we head into the general election.”

The equipment is a precinct-based voting system that digitally captures voter selections on printed ballots and integrates vote totals from absentee-by-mail and electronic voting systems to produce a single set of election reports.  In fact, over 90 counties in Kentucky already use the machines for absentee balloting.  The new systems should help reduce the time for unofficial vote totals to be tabulated on election night.

Voters will recognize the ballot casting procedure as similar to standardized tests where citizens fill in an oval to mark their selection.  With the digital scan technology, the system reads the ballot, tabulates the results and preserves a digital image of the ballot.  Multiple voters will be able to mark ballots at one time, reducing lines at the polls.

            The capabilities of the equipment include functionality to reject overvoted and blank ballots thereby providing second chance voting at the precinct, just as voters would have through the use of the Direct Recording Equipment, commonly known as “electronic voting machines.” With the equipment, voters know instantly if their ballot was accepted or rejected and have the opportunity to change or correct their ballot before it is cast and counted.

            Each county will still have an accessible voting machine at each polling location in order to remain compliant with the Federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002.       Voters will have the choice to use either machine to cast their ballot.

            “These systems should reduce wait times at the polls, provide quicker results, and bring even greater accountability to Kentucky’s lauded elections process.  I look forward to more counties implementing this technology,” stated Grayson.

Counties will receive a reimbursement for a majority of the costs of the machines from the State Board of Elections.  The money comes from Federal HAVA funds.

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