Secretary of State
Primary Election 2006
(Frankfort, KY) – Kentucky voters headed to the polls today to choose candidates that will appear on the largest ballot in Kentucky’s history on November 7, 2006. While the State Board of Elections received general election calls on issues in election administration, the primary was successful, considering the number of changes facing Kentucky voters at the polls.
“Kentuckians adapted well to the changes they faced in this election,” stated Secretary of State Trey Grayson. “Most of this can be attributed to the outstanding efforts of election officials across the state who have worked diligently to ensure a successful election. In particular, we were pleased with the overwhelmingly positive response to the new voting equipment at the polls.”
Media reports prior to the election raised concerns that some voters might not be able to vote because of inadvertent voter registration cancellations related to a pioneering new election fraud pilot program. The program, initiated by the State Board of Elections, canceled the voter registration of over 8,000 voters who were last registered to vote in another state. The State Board of Elections received few calls of voters whose registrations were inadvertently cancelled. All voters who were eligible to vote in Kentucky were allowed to vote due to existing safeguards built into state law.
“We are delighted that the pilot program appears to be a great success. This effort is the type of aggressive action elections officials need to pursue in order to rid fraud from the elections process,” noted Secretary Grayson.
It is also possible that other voters were inadvertently canceled but did not report it to the State Board of Elections.
“One of the most important factors we considered when developing this effort was that any voter whose registration was inadvertently canceled would have the opportunity to vote. This program was instituted to ensure an accurate voter roll as required by federal law,” remarked Grayson. “We will work to make sure that all problems are addressed to ensure that voters are not inconvenienced in the future.”
While many aspects of the elections process went well on Tuesday, the State Board of Elections also documented calls of possible voter fraud from a number of counties. The information has been turned over to appropriate investigative authorities as the Board does not have the authority to conduct investigations.
Grayson stated, “We will continue to work with the United States Attorneys, the Kentucky Attorney General, and other law enforcement officials to ensure that voter fraud is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Turnout reports from across the state were mixed as jurisdictions had varying numbers of races on the ballots and diverse interest levels from voters. Official turnout results will not be available for days as the results are officially relayed to state officials. Unofficial estimates will also not be available as there are no statewide races on the ballot. A larger number of absentee ballots led to higher turnout predictions in some areas of the state.
County Boards of Elections must certify the results of the election to the Secretary of State by Noon on Friday, May 19, 2006. The Secretary of State then submits the certified vote totals cast for the different candidates to the State Board of Elections which will issue certificates of nominations on May 31, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. The reported totals become the official votes unless a candidate makes a written request for a recanvass, in which case the recanvassed totals become the official returns for the election. Candidates have until Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 4:00 p.m. to request a recanvass. All recanvasses will be conducted on Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 9:00 a.m.
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