A bill to make voting easier for members of the military passed the Senate unanimously Tuesday with many Democrats saying they hope a provision allowing voting by email is restored to the bill. Senate President Robert Stivers, a Manchester Republican, sponsored the bill as a show of bipartisanship with Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who first proposed the idea. But last week Stivers stripped from the bill a provision that Grimes considers important — wording that would let overseas voters transmit their votes electronically by email or over the Internet. During floor debate Tuesday, Stivers said he deleted the provision because several county clerks had told him “they did not feel they could maintain the integrity of the ballot nor the anonymity of the voters.” He also said Richard Beliles, chairman of Common Cause of Kentucky, had expressed strong concerns about electronic voting.
… Senate Democrats said they did not share that concern about electronic voting, citing Grimes’ statement that 24 states allow some form of it. Sen. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, said many county clerks support the provision.
… But Stivers said a vote is too important to risk. “Once you cast your ballot, there’s no way to know what happens to that ballot.” Several House Democrats said they expected the House will restore the electronic voting provision, so they voted for the bill in the hope the Senate reconsiders the provision if the bill returns to the chamber in the session’s final days.