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Let’s push for the election Kentucky deserves

Posted by: KFTC Staff on August 11, 2020

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Note: The Election Kentucky Deserves was sent on August 12 as an open letter to Secretary of State Michael Adams, Governor Andy Beshear and all members of the State Board of Elections from 54 Kentucky organizations.

Most Kentuckians agree that our democracy works best when we all have a voice and a vote in the decisions impacting our lives.

In this year’s primary election, many Kentuckians could vote early or by mail for the very first time and overwhelmingly chose those options. We had record voter turnout and largely did it safely from our homes. It wasn’t perfect. But that’s something to celebrate in any election and especially in the middle of a pandemic.

Now the risk of COVID-19 is greater than ever. Kentucky has the opportunity to improve upon that election process and give Kentuckians the election we deserve – one that makes voting safe, convenient, secure and robust.

What we Need for a Safe and Accessible Election

  • Free mail-in option for all Kentuckians, without an extra step to mail an application.
  • Early in-person voting for weeks before Election Day, including evening and weekend hours so essential workers and others can find time to vote.
  • More polling locations than in the primary, particularly in our most populous counties.
  • Polling locations open late – until 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. on Election Day .
  • Accurate and public-facing ballot tracking, including whether someone’s vote counted or was rejected, with an option to fix or resubmit rejected ballots.
  • Publicly-accessible drop boxes for ballots.
  • Community input at the county and state levels – voters deserve to provide input on the process.
  • No new photo IDrules (SB 2) so people don’t need to photocopy ID when voting by mail and there’s no confusion about what ID people need to vote.
  • A well-funded public information campaign to spread the word about changes to the election process statewide, with a focus on communities with low voter turnout and limited access to the internet and libraries.
  • Include www.CivilRightsRestoration.KY.gov so the 170,000 Kentuckians whose voting rights were respected through Governor Beshear’s executive action know that they can vote.
  • Accessible election materials: large print for Kentuckians with visual impairments, written at a 4th grade reading level, include visual guides, and Spanish translation in counties with a significant Spanish-speaking population.
  • Strong poll worker training: accessible, vast and starts as soon as possible.
  • Resources for voters to ask and get answers to questions: a statewide hotline staffed by well-trained workers and a centralized website sharing each county’s voting process and hours.

 

Please reach out to the Secretary of State, the Governor, and/or the State Board of Elections and share your top priorities from the list above in your own words. Or just say something like “We need to keep a vote-by-mail option for all Kentuckians next election.”

 

Secretary of State Michael Adams

Phone - 502-564-3490

Contact Form - https://www.sos.ky.gov/pages/contact.aspx

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MichaelGAdamsNews

Or on Twitter at @KYSecState (also, feel free to use the hashtag #TogetherKy)


Governor Andy Beshear

Phone - 502-564-2611

Contact Form - https://governor.ky.gov/contact/contact-us

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/GovAndyBeshear

Or on Twitter @GovAndyBeshear (also, feel free to use the hashtag #TogetherKy)

 

State Board of Elections

Phone - 800-246-1399

Email - Jared.Dearing@ky.gov

 

Also, please consider coming to these related online events this week:

 

Voting Rights Campaign Webinar - Wed, August 12 at 7 p.m. ET -  Join the fight to restore the right to vote of people with felonies in their past. Learn about the history of this campaign, where we are now and what you can do to make sure everyone with a felony in their past can vote. 

 

This Is What Democracy Looks Like: The Movement for Voting Rights Restoration - Thurs, August 13, 6 p.m. ET  A national call including our own Tayna Fogle from Kentucky. 


Voting Rights Phonebank - Thurs, August 13 at 7 p.m. ET - We’ll be calling voters to talk about restoration of voting rights for people with felonies in their past and building support. We’ll use a system called “CallHub” so you can use your phone and computer to call people, and we’ll start with a group training.  

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KFTC Live: conversations among members working on the front lines

Posted by: KFTC Staff on August 10, 2020

In fall 2019 KFTC started to explore the idea of a member-driven podcast series.

KFTC leaders commit to Organizational Change Initiative

Posted by: KFTC Staff on July 20, 2020

As KFTC quickly approaches our 40th anniversary next summer, there’s much to consider celebrating. 

The organization – with origins in tax reform and a deep history and brand of Appalachian environmentalists – has grown to become the commonwealth’s premier group of grassroots social justice lobbyists and voting rights advocates. Across the country, KFTC is held in high esteem among our peers. 

We certainly have grown quite a bit, to the degree that we need a temperature check and a recalibration.

On May 28, Executive Director Burt Lauderdale, Chairperson Cassia Herron and Organizational Development Consultant Pamela Chiang made a presentation to the Steering Committee laying out the case to orient and organize ourselves toward an Organizational Change Initiative (OCI). The Steering Committee approved the proposal. 

Registering 170,000 People with Felonies in their Past - Starting with Training

Posted by: KFTC Staff on July 14, 2020

VotingRightsCoalitionMeeting7-10-20The Kentucky Voting Rights Coalition has just under 3 months to register some 170,000 people with felonies in their past who got their right to vote back through Beshear's executive action. We plan to do it through phone conversations, texting, door-to-door canvassing, mailers, PSAs, and more. But all that starts with training! Can you come out to learn more about how to help people navigate this process? If so, sign up below!

Scott County residents score victory against landfill!

Scott County residents attend hearing to oppose the proposed landfill expansion
Posted by: Beth Emery on July 3, 2020

This piece is written by member Beth Emery of Scott County. She and other members of the community led a fight against the Central Kentucky Landfill after it was proven there was illegal dumping in the landfill by the company that owns the landfill. Members in the Rolling Bluegrass KFTC Chapter joined the work in raising awareness about this issue, promoting and attending fiscal court meetings, zoning board meetings and more. The chapter is thrilled to be able to share what residents have won in Scott County, and celebrate their victory with them.

RECLAIM Act and AML pass the House as part of The Moving Forward Act

Posted by: KFTC Staff on July 3, 2020

Kentucky will have a better chance at seeing its $400 million backlog of mine reclamation projects move forward thanks to legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on July 1.

Both the RECLAIM Act and reauthorization of the Abandoned Mine Lands Program were included in the INVEST in America Act (a.k.a The Moving Forward Act), a broad bill addressing the country’s infrastructure needs.

"I am overjoyed that Congress is finally helping to clean up abandoned mines and polluted waterways," said Joanne Hill, a retired nurse originally from Harlan County now living in Pulaski County. "For too long, Kentuckians have been pleading for action with no response.”

Reflections on KFTC’s work in the 2020 primary election

Posted by: KFTC Staff on July 1, 2020

In so many ways, the primary election of 2020 was unprecedented. 

Booker not elected, but we're in this for the long haul

Posted by: KFTC Staff on June 30, 2020

Thousands of us across Kentucky were honored to work for an amazing, inspiring candidate, Rep. Charles Booker. And though he didn’t win his bid for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, he changed the conversation. He stood up for a bold vision and showed up for Kentuckians in times of crisis. He called out our broken system and called on all of us to build a brighter future.

It’s essential for Kentucky, our country and the world that we elect new leadership to the U.S. Senate in November, and we’re committed to helping make that happen. Once again, the eyes of the nation will be on Kentuckians. As we continue our work to register and mobilize new voters and have even more conversations, we'll be holding Amy McGrath to her commitment to learning from the Booker movement and centering Kentuckians in her campaign. She must hear from us, and we must work together to elect a new senator.

HEROES Act and Moving Forward Act are needed now

Posted by: KFTC Staff on June 30, 2020

The U.S. House has taken the lead on several bills that would provide immediate and long-term aid and jobs for people and communities hit hard by the pandemic and economic downturn. But unless Sen. Mitch McConnell allows the Senate to act soon, Kentucky communities will face devastating budget cuts to schools, health care, human services, infrastructure, public safety, unemployment insurance and more.

Specifically, the House has taken the initiative to pass:

  • the HEROES Act 
  • the Moving Forward Act or infrastructure bill (H.R. 2)

Signature Cures for Mail-in Ballots

Posted by: Dave Newton on June 25, 2020

Voting Rights Rally DayEven after the last polls are closed, there are a few things we can do to make sure every vote is counted in this primary election.

Some Kentuckians will hear from their County Clerks this week because their signature won't look quite look like the signature on file. They'll have the opportunity to "cure" their signatures leading up to June 30th. If they don't, their ballots won't count.

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