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Ky. Secretary Of State Adams: States Best To Handle Election Rules

Kyeland Jackson

Marcus Ray, president of the Kentucky NAACP, said he talked to Adams about the election bill, but wasn’t sure if he was the “high-level official” Adams referenced in his testimony. Contradicting Adams’ account, Ray said he supported keeping the expansion of absentee voting.

“We shouldn’t restrict the reasons you can get mail-in voting or absentee voting,” Ray said, adding that he doesn’t believe the state should “just mail everybody a ballot” without requesting one.

“Those two things aren’t necessarily the same. It’s my belief that we shouldn’t put any additional restrictions on absentee voting. But to blanketly mail everyone a ballot, then no.”

Raoul Cunningham, president of the Louisville NAACP, also said he wasn’t sure he was the person Adams referenced, but that he had wanted the elections bill to keep the expansion of absentee voting.

“The Louisville branch, we’re very disappointed that expanded mail-in balloting was not included in the election laws that were passed by the General Assembly,” Cunningham said.

While the Kentucky elections bill expanded access to voting, the state still has some of the most restrictive election rules in the nation—requiring people to register to vote at least 28 days before an election, banning people with felony convictions from voting and closing polls at 6 p.m., tied with Indiana as the earliest in the nation.

Last month, Senate Republicans blocked congressional Democrats’ massive voting rights bill, which would have expanded vote-by-mail and early voting across the nation, created more campaign finance reporting and required states to have independent redistricting commissions.

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the measure “an effort for the federal government to take over the way we conduct elections in this country.”

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