Grimes said she prefers current primary system, wants voting booths at VA hospitals

04/11/2011 06:30 PM

While saying she’s open to a debate over an open primary system, Democratic Secretary of State candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes said she’d prefer voters understand the consequence of registering with a particular party.

Some activists have pushed to allow voters who register as independents to be able to choose to vote in either the Republican or Democratic primaries.

“I think we have a very fair system now,” Grimes told Pure Politics’ host Ryan Alessi in an interview that aired Monday. “When people are making the decision, Ryan, to register rather as a Republican, Democrat or independent, many are not aware of the decision they are making, what the impact is on election day.”

Grimes said she isn’t particular about using paper voting or electronic voting machines, as long as each vote is counted and the votes are “protected.”

“As long as our county clerks are using their resources to make sure that voters can have confidence in the votes that they are casting on election-day, it’s a good thing,” Grimes said.

Grimes is vying for the Democratic nomination for Secretary of State against the incumbent, Elaine Walker, whom Gov. Steve Beshear appointed in January to fill out the remaining 11 months of the term of Trey Grayson. Grayson resigned to take a job at Harvard University.

The position oversees Kentucky’s voting process and business filings.

The veteran vote is one that’s important to Grimes.

“It’s a priority for me to make sure that our veterans not only have access to vote, but that their votes are counted, and I think we can do that by making sure that we have voting machines at our two veteran state hospitals and our three veteran’s nursing homes,” Grimes said.

Another change that Grimes wants is that Kentucky election law does not provide for unexcused early voting.

“I’m the only attorney in this race that knows these laws regarding voting election and business,” Grimes said. “I don’t believe my friends who are there trying to cast their vote because of age, disability or illness early, should have to go exercise their right back home and mail their ballot in.”

Grimes said the Secretary of state also should have a legal background to help oversee the implementation of Senate Bill 8, known as the “One Stop Business Shop” law, which will be implemented at the end of next year.

“It’s not only about voting and elections, but it’s about business,” Grimes said, noting prior Secretaries of States have been attorneys for a reason. “As a business attorney, this is my background, Ryan. I know the laws inside and out. I’ve litigated them my friend!”

- Lanny Brannock


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