2021 has been a great year for Kentucky voters | Columns

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2021 has been a busy year for us, and one of the best ever for voters in Kentucky. State lawmakers have passed — almost unanimously — House Bill 574, the most significant reform of our electoral system in more than 100 years. The bill makes several important changes to Kentucky elections going forward.

The law includes:

Create three days of in-person early voting, including a Saturday, with no apology required

Improving the ability of state election officials to remove nonresident voters from voter rolls

Transition to Universal Paper Ballots, Statewide

Keep the voter portal online, so that voting by mail is completely transparent for both voters and election officials

Allow counties to establish voting centers, where any voter in the county can vote, regardless of precinct

Expressly prohibit and penalize the harvesting of ballots

Retain the signature healing process, so absentee voters whose signatures have changed over time have the opportunity to prove their identity and have their ballots counted

Some Kentuckians were able to enforce the new laws in November as they voted in three special elections. All Kentuckians will have a chance to learn about the new election law when they go to the polls for the primary election on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.

Cleanup of voters list

While I was running for this position, I pledged to clean up our voter rolls. This promise has been kept. We removed more than 100,000 ineligible voters from our rolls, whether because they moved, died or were expelled.

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But wait, there’s more. The Secretary of State is not only Kentucky’s chief election officer, but also our chief business officer. We have made several reforms to make it easier to operate a business in Kentucky. By revising the Commonwealth Uniform Commercial Code regulations, we have cut red tape, removing unnecessary barriers for Kentucky borrowers and lenders.

The new regulations replace confusing language, provide more flexibility for UCC filings through the use of a dedicated email address, and reduce the time and cost of obtaining certified searches and records required for closing loans by allowing the public to search and receive them digitally.

2021 has seen record numbers of Kentuckians starting new businesses. There were a total of 52,227 business training and foreign qualifications, an increase of 20% over the previous year.

Voting register

Inspired by Zoom’s too big mistake, we’ve launched our new voter registration campaign, “Turn the Sound On”.

Take a page from my book, “wake up” and register to vote if you haven’t. It has never been so simple!

Look forward

Lawmakers returned to Frankfurt for the 2022 General Assembly session on January 4 and will consider many pressing issues, including the improvements we have suggested for our electoral system and our business environment.

Kentuckians will head to the polls again on May 17 to vote in our primary elections. The 6 seats in the United States House of Representatives, 1 seat in the United States Senate, all of the seats in the State House, half of the seats in the State Senate, and most of the judicial seats will be on the ballot.

With the election fast approaching, now is the time to think about volunteering to be a poll worker. It takes about 15,000 election workers to organize an election. Whether you’re a Republican who prefers in-person voting to mail-in voting, or a Democrat who fears voter suppression, put your money where your mouth is and help us out. Please consider stepping in to help with the Kentucky election – and don’t hesitate to contact us, or your county clerk.

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