Kentucky bill requiring photo ID to vote advances through Senate committee

Louisville Courier Journal,  January 22, 2020

"A bill requiring Kentuckians to have government-issued photo identification in order to vote passed through a Senate committee Wednesday and now heads to the full chamber.

The bill passed through the Senate Local Government Committee on a party-line vote of eight Republicans for and three Democrats against.

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Kentucky law currently allows eligible voters to cast a ballot if they present identification, but does not require such identification to include a photograph.

The bill that passed the committee Wednesday was amended from the original version of SB 2 filed two weeks ago, which faced criticism over a complicated provisional voting process and features making some college IDs insufficient to vote.

Noting that Secretary of State Michael Adams could not cite any recent example of voter fraud through impersonation, such critics referred to the bill as 'a solution in search of a problem' that would create unnecessary barriers to voting.

The amended version of SB 2 addressed some of those concerns, such as striking the provision requiring photo IDs to have an expiration date. Cards issued by the University of Louisville and University of Kentucky do not have such dates.

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The amended version of the bill states that eligible voters without a voter ID can now cast a regular ballot after signing the affidavit and do not have to follow up at the county clerk's office in order for their vote to count.

While the original version of SB 2 required voters to include a copy of their photo ID in  their request to receive an absentee ballot by mail, the amended version states if a copy of the photo ID is not included, they will receive the reasonable impediment affidavit to sign and turn in along with the absentee ballot."

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Hannah Piercey

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