FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The following statement can be attributed to ACLU-KY Legal Director Corey Shapiro:
“At a time when state election officials have delayed our upcoming primary elections due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Kentucky General Assembly has passed Senate Bill 2, the Mandatory Photo Voter ID Bill. The General Assembly missed an opportunity to move legislation ensuring every Kentuckian who wants to vote in the rescheduled primary in June, can do so safely.
The final version of Senate Bill 2 is missing important provisions that would have softened the blow to voters, especially people of color, senior citizens, the poor, people with disabilities, and people who live in rural areas—some of the very same populations that are the most vulnerable to the current pandemic.
Thousands of people who do not meet the newly mandated identification requirements will have to choose between exposing themselves to COVID-19 to obtain identification, or being forced to sit on the sidelines on Election Day. Many Kentuckians will not even have the option to obtain a new ID because county clerk’s offices throughout the Commonwealth have closed following the recommendation of public health officials. It is unconscionable for politicians to move this legislation at a time when Kentuckians are not allowed in the Capitol and are losing their jobs, their small businesses, access to childcare, and more.
We remain concerned about the rushed timeline and lack of resources to implement the bill just months before a highly anticipated general election. We look forward to seeing what, if any, action Governor Beshear may take on the bill if it is delivered to his desk.
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