Kentucky newspaper offers reward for evidence of vote buying

Kentucky newspaper offers reward for evidence of vote buying
Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 4:19 PM EDT
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SALYERSVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - A small town newspaper is trying to protect local democracy by offering up a reward for any evidence of vote buying in the county.

Sometimes election season can bring out the worst in people, from damaging and vandalizing signs to flinging mud across the aisle.

In Magoffin County, the concern is that some voters may be paid to cast their ballot.

This election cycle, they’re hoping to break the cycle. If history is any indication, something has to change. In 2016, a federal jury convicted three people in Magoffin County of conspiring to buy votes.

The Salyersville Independent newspaper raised eyebrows after placing an ad in their own paper, offering up a $3,000 cash reward for credible and concrete evidence of vote buying

Owner Ritt Mortimer says it wasn’t a decision he came to lightly.

“It’s of my opinion that every election of my 51 years has involved vote buying in Magoffin County, either to a small or very large degree at times, depending on the races involved, the money, the other factors,” Mortimer said.

He says new technology is making it easier than ever to record video or audio that could be used to prosecute individuals.

For Mortimer, it’s his way of trying to protect democracy in his hometown, but it will take a committed effort from everyone.