Secretary of State
Legislation to Protect Voters at the Polls Heads to Governor’s Desk
(Frankfort, KY) The Kentucky House acted today to protect Kentucky elections from fraudulent “pay-per-card” voter registration techniques that ran rampant across the country in previous elections by passing House Bill 301, sponsored by Rep. Adrian Arnold (D-Mount Sterling). The legislation returned to the House after the Senate amended the bill. The bill now goes to Governor Fletcher for his signature.
“Pay-per-card” voter registration is when individuals are paid for each voter registration card that they turn into a sponsoring organization. This commission-based registration technique resulted in numerous registration issues across the country during the 2004 presidential election. Most commonly, the individuals gathering the registration cards filled out cards for imaginary individuals or duplicated registrations in order to increase their payment.
“Kentucky, for the most part, avoided this type of rampant fraud in the 2004 election cycle and with the work of the General Assembly, I hope to never see it in the Commonwealth.” stated Secretary of State Trey Grayson. “I want to thank Chairman Arnold and Chairman Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown) for shepherding this important piece of my legislative package.”
House Bill 301 prohibits the paying of individuals based upon the number of voters registered and designates the violation of the law as a Class B misdemeanor.
“This bill will also empower citizens who conduct voter registration drives in a manner that is not so apt for fraud. I encourage those citizens to continue to actively register voters and to work to increase our voter turnout in future elections,” Grayson remarked.
The Kentucky General Assembly and Secretary Grayson worked diligently last year to eradicate fraud from Kentucky’s election process by creating an electioneering-free zone around polling locations. House Bill 301 also addresses electioneering by creating a more effective law to govern in-house absentee voting typically held at county clerk’s offices. The bill also gives the State Board of Elections the authority to pass necessary regulations to allow exceptions to the electioneering ban for items such as bumper stickers.
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