The state of Kentucky was praised on Friday after a bipartisan agreement was reached to expand voting by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Any Kentucky voter wary of the risk of COVID-19 will be able to vote in the Nov. 3 general election by mailing in an absentee ballot. Voters will also have the option of casting a ballot in person during the three weeks leading up to the election, or waiting until Election Day," the Lexington Herald-Leader reported Friday.
"Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and Secretary of State Michael Adams announced the voting procedure Friday after reaching a deal on how this fall’s election will be conducted as the coronavirus continues to spread," the newspaper reported. "The Democratic governor and Republican secretary of state, who oversees elections, said there will be an absentee voting policy in November that will let people who are concerned about COVID-19 ask for an absentee ballot using an online portal. They can then mail the ballot or place it in a drop box."
Kentucky is the scene of a battleground U.S. Senate race, with former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath challenging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Josh Douglas, an election law and voting rights professor at the University of Kentucky School of Law, praised the "very good news."
Here is the thread he posted on Twitter:
KY will essentially run election in 3 stages. First is vote-by-mail. Online portal to request a mail-in ballot will… https://t.co/pjeIWfLuGw— Josh Douglas (@Josh Douglas)1597435691.0
The relevant language is “of an age, or possessing of a health condition or vulnerability, or potentially in contac… https://t.co/KTef60j46X— Josh Douglas (@Josh Douglas)1597435821.0
Voters can return their ballots via secure ballot drop boxes—and there will be more than in June (though still mayb… https://t.co/0aMNDWCd3K— Josh Douglas (@Josh Douglas)1597435881.0
.@KYSecState just reiterated: "it's the voter's subjective determination" if they have a #COVID reason to vote abse… https://t.co/JknFAqSGIe— Josh Douglas (@Josh Douglas)1597435978.0
In addition—and this is HUGE—counties must notify voters regarding ANY rejected ballot and give that voter an oppor… https://t.co/sDLULlXJvL— Josh Douglas (@Josh Douglas)1597436027.0
Second: early voting. Early voting will open on Oct. 13, meaning there will be *three weeks* of early voting. That… https://t.co/2LN2qIWIHZ— Josh Douglas (@Josh Douglas)1597436067.0
There will be fewer polling places because of a lack of poll workers. But hopefully counties will submit sensible p… https://t.co/4t2rtvXIhm— Josh Douglas (@Josh Douglas)1597436126.0
The new law allows anyone without a photo ID, but with a non-photo ID, to fill out the reasonable impediment form.… https://t.co/iNtLKI26yt— Josh Douglas (@Josh Douglas)1597436170.0
I was very concerned about absentee voters needing to print out a copy of their ID, as text of new photo ID law see… https://t.co/lCN3d291SH— Josh Douglas (@Josh Douglas)1597436203.0
I think the court hearing the @ACLUofKY case will reject ACLU’s first claim on modifying the election procedures—th… https://t.co/uyFDGen3n5— Josh Douglas (@Josh Douglas)1597436258.0
So where do we end up? A more expansive voting plan than normal. Remember that KY normally has restrictive voting l… https://t.co/eo07hggNTL— Josh Douglas (@Josh Douglas)1597436320.0
(2) Fewer mail-in ballots will be rejected because voters notified of all mistakes, not just signature mismatches a… https://t.co/qxmg6FvpfZ— Josh Douglas (@Josh Douglas)1597436487.0
(5) New photo ID law still in place, but more excuses allowed under reasonable impediment provision due to COVID an… https://t.co/rS2zYJbSZt— Josh Douglas (@Josh Douglas)1597436524.0
This is again a model for how election administration should be done. Most people should find something they like h… https://t.co/11VdjI7Y28— Josh Douglas (@Josh Douglas)1597436628.0
Here's text of @KYSecState recommendations, which Beshear has accepted: https://t.co/sG8qOyL2NB /end+1— Josh Douglas (@Josh Douglas)1597438158.0
All Kentucky voters will have the option to vote by mail if they’re wary of COVID-19 https://t.co/gfmSi5n1kz https://t.co/0ELRiOGUyu— Lexington Herald-Leader (@Lexington Herald-Leader)1597440051.0