Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky’s chief election official, and Attorney General Jack Conway, the state’s chief law enforcement official, are again joining forces to prevent vote fraud in the May 20 Primary Election.
Members of the Kentucky Election Integrity Task Force, headed by Grimes, met on Tuesday to coordinate efforts to protect the integrity of the election.
Because there are federal races on the ballot, the United States Attorney’s offices in the Eastern and Western Districts are members of the task force. As part of Grimes’ continued effort to expand Kentucky’s traditional defenses against vote fraud, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Kentucky State Police, and Kentucky State Board of Elections attended Tuesday’s meeting.
In addition to a robust task force, new laws Grimes championed and the task force supported during the 2013 General Assembly will help ensure the May 20 Primary is free and fair. For the first time, victims of sexual assault and domestic violence are eligible for the Secretary of State’s Address Confidentiality Program, keeping their identities out of publicly available voter records and allowing them to vote by mail-in absentee ballot. And lists of absentee voters will not be made public until after Election Day, helping protect them from being subjected to intimidation or vote buying.
“Safeguarding the right to vote and ensuring the reliability of the election process requires cooperation among all the stakeholders and making sure they have the necessary tools,” said Grimes. “I’m proud of our continued work with the expanded task force and ongoing efforts to make Kentucky’s election laws more efficient and effective.”
Grimes and Conway stressed that vote fraud will not be tolerated and that voters play an important role in maintaining the integrity of elections.
“While intra-agency cooperation is important to ensure elections in Kentucky are free and fair, it is critical that voters and poll workers around the state also be alert and report unusual election activity,” said Grimes.
“We’re doing everything we can to ensure an honest and fair election for all Kentuckians,” said Conway. “Investigators from my office will be patrolling precincts and polling places on Election Day, but we also need citizens to join in the effort by reporting any election irregularities.”
The Office of the Attorney General has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute election law violations. The Attorney General’s office also observes elections, operates a toll-free hotline to receive allegations of election law violations, and conducts post-election audits of randomly selected counties.
The number for the Attorney General’s Election Fraud Hotline is 800-328-VOTE (800-328-8683). The Hotline is open throughout the year during normal business hours and from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. (EST) on Election Day. On the day of the 2012 Primary, the Hotline received 31 calls. There were 183 calls from 57 counties during the 2012 General Election. Leading up to the election, citizens may contact their county clerk or the State Board of Elections at 800-246-1399 or 502-573-7100 to express concerns or request election information.
Members of the news media covering the election may be in the voting room for the limited purpose of filming the voting process. However, as per OAG 88-76, the media may not conduct interviews with voters inside the voting room, record the identity of voters, or disrupt the voting process, a Class A misdemeanor. See KRS 117.236.