Secretary of State Grimes gets bipartisan support for online voting for military personnel

09/19/2012 12:11 PM

Upon her return from a trip visiting U.S. troops abroad, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes on Wednesday called for allowing military personnel overseas to send their absentee ballots online and via email.

She said the current snail-mail system causes U.S. military personnel to question whether their votes can get back to Kentucky in time for the election.

“It can take 45 days for a ballot to be obtained, filled out and returned to the United States for a member of our military service,” Grimes said.

Here are her three proposals to streamline the system:

Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo pledged that the proposals would be received well in the House. And Republican Senate President David Williams went a step further saying that package of law changes would get the number of Senate Bill 1 — a symbolic position of a high priority — and get its first reading on the first day of the 2013 session. And he predicted it would pass the Senate by the third day.

Grimes said 24 states allow overseas military personnel to send in absentee ballots as an email attachment.

She told reporters that the ballots would be transmitted tagged with each U.S. Service member’s military-issued electronic ID.

Grimes spent six days earlier this month in Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain. She was one of five secretaries of state to go on the Department of Defense trip, along with those from Nevada, Louisiana, Arkansas and Michigan.

Also attending the press conference at the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday were former Miss America Heather French Henry and her husband, former Lt. Gov. Steve Henry, and Democratic lawmakers Rep. Tanya Pullin of South Shore, Rep. Darryl Owens of Louisville and Sen. Joey Pendleton of Hopkinsville.


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