“Today’s press release from Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams and Attorney General Daniel Cameron was a shameful attempt to disenfranchise Kentucky voters by discouraging them from registering to vote. During a dangerous pandemic when efforts to register voters have been curtailed, it is the responsibility of all elected officials to make it easier for people to vote, not harder. These statements from two of Kentucky’s top officials spread misinformation, make it less likely that every eligible Kentuckian will register to vote, and should be widely condemned.
Nearly one million people in Kentucky who are eligible to vote are not yet registered. The non-partisan and non-profit Center for Voter Information (CVI) is mailing nearly 500,000 voter registration applications to people in Kentucky in September, primarily to people of color, young people and unmarried women–all of whom historically have been under-represented in our democracy. With COVID-19 impacting elections, we have a responsibility to do all we can to safely increase voter turnout and engagement during this uncertain time. It is vital to keep voters safe and to bring democracy to eligible voters’ doorsteps. Mail-based voter registration is reliable, safe and effective, and we are ensuring voters have the tools necessary to make their voices heard.
Voter registration is hard work, since no state provides a list of eligible citizens who are not registered to vote. It’s unfortunately up to non-profit groups like CVI to find them.
CVI and its partner group have helped more than 5 million people register to vote in our history, including 1 million people this election cycle alone. This process is working, and state election officials should never dissuade eligible voters from registering. CVI’s mailers tell voters to disregard the mailing if they have already registered to vote or are not eligible. And we always provide the state’s election website link, so voters can quickly check their voter status.
We hope that in the future Kentucky’s elected officials will join us in helping to register eligible voters, rather than continue standing in the way.