Voter ID bill passes Senate committee easily

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - Legislation to require voters to have a picture ID when they go to the polls cleared a Senate committee on Wednesday.


Sen. Robby Mills, R-Henderson is the sponsor of the measure, said, “If they do not have a photo ID, they may produce another form of ID such as a social security card, a credit or debit card, and affirm under penalty of perjury, that they are qualified to vote at the place where they are voting.”


In addition, “Someone without an ID will be required to sign a statement identifying a reasonable impediment to obtaining such an ID, such as a work schedule, disability or illness, or inability to afford the documents necessary to obtain that ID.”


Voters without a photo ID would still be able to cast their ballot, but would have to return to the county clerk’s office by Friday following the election to produce either a photo ID or another approved form of identification and sign a statement of reasonable impediments, in order to have their provisional ballot validated.


Secretary of State Michael Adams also testified before the Senate State and Local Government Committee on behalf of the bill. 


”We’ve gone over concerns with stakeholder, people who oppose the bill, and I respect their opinions,” Adams said.  “We’ve listened, we’ve gone out of our way back and forth to correspond, to meet in person and get their feedback.”


Corey Shapiro, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, said he was pleased some changes were made to the legislation, but still had some concerns.


“The current bill would require a brand-new complicated scheme to be in effect for November 2020.  This simply cannot be done and any court and any court that would likely look at this would look at it unfavorably, with such as rushed implementation.”


Another was what he termed a reasonable impediment to getting proper documentation.


Sen. Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville, pointed out there has been no case in Kentucky of in-person voting fraud.  “This is a solution in search of a problem.”


The measure passed 9-3, strictly along party lines, and now heads to the Senate floor.

  

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