ballot boxKENTUCKY (6/24/2018) — For the Kentucky voter, the matter of registering to vote is outlined per Board of Elections laws:

• Register to vote in the county of residence in Kentucky (18 years or older).

• Report any changes of address to the local court clerk. Just a move down the street can change voters’ magistrate or council representatives. Voters will want to be sure registration is up to date and correct.

• Registering to vote ensures individuals can vote in any general election.

• To vote in a political primary or to run for office as a candidate for that political party, or to nominate a candidate for a political party in the primary elections, voters must be registered as a member of that party.

• Voters are free to choose which political party they want to register; however, Kentucky has closed primary elections. Therefore, individuals must register as a member of that party to vote in the primary race for the designated party.

The process of conducting elections is complex and expensive, and maintaining voter rolls is especially expensive for states. In recent years, voters who failed to properly report when they moved have been left on voter rolls, records show. The resulting surge of voter registrations have exceeded the total voting-age population of the state.

Kentucky’s imbalance recently caught the eye of Judicial Watch, according to legal documents filed. The nonpartisan, conservative organization sued the commonwealth of Kentucky, the Kentucky Board of Elections and Kentucky Secretary of State. The suit was joined by the U.S. Department of Justice.

On June 11, an Agreed Order was reached.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes argued that the Kentucky Board of Elections did not have enough money to properly manage voter lists in the 120 Kentucky counties and 3,500 plus voting precincts.

The findings of the Agreed Order Concurred:

“The Kentucky State Board of Elections maintains and follows a registration removal program that since 2011, has removed 424,429 individuals from Kentucky’s voter rolls due to an individual’s death, felon status, mental incompetence, move out of state with their written confirmation, or at their request. The Kentucky State Board of Elections has been unable to secure sufficient funding to implement its list maintenance procedures as to registrants who have moved without notifying election or motor vehicle authorities, despite seeking funding from the General Assembly for these efforts in every budget request since 2008. Currently, there are no registrants on an inactive list or in the process set out in Section 8(d) of the NVRA and KRS § 116.112. Since 2009, no forwardable notices have been mailed to registrants under the change of address process contemplated by Section 8(d) of the NVRA and KRS § 116.112. Since 2015, no registrants who have become ineligible due to change of residence have been removed as contemplated by the procedures set out in Section 8(d) of the NVRA and KRS § 116.112.”

The Agreed Order is 17 pages, which does not include signature pages. Judicial Watch did not get payment in the settlement, according to the documents. Elections are expensive and the cost of maintaining voter lists will increase under the provisions of the Agreed Order.

The Agreed Order prevents registered voters from being purged for not voting. Otherwise, there is little in the order that should concern voters. Voters still must report changes of address to the county clerks of the county individuals are leaving and the county of future residence.

To read the entire Agreed Order, click the link: http://redistricting.lls.edu/other/20180612%20Judicial%20Watch%20v%20Grimes%20agreement.pdf.

Ron Sanders
SurfKY News
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JWSuit Claims Registered Voters in Ky. Outnumber its Adult Population

KENTUCKY (6/22/18) — An Agreed Order has been reached in a Nov. 14, 2017 lawsuit against Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes by Judicial Watch, a conservative, non-partisan, non-profit group in Washington, D.C. The lawsuit charges Secretary Grimes and the Kentucky State Board of Elections with multiple violations of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

In a recent press release, Grimes’s spokesperson Bradford Queen said:

“…The DOJ and Judicial Watch both now rightly recognize maintenance of Kentucky's rolls requires proper funding. The General Assembly should be on notice that it cannot continue to underfund Kentucky elections. This agreement makes it abundantly clear – and the DOJ and Judicial Watch both agree – Kentucky has and will continue to be diligent in ensuring its voter rolls are accurate while protecting voters' rights.”

Queen’s full statement is published below this story.

A comment from Judicial Watch on the settlement has not been received as of this publication. The Agreed Order is wide-ranging and addresses the issues of the lawsuit.

Grimes sent notices to all county clerks on June 20 stating: “The State Board of Elections is in the process of mailing out approximately 617,000 postcards to voters who may have moved out of their county or out of the Commonwealth of Kentucky…”

Queen told SurfKY News the mailing is part of the agreed order with Judicial Watch and Department of Justice. Queen did not know the cost of the mailing; but, the State Board of Elections will utilize federal Help America Vote Act dollars to subsidize the cost of the mailing.

In Judicial Watch’s lawsuit, the organization did not cite allegations of improper voting because of the violations of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. The lawsuit does charge that perhaps hundreds of thousands of Kentucky’s registered voters no longer live int the county where they are registered to vote. Improper registrations have been used in voter fraud incidents and serve as the basis of the federal law.

Queen’s letter doesn’t appear to dispute the allegations of Judicial Watch, yet, blames the Kentucky General Assembly for the lack of funding to comply with the NVRA.

SurfKY News has asked Judicial Watch for a list of the 41 counties that had more registered voters than voting-age population. Judicial Watch has not responded. However, in an April 11, 2017 Judicial Watch letter to Grimes, approximately 30 County Clerks were copied including Caldwell, Fulton, Hancock, McCracken, Jefferson, and Trigg Counties.

Hopkins County Clerk Keenan Cloern said that she had not seen evidence of people being improperly registered to vote.

“If a person moves out of the county, we notify the state,” she said. “The Health Department notifies the State Board of Elections when a voter dies.”

Cloern said that in the past, people who did not vote in two presidential elections or any election between was purged by the State Board of Elections. Queen’s letter seems to indicate that the courts have changed that system.

Queen said that people who are judged mentally incompetent or lose their voting rights through the court system are removed from the voting rolls.

Key excerpts from the lawsuit are copied below as well as Queen’s full letter to SurfKY News.

Ron Sanders
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Case: 3:17-cv-00094-GFVT Doc #: 1 Filed: 11/14/17

12. Whenever a jurisdiction has more voter registrations than individuals old enough to register – in other words, a registration rate exceeding 100% of adult residents – it is a strong 5 indication, recognized by federal courts, that the jurisdiction is not taking the steps required by law to remove the registrations of ineligible registrants.

13. Judicial Watch analyzed the data in the 2017 EAC Report and compared it to the most recent census data to determine the registration rates of United States counties.

14. Kentucky leads every other state in the nation in the number of counties in which total registration is greater than the voting-age population. Specifically, 41 Kentucky counties

have more registered voters than voting-age residents.

15. Judicial Watch also compared voter registrations to citizen voting-age population. Citizen voting-age population excludes noncitizens, who are not lawfully entitled to register or vote in federal or state elections, and so is a more meaningful way to assess a jurisdiction’s registration rate than voting-age population alone.

16. Kentucky leads every other state in the nation in the number of counties in which total registration exceeds the citizen voting-age population. Specifically, the number of voter registrations exceeds the number of age-eligible citizens in 48 Kentucky counties, or 40 percent of all Kentucky counties.

17. This represents a large increase in what was already one of the highest state totals of counties with citizen-adjusted registration rates exceeding 100 percent. Prior to release of the 2017 EAC Report, the data showed that 30 Kentucky counties had more registered voters than citizens over the age of 18.

18. The Commonwealth of Kentucky as a whole has more statewide registrations than it has resident citizens of voting age. Kentucky is one of only three states in the nation with an active, statewide registration rate exceeding 100 percent.

19. Kentucky’s high registration rates indicate that it is not conducting a general program that makes a reasonable effort to cancel the registrations of ineligible registrants. Kentucky’s Failure to Report Inactive Registrations

20. Federal regulations require the states to provide various kinds of registration data to the EAC for use in its biennial report. This data is supposed to include the “total number of registered voters statewide, including both ‘active’ and ‘inactive’ voters if such a distinction is made by the state,” for the last two general federal elections. 11 C.F.R. § 9428.7(b)(1), (2).

21. Kentucky law has established an inactive list for those voters who fail to respond to a confirmation

notice. KY. REV. STAT. ANN. § 116.112(5).

22. Kentucky failed to report to the EAC the number of its inactive registrations in violation of federal regulations.

23. If Kentucky were conducting reasonable list maintenance, registrations routinely would be moved to the inactive list for two general federal elections whenever registrants failed to respond to a confirmation notice.

24. Kentucky’s failure to report this data suggests that it is not performing reasonable voter list maintenance.

25. Inactive registrants may vote on Election Day, so inactive registrations must be considered part of a state’s voter registration list. 52 U.S.C. § 20507(d)(2)(A).

26. By failing to include inactive registrations, Kentucky’s registration rates are made

to appear lower and more reasonable than they actually are. Stated differently, if Kentucky had

reported inactive voter registrations to the EAC as required by federal law, the number of

Kentucky counties with registration rates exceeding 100% would be even greater.

30. Federal regulations require states to provide to the EAC for use in its biennial

report the “statewide number of confirmation notices mailed out between the past two federal

general elections and . . . responses received to these notices during the same period.” 11 C.F.R.

§ 9428.7(b)(8).

31. Kentucky failed to report to the EAC the number of confirmation notices it sent during the previous two-year period in violation of federal regulations.

32. On information and belief, Kentucky is not sending confirmation notices to those who are believed to have moved at a rate that is consistent with its obligation to conduct a general program that makes a reasonable effort to cancel the registration of ineligible registrants. To read the full lawsuit: http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/JW-v-Grimes-et-al-Kentucky-complaint-00094.pdf

From: Queen, Bradford (SOS)

Sent: Monday, June 11, 2018 2:25 PM

Subject: Statement from the State Board of Elections

The State Board of Elections has reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and conservative legal group Judicial Watch in regards to Kentucky's maintenance of voter rolls. Judicial Watch had alleged Kentucky's rolls were out of date.

The following statement is attributed to Bradford Queen, spokesman for the State Board of Elections:

"On the heels of the Supreme Court's decision today greenlighting Ohio's "use it or lose it" strategy for the removal of voters, Kentuckians can rest assured Secretary Grimes and the State Board of Elections will not waver in their dedication to protecting Kentuckians' fundamental right to vote. Under the Grimes administration, unlike others, voters have never been unilaterally kicked off the rolls, especially for simply not voting, and that will not change. Since 2011, Kentucky has properly removed nearly half a million voters. The DOJ and Judicial Watch both now rightly recognize maintenance of Kentucky's rolls requires proper funding. The General Assembly should be on notice that it cannot continue to underfund Kentucky elections. This agreement makes it abundantly clear – and the DOJ and Judicial Watch both agree – Kentucky has and will continue to be diligent in ensuring its voter rolls are accurate while protecting voters' rights."

For background:

In 2006, the State Board of Elections and Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson faced legal action for unilaterally removing voters from the rolls. The Franklin Circuit Court ordered the purge reversed. Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled that the Kentucky Secretary of State and the State Board of Elections illegally removed more than 8,100 Kentucky voters from the rolls. The Court found that Kentucky may not purge voters based only on inference – not proof – that a vote has moved out of Kentucky.

Bradford Queen
Director of Communications
Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes

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