Grimes asks court to allow more time for absentee voters in special elections

08/10/2012 12:16 PM

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes filed a lawsuit Friday asking to bump up the filing deadline for special elections this fall to give absentee voters, such as overseas military personnel, more time to cast their ballots.

Kentucky is expecting at least three special elections set for the regular Nov. 6 general election date. The winners of those special elections will fill state legislative and a congressional seat that were vacated when the incumbents resigned for various reasons earlier this summer.

Oct. 9 is the filing deadline for candidates in those special elections, which is 28 days from the Nov. 6 Election. That would give absentee voters only 27 days to cast their ballots.

Grimes contends that 27 days is not enough time for military service members and voters overseas to cast an absentee ballot, said Lynn Sowards Zellen, spokeswoman for the Secretary of State.

Grimes made that case in the lawsuit filed in Franklin Circuit Court, which was first tweeted by Bluegrass Politics on Friday afternoon.

If the court agrees with Grimes, an earlier filing deadline would be selected. To change the law for future special elections, Grimes plans to work with lawmakers in the 2013 session, Zellen said.

Kentucky will have special elections in the 2nd state House and 19th Senate Districts to replace Democratic Rep. Fred Nesler of Maysville, who resigned to take a job with the state Agriculture Department, and Democratic Sen. Tim Shaughnessy, who stepped down to focus on his job with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Gov. Steve Beshear is expected to call a special election for the 4th Congressional seat vacated by Geoff Davis, who resigned last week for family reasons.


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