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On March 7, 2013, the Senate unanimously passed legislation supported by Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes’ to allow victims of domestic violence to have their information redacted from publicly available voter registration records. The measure was previously approved 93-0 by the House and will now be submitted for the Governor’s signature.

Implementing an address confidentiality program to protect domestic violence victims’ right to vote was one of Grimes’ goals during her campaign. House Bill 222 achieves that priority. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Joni Jenkins (D-Louisville) and co-sponsored by 18 other Representatives, including a majority of the women in the House.

Grimes and Jenkins began working with an address confidentiality task force and domestic violence victims’ advocates more than a year ago to develop the program.

“No eligible voter should be discouraged from casting a ballot of out of fear for his or her own safety, or the safety of his or her children,” Grimes told the House Committee on Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Jenkins explained to the Senate Judiciary Committee, “with tens of thousands of domestic violence and emergency protective orders issued by Kentucky courts every year, we must do all that we can to protect these victims and guarantee their rights.” Sherry Currens, Executive Director of Kentucky Domestic Violence Association, said, “this bill is an important victory in the fight to protect victims of domestic violence and their dependents.”

Currently, voter registration records – including the voter’s name and home address – are public records. HB 222 will allow domestic violence victims to have their information redacted from publicly available voter registration records and use an address assigned by the Secretary of State’s office for voting purposes.

“Under HB 222, domestic violence victims will no longer have to make the impossible choice between sacrificing their security and exercising the fundamental right to vote,” said Grimes.

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