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Kentucky Republican Leaders Launch 'Ballot Security Task Force'

AP Photo/Steve Helber

Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams and Attorney General Daniel Cameron are assembling a task force to monitor election returns for evidence of voter fraud.

In addition to overseeing a historic shift toward mail-in voting during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sec. Adams has had to convince his fellow Republicans that the state's expansion of absentee voting for the upcoming primaries won't be any less secure.

"The biggest challenge I have right now is making the concept of absentee voting less toxic for Republicans," Adams told NPR.

Adams and AG Cameron are putting together what they call a Ballot Integrity Task Force - made up of election and law enforcement officials - charged with preventing and investigating any possible cases of voter fraud in the June primary. Election officials will supply information about ballots requested and refer any suspicious behavior to law enforcement.

Adams has stressed Kentucky is taking extra steps to ensure the safety of mail-in voting, employing date of birth and social security number ID checks, bar coded ballots for tracking, and measures to make sure signatures on the ballots match signatures on record. Even hand delivery will be available if voters prefer that method.

"In fact, we're providing drop boxes free of charge to all the counties if they would like one," the secretary told a press conference this month.

President Donald Trump has cast doubt on mail-in voting, with claims that it's bad for Republicans and opens the door to more fraud. NPR fact-checkers found that, while slightly more fraud has occurred with mail-in voting than in-person voting, it remains "extremely rare in all cases."

Sticking With The Old-Fashioned Method?

Fayette County residents who opt to vote in-person during the upcoming primary will be directed to just one polling location at Lexington's Kroger Field. Voters can use Gate 10 or 11 to access the location inside the Central Bank Field Club. It will be open from 6 am to 6 pm on June 23rd.

"And it looks like we're going to staff it with our National Guard, who have been trained on how to deal with this virus," Gov. Andy Beshear said, referring to polling locations across the state. The guard members will be in plain clothes.

Those who want to drop off their absentee ballots in person can also do so at Kroger Field. Drop boxes will be available from June 15-22 at the President's Pavilion outside Gate 9, and on Election Day at the Commonwealth Tower Lobby.

Early in-person voting will take place June 8th through 23rd at the Lexington Senior Center. It will be by appointment only.

Seemore information on voting in Fayette County.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.