ACLU Files Lawsuit Over Kentucky’s New Voter Photo ID Law

WFPL,  May 27, 2020

"The ACLU has filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging Kentucky’s new voter ID law, arguing it increases Kentuckians’ risk of exposure to coronavirus by requiring people to visit ID-issuing offices during the pandemic.

The lawsuit also asks the court to extend Kentucky’s new expanded vote-by-mail policy beyond the June primary elections.

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The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of several individuals who say they have health issues that make it dangerous for them to go to a polling place or get an ID during the pandemic. Plaintiffs also include the Kentucky League of Women Voters, the Louisville Urban League and the Kentucky NAACP.

Last month the Republican-led Kentucky legislature passed the law requiring voters to provide a photo ID in order to cast a ballot starting with the upcoming general election in November.

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed the legislation, arguing that it would hinder access to the polls, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, but lawmakers easily overrode it.

The law also allows people to cast a ballot if they show a social security card or credit card and sign an affidavit promising they are who they claim to be.

Corey Shapiro, legal director for the ACLU of Kentucky, said that despite the exceptions, minorities, older people and people with disabilities will still have trouble obtaining the documents necessary to get ID cards.

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The photo ID requirement has been a top priority of Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams, a Republican who campaigned on the issue during his successful election this year.

Adams has argued that the requirement would make it harder to commit in-person voter fraud, which rarely happens in Kentucky."

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Hannah Piercey

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