Adams says Kentucky’s election plan needs some tweaking
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Lawmakers once again discussed Kentucky’s process for elections.
In November, Kentucky lawmakers had some harsh words for state elections officials during a legislative panel meeting.
On Wednesday, Secretary of State Michael Adams told legislators of the Kentucky House Elections Committee that the commonwealth’s overall election plan does not need an overhaul, but it does need tweaking.
However, Republican Representative Jason Nemes, who represents Oldham County, says Election Day was a nightmare for some. He says some people had trouble parking, and elderly people had to cross a dangerous road and then wait in a line that wrapped around a school to vote.
“And I think what we saw was an absolute abomination,” Nemes said. “At South Oldham Middle School, the lines were around the front of the building, side of the building, all the way to be back. People in wheelchairs, people on canes.”
Secretary of State Michael Adams says plans in those places were approved by the Kentucky Board of Elections.
“Unfortunately, the Board of Elections expressed impatience with our review, questioned our authority to conduct it, overruled my objections and approved every single county plan.”
Adams told lawmakers that, overall, Kentucky is a model for the nation because its lawmakers, governor and others have made it easier to vote but harder to cheat. He says more legislation may be needed, though, to address the long lines at some locations.
“What I asked them for today, specifically, is to increase the number of voting locations. There’s some tools they could use to do that. One is to give our office additional authority to veto plans at the local level that reduce the places to vote,” said Adams.
State Board of Elections officials say they will take the matters into consideration but say some problems were tied to staffing and the two constitutional amendments.
“Quite possibly it was the longest ballots the commonwealth has ever experienced,” said Karen Sellers, Board of Elections.
Sellers also says many counties were upgrading voting equipment and there was a new paper ballot audit standard.
Secretary Adams says he believes the General Assembly has done a great job working in a bipartisan fashion to make sure the election process is a smooth one.
This is a short year session, and, already, legislative leaders say they don’t want to focus on major overhaul legislation over the next 28 days.
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