A top Republican lawmaker is proposing legislation that would strip embattled Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes of her authority over the Kentucky State Board of Elections. Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, said he will introduce a committee substitute Wednesday to Senate Bill 34 that would make the secretary of state a symbolic, non-voting member of the elections board, stripping her of any day-to-day authority over the group. It also would block Grimes and others in her office from accessing to the state’s voter registration database.
The proposal comes two weeks after an investigation by the Herald-Leader and ProPublica revealed that Grimes, a Democrat, has obtained unprecedented control of the elections board, allowing her to push through a no-bid contract with a political donor’s company, have her staff search the state’s voter registration system for information about hundreds of state workers and political rivals, and allegedly intimidate and retaliate against the board’s staff when they complained about her actions.
Thayer said Grimes “abused her power and went beyond the limits of her power.” His legislation, which is expected to get its first vote Wednesday in the Senate State and Local Government committee, would make sure there is a “separation of power, so to speak.”