Secretary of State Michael Adams on Monday testified virtually before the U.S. House Committee on House Administration, calling on Congress to give states breathing space to reform their election processes and insisting on bipartisanship in any election legislation.
He told the panel about his work with Gov. Andy Beshear because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I asked our legislature for, and received, emergency powers, to be shared with our Democratic governor to permit us to implement temporary changes to our election system to ensure public safety, voter access and election security. We expanded absentee voting, and we established early voting for the first time in Kentucky history.”
During his testimony, Adams criticized the national media for perpetuating an overblown narrative about states, including Kentucky, allegedly disenfranchising their citizens.
“In the days before our June 2020 primary election, Kentucky was singled out in a national campaign of harassment and hate, with false accusations of voter suppression,” Adams said. “Our phones were clogged with angry callers from Washington, D.C., California and New York, cursing at us, sometimes threatening violence. This was directed at us by celebrities on Twitter, including a certain member of Congress who now chairs the Senate committee analogous to yours.”
He was referring to Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-MN, who became chair of the Senate Rules Committee in January 2021. On social media, reporting a Washington Post story in June 2020, she stated, “KY usually has 3,700 polling locations. Tuesday, there will be 200—with only ONE in the largest county where most of the Black population of KY lives. This is voter suppression—it’s insidious. Voting should be safe & easy. Let’s make that a reality.”
Adams added, “When the dust settled, however, Kentucky had conducted the most successful election in America at that point in the pandemic – safe, orderly, and with high turnout. Kentuckians knew better how to run an election in Kentucky than did the national media or national politicians.