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Secretary Grimes Expands Efforts to Protect Election Integrity

Tuesday, 10 23, 2012

Lynn Sowards Zellen
Director of Communications
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes
(502) 330-9839
Email: lynn.zellen@ky.gov

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky’s Chief Election Official, is rallying forces to prevent vote fraud in the November 6th General Election. Today, members of the Kentucky Election Integrity Task Force, headed by Grimes, met in the State Capitol to coordinate efforts to protect the integrity of the election. As part of Grimes’ initiative to broaden the approach to combating election fraud, West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, who is confronting similar issues in her state, also attended the meeting.

Because there are federal races on the ballot, in addition to the offices of Secretary Grimes and Attorney General Jack Conway, the United States Attorney’s offices in the Eastern and Western Districts are members of the Task Force. In addition, as a result of meetings with county clerks across the state and observations from past elections, Secretary Grimes is expanding Kentucky’s traditional defenses against vote fraud. Among other things, Grimes invited the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Kentucky Commonwealth Attorneys Association, Kentucky County Attorneys Association, Kentucky County Clerks Association, Kentucky Sheriff’s Association, Kentucky State Police and Kentucky Democratic and Republican Parties to join the Task Force.

“The need to preserve the integrity of elections is not specific to a particular county or state,” said Grimes, “and we welcome input and cooperation from all officials who share our commitment to protecting the right to vote. By bringing new members into the task force, we gain not only feet on the ground on Election Day, but also fresh ideas and perspectives on how to ensure our elections remain free and fair.” According to Assistant United States Attorney Ken Taylor, who has prosecuted election violations in Eastern Kentucky for the past decade, this year’s Task Force is “by far the most aggressive and active group I have seen.”

Noting the history of vote buying in Kentucky, Grimes warned would-be election manipulators that “our elections are not for sale.” And Tennant commended the Task Force for expanding efforts to protect the election process and showing that “unscrupulous people cannot chip away at our democracy.”

In addition to the Task Force members, Rep. Darryl Owens, Chair of the Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton and members of the State Board of Elections were on hand for the meeting and press conference.

Grimes, along with United States Attorneys David Hale and Kerry Harvey, encourages citizens to be alert on Election Day and report any suspicious activity. “Voters form the front lines of our fraud-prevention efforts,” said Grimes. “With their help, I am confident the integrity of our election process will be upheld.”

Leading up to the election, citizens may contact their county clerk or the State Board of Elections at 800-246-1399 or 502-573-7100 to express concerns or request election information. On Election Day, citizens can contact the Attorney General’s Election Fraud Hotline at 1-800-328-VOTE. The Hotline is open throughout the year during normal business hours and from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. (EST) on Election Day. Conway encourages citizens to report election irregularities and said that, “Working together, we can ensure a fair and honest election for all Kentuckians on November 6th.”

Members of the news media covering the election are reminded that they may be in the voting room for the limited purpose of filming the voting process. However, as per OAG 88-76, the media may not conduct interviews with voters inside the voting room, record the identity of voters, or disrupt the voting process, a Class A misdemeanor. See KRS 117.236.

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