Bills would make changes to Ky. elections

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky made a number of changes to its elections last year in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Now, a pair of bills before the legislature could make some of those changes permanent.

Senate Bill 259 and House Bill 574 would allow four days of no-excuse, early voting, including on one Saturday.

It would also allow counties to create “voter centers” where any voter could cast a ballot, regardless of precinct.

The bills also address some concerns of Republicans, by mandating a transition to universal paper ballots and a ban on ballot harvesting.

Secretary of State Michael Adams praised the bills.

“This is the most significant election reform legislation in the past quarter-century,” Adams said. “I’m grateful to Sen. [Julie Raque] Adams and Rep. [Jennifer Henson] Decker for their leadership. Kentuckians across party lines embraced many features of last year’s elections, especially expanded in-person voting. It’s the General Assembly’s prerogative to make our election laws, and now I hope they will exercise their authority to make permanent improvements to our election system.”

Both bills were introduced this week and have been sent to each chamber’s Committee on Committees.