Adams wants to make some voting changes permanent

FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Kentucky’s chief election officer says he will seek to have some of the changes in the voting process for the 2020 election made permanent during the 2021 General Assembly.

Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams says there are four items he hopes lawmakers consider after he and Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear developed the plan and issued executive orders on conducting the election during the coronavirus pandemic.

The first concerns early voting, which was successful in the general election cycle.

“I don’t think we need three weeks for every election,” Adams said. “But a few days would really help take the pressure off voters to show up in a 12-hour span on one day, which is a workday. Saturday voting was very popular. I’ve already done a survey of the county clerks and most of them like early voting, including Saturdays.”

The next area is vote centers, where residents of every precinct in a county can go. “The clerks really liked those, too,” he said. “It really helps them need fewer locations and fewer pill workers to run their elections and also saves them money, they’ve told me. They like that model better than the old-fashioned model. I don’t want to eliminate all precinct voting, but I do want to see at least some use of vote centers.”

Keeping the online absentee ballot portal. “We’re going to have more absentee balloting than we’ve had in the past,” Adams said. “Even if we don’t change the law to expand absentee voting, more voters are going to use it, because now they’re familiar with it and they like it,” Adams said. “Way more than two percent of voters qualify to vote absentee based on their age or their health, and so forth, but only two percent have voted absentee over the past 25 years. We’re going to have way more than that vote absentee in the future.”

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