"An amended version of a bill to require photo identification to vote in Kentucky is expected to receive final passage in the state House early this week.
Critics have pushed for a delay in the law's implementation, but the compromise bill is unlikely to make that happen. Instead, it would be in effect for the November general election.
Kentucky law currently allows eligible voters to cast a ballot if they present some identification, but Senate Bill 2 would require the identification to include the individual's photograph.
The amended version of SB 2, passed by the Senate in January, would allow those without a driver's license to obtain a free photo ID card at their county clerk's office and allow eligible voters without a photo ID to cast a regular ballot or absentee ballot if they sign an affidavit.
A House committee advanced SB 2 two weeks ago, and the full chamber could take up the bill soon, though 39 floor amendments have been filed to it — mostly by Democrats seeking additional compromises or expanding voting hours and days.
University of Kentucky law professor Joshua Douglas told legislators in the February committee meeting that the bill should maintain voters' right to cast a ballot if a poll worker recognizes them, in addition to including a voter's inability to obtain a birth certificate as an acceptable impediment to obtaining a photo ID.
These two suggestions were included in the final floor amendment filed by Rep. James Tipton, R-Taylorsville, Friday, which Adams says he fully supports. Under the personal recognizance amendment, the poll worker allowing such an acquaintance to vote without a photo ID would have to sign an affidavit.
Adams added that he also supports a floor amendment filed by Rep. Reginald Meeks, D-Louisville, which includes Douglas' suggestion to allow a 'catch-all provision' in the affidavit signed by a voter. The affidavit lists several reasonable impediments to an individual obtaining a photo ID and this addition would include any not specifically listed.
Two suggested changes to SB 2 offered by Douglas are not in these amendments: removing the requirement to send signed voter affidavits to county prosecutors for presentation to a grand jury and delaying the implementation of the bill until after the general election this fall to prevent any confusion the changes may create."
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