Grayson Asks Governor for Help with Possible Runoff Election

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Secretary of State Trey Grayson has asked the governor to consider ways to help cash-strapped counties across the state cover the costs of administering a runoff election this June.

Counties would have to pay about $1,800 per precinct, and the combined cost to local governments could be about $7 million.

"The situation requires immediate attention," Grayson said in his letter to the governor.

Seven Democrats and three Republicans are seeking their parties' nominations in the May 22 primary. A runoff election would be held in late June if a candidate in either race does not get at least 40 percent of the vote.

Grayson said there is a "real possibility" that the state would have a runoff election this year because of the number of candidates involved.

In his letter, Grayson said Fletcher has two options: have the General Assembly deal with it in a special session or determine if the state may pay the counties' share of administering the election.

Fletcher is facing re-election opposition in the GOP primary from former U.S. Rep. Anne Northup and Paducah businessman Billy Harper.

The candidates seeking the Democratic nod include former Lt. Govs. Steve Beshear and Steve Henry, Lexington attorney Gatewood Galbraith, demolition contractor Otis Hensley, Louisville businessman Bruce Lunsford, State Treasurer Jonathan Miller and House Speaker Jody Richards.

Today, the governor relesed a respong to Grayson.

"I have responded to Secretary Grayson’s letter to let him know that I, too, share his concerns about a potential runoff election. I have met with county clerks, and I understand the potential problems they face should their be a runoff – problems including assembling dedicated poll workers so soon after the primary, the disenfranchisement of voters and the unfunded mandate it places on counties. We are evaluating all avenues to address these concerns, including the possibility of funding the runoff as a necessary government expense or addressing the issue during a special session."

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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