Military voting passes Senate without provision to allow troops to cast ballots electronically

02/26/2013 06:04 PM

Legislation aimed at making it easier for Kentucky military personnel stationed overseas and across the country to vote passed the Kentucky Senate on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 1, sponsored by Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, allows military members to request a ballot by electronic means. But the Senate bill still requires them to mail it back the old fashioned way, which goes against what Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes had wanted to lawmakers to do.

The bill passed 36-0.

Too many concerns about Internet security and the potential for vote tampering kept senators from embracing electronic voting for the troops, Stivers said. Among those raising concerns were government watchdogs like Richard Beliles, chairman of Common Cause of Kentucky.

“Just as much as you want to allow people the opportunity to vote, those people are fighting to make sure that we don’t have elections that have lost their integrity,” he said.

Some Senate Democrats disagreed with the change.

Minority Floor Leader R.J. Palmer, D-Winchester, said, “many of us believe that the bill that was originally drafted is a better bill.”

The original bill, had the phrase, votes can be cast by “facsimile” or by “electronic means.” The changes were made during the committee process last week.

The bill now goes to the House.


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