Grimes pushing again to expand early voting in Kentucky

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FRANKFORT, Ky. - Early voting is on Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes legislative agenda this year.

Kentucky law currently allows people who will be away from their home precinct on Election Day, such as members of the military and students, to vote using absentee ballots.

State Rep. Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, is sponsoring legislation on Grimes’ behalf that would allow early voting in county clerks offices at least 12 days prior to an election, including on two Saturdays.

“We’ve seen many county clerks come around to my proposal,” Grimes said. “This is how, I think, we encourage people to truly become a part of the process.”

Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, has said the legislation would be a burden on local candidates who have a limited campaign budget who concentrate their campaigning closer to Election Day.

“The time frame of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Election Day unnecessarily restricts working men and women, students, you name it,” Grimes said Tuesday.

Grimes has pushed for early voting every year since she has been in office. It passed the House last year, but stalled in the Senate. If approved by lawmakers this year, it could take effect with the 2018 elections.

“It’s already being done successfully in 37 states, and the fiscal impact on our clerks would be minimal, in comparison to the huge benefits it would provide our citizens,” Grimes said.

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