A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bill aimed at making election changes permanent easily passes Kentucky house on 93-4 vote

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

A measure to make permanent many of the changes made because of the COVID-19 pandemic during the 2020 elections passed the House Friday.

House Bill 574, sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Decker, R-Waddy, who said, “Kentucky enjoyed a record-breaking voter turnout in the 2020 election, and the result caused many members of the General Assembly to consider which if any of the emergency election procedures adopted during the pandemic should be made permanent. Without new legislation, our election law will revert to the statutory framework that existed before the pandemic.”

Provisions of the bill include:

Rep. Jennifer Decker’s election measure, putting in place many of the changes made in the 2020 election, passed through the House on Friday and now goes to the Senate. (Photo from Kentucky Today)

• Creating three days of early in-person voting, the Thursday, Friday and Saturday before an election. An excuse would not be required for Saturday.

• Enhancing the ability of state election officials to remove nonresident voters from the voter rolls.

• Transitioning toward universal paper ballots, statewide.

• Permitting counties to establish vote centers, where any voter in the county may go regardless of their home precinct.

• Keeping the online voter portal, so absentee balloting is fully transparent both to voters and election officials.

• Expressly prohibiting and penalizing ballot harvesting.

• Retaining the signature cure process, so absentee voters whose signatures have changed over time have a chance to prove identity and have their ballots counted.

• Allowing registered voters who are not registered as Democrats or Republicans to serve as poll workers.

An amendment proposed by Rep. Pamela Stevenson, R-Louisville, which would allow someone who is homeless and lacks a fixed place of residence, an option to use as their address such places as a church or homeless shelter, was adopted by voice vote on the House floor.

One change, sponsored by Rep. Buddy Wheatley, D-Covington, that would expand early in-person voting to Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday for two weeks before an election instead of three days, was defeated.

Another proposed change requiring a voting center for every 75,000 registered voters in a county was not called up for consideration by its sponsor, Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville. It was indicated that the Senate would take that up.

The measure, including Stevenson’s amendment, was adopted on a 93-4 vote, and now heads to the Senate.

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One Comment

  1. Marva Cowans says:

    Still did not address the main culprit of the election fraud! The voting machines! Why is it that it is not spoken of or addressed? There will be NO election integrity until these are out of commission. You know this. Why are they trying to once again pull the wool over our eyes? This is NOT going to work!

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