Secretary of State meeting in northern Kentucky a success

100_1462Last night, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes held a second town meeting, this one in Kenton County, to gather input from the public about election laws and processes in Kentucky. 

About 60 people attended in all, including representatives from local county clerks' offices, political party groups, and Northern Kentucky KFTC members. 

At the beginning of the event, Grimes recognzed KFTC and said that without us and other civic groups like the League of Women Voters, it wouldn't be possible to have smooth representative elections in Kentucky.

The format was simple - a 60 minute discussion facilitated by Alison Lundergan Grimes. There was some context at the beginning and some recognition of county clerks' office representatives, and then the audience was asked questions like "What are your thoughts about our current voter registration process?" "18 states offer online voter registration. Should we try to move in that direction?" "What is your election day experience like?" and "32 states allow early voting. Should we allow no-excuse early voting in Kentucky too?" 

A few KFTC members were prepared to bring up the issue of restoration of voting rights for former felons who have served their debt to society, but Grimes beat us to it. She expressed her support in no uncertain terms and many people throughout the room voiced their support as well.  This included Jim Cole, a representative of the AFL-CIO.

100_1476The Kentucky Forum circulated a survey leading up to the meeting, and a clear majority of the respondents also supported voting rights for former felons.

But we taked about a lot of other issues - from disability access to the polls to same-day voter registration, long lines, and more.

"To have a real democracy, we need a lot more people voting than this," said Virginia Johnson, a Northern KY KFTC member who participated in the forum. "With due respect, the system is broken for a lot of Kentuckians. We need longer voting hours and better access and to get more people involved. That's how you get a real democracy." 

There are a few more Secretary of State town meetings coming up in different parts of the state.  Please consider coming out to one closest to you and participating! If you'd like some help thinking through what to say, visit our earlier blog post about this.

• Monday, June 3 – McCracken County - 12:30 p.m.  Location to be announced. 

• Wednesday, June 6 – Jefferson County - 12:30 p.m.  Location to be announced.

• Thursday, June 20 – Madison County - 12:30 p.m.  Location to be announced.

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