The Department of Justice Thursday announced that it recently entered into a settlement with the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Kentucky State Board of Elections, and the Kentucky Secretary of State, resolving the Department’s claims that Kentucky was not complying with the voter registration list maintenance procedures set forth in Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA). Under the terms of the settlement, Kentucky will develop and implement a general program of statewide voter list maintenance that makes a reasonable effort to remove the names of registrants who have become ineligible due to a change in residence in accordance with Section 8 of the NVRA and state law.
The NVRA includes requirements for maintaining voter registration lists in elections for federal office. One of these NVRA requirements is that states make a reasonable effort to remove registrants who have become ineligible due to having died or moved. At the same time, the NVRA has protections to ensure that eligible voters remain on the rolls, including specific procedures that states must follow before removing voters who have moved to a new jurisdiction.
The Justice Department’s investigation found that, since 2009, Kentucky has not sent statutorily-required notices to registrants under the change-of-address process contemplated by the NVRA and state law. The investigation also found that, since 2015, Kentucky has not removed registrants through this statutorily-prescribed process when the registrants have moved to a new jurisdiction without notifying election officials.