A special legislative election in central Kentucky could be the first test of the state’ new military voting law passed earlier this year to help ensure soldiers deployed to foreign countries get to cast ballots back home. Gov. Steve Beshear set the election for June 25 to replace former state Rep. Carl Rollins, who resigned earlier this week to become executive director of the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority. The election date, some two months off as required now, will allow more time for county clerks to send absentee ballots to military personnel and others serving overseas.
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said election officials need the additional time allotted by the new law because absentee ballots from 121 Kentucky soldiers didn’t arrive back in the state before Election Day last year and weren’t counted. “Kentuckians who risk their lives on the battlefield must have their voices heard at the ballot box,” Grimes said in a statement Friday.
… Grimes had wanted a provision that would have allowed soldiers to return absentee ballots via the Internet, but Stivers declined because of security concerns.
The government watchdog group Common Cause of Kentucky raised concerns about hackers potentially accessing ballots online and influencing elections. The group’s chairman, Louisville attorney Richard Beliles, said he believes the integrity of elections could have been at stake.