Media Contact

April 14, 2020


The following statement can be attributed to ACLU-KY Legal Director Corey Shapiro: 

“Kentucky lawmakers continued to ignore the real problems facing the Commonwealth in the middle of a global pandemic by overriding a veto for a voter suppression measure.  

We remain concerned about the rushed timeline and lack of resources to implement this new law just months before a highly anticipated general election and in the middle of a national emergency. We are currently evaluating whether to seek court intervention to make sure every eligible voter can still cast a ballot under this oppressive measure. 

At a time when officials of both parties throughout the country are working together to ensure every eligible voter can safely participate in their elections, the Kentucky General Assembly is making it more difficult to vote. They have pushed this voter suppression measure in the name of election security, yet not a single proponent of this law has ever provided any instance of in-person voter fraud in Kentucky. Even worse, they insist on enacting this cruel measure that thousands of people cannot even comply with because many county clerks remain closed due to the novel coronavirus. 

This new law is fundamentally incompatible with the ongoing pandemic. Starting in July, the law will require all voters to include a photocopy of a photo ID to obtain an absentee ballot. This will force thousands of Kentuckians to leave home to get new IDs and make photocopies during a pandemic that many experts believe will continue throughout the year. This law will make voting more difficult, and potentially dangerous, for any Kentuckian who does not feel safe leaving their home during this pandemic – even for those who currently have a valid photo ID. 

Moreover, this measure requires spending at least hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars, as even Secretary of State Adams has stated. The same legislators who passed this law also recently passed significant budget cuts to critical programs. It is unconscionable that lawmakers are wasting money in search of a non-existent problem, instead of using Kentucky’s limited resources to ensure every person can safely vote in November. Kentuckians deserve a legislature that solves problems; not one that creates them.” 

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