Bill aimed at shielding absentee ballot info from vote buyers passes House panel

02/19/2013 03:46 PM

Legislation to protect personal information of Kentuckians who request absentee ballots passed the House Committee on Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs on Tuesday.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes has pushed for the changes so that potential vote buyers can’t use open records requests before the election to figure out which voters requested absentee ballots.

“Currently, we are allowing the opportunity, not just for groups, but for individuals to contact the individuals who requested an absentee ballot to request, to exploit, to persuade,” she told the committee.

The bill, House Bill 203, “works to free those who are rightly entitled to participate in our absentee voting program from the reality and fear of victims of vote buying or undue influence,” Grimes added.

The bill, which is sponsored by Rep. Daryl Owens, D-Louisville, has the support of the Kentucky Press Association because absentee numbers would still be open
to disclosure after the election, Grimes said.

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