A bill that would allow a minimum of 12 days of early, no-excuse voting before Election Day by all registered voters in Kentucky, is currently in the Senate’s Veterans, Military Affairs & Public Protection Committee, and apparently at this point has not been scheduled for a hearing. Numbered HB 290, the measure passed the House last week by a vote of 57-37. If the bill is approved by the Senate and signed into law by Gov. Matt Bevin, it would allow early voting by all registered voters ahead of the November 8 general election. It is uncertain at the moment if the bill, sponsored by Rep. Reginald Meeks, D-Louisville, has been placed on the Senate committee’s agenda for a hearing.
The Veterans, Military Affairs & Public Protection Committee is chaired by Sen. Albert Robinson, R-London, and he will determine if the bill gets a hearing. A spokeswoman in Robinson’s office said she has not seen a copy of the committee’s latest agenda.
Time is running out in the current legislative session. In even-numbered years (2016), sessions may not last more than 60 legislative days, and cannot extend beyond April 15.
Meeks was quoted as saying the bill would make Kentucky the 38th state to allow early voting without any justification or excuse, telling the House that the “right to vote should be carefully preserved. So what we have here is a question of, at what cost democracy?” Meeks said.