The2nd meeting of the Task Force on Elections, Constitutional Amendments, and Intergovernmental Affairs of the Interim Joint Committee on State Government was held on Tuesday, September 22, 2009, at 1:00 PM, in Room 171 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Darryl T. Owens, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members: Representative Darryl T. Owens, Co-Chair; Senators Walter Blevins Jr., Julian M. Carroll, Carroll Gibson, Ernie Harris, Dan Kelly, and Johnny Ray Turner; Representatives Kevin D. Bratcher, Mike Cherry, Larry Clark, James R. Comer Jr., Joseph M. Fischer, Mike Harmon, Melvin B. Henley, Mary Lou Marzian, and Ron Weston.
Guests: Trey Grayson, Secretary of State; Barbara Holsclaw, Jefferson County Clerk; James Lewis, Leslie County Clerk, Chair – Kentucky County Clerk’s Association Elections Committee; Representative Jesse Crenshaw, Father Patrick Delahanty, Teena Holbig, Ed Monohan, and Raoul Cunningham; Sarah M. Jackson, Executive Director, Registry of Election Finance.
LRC Staff: Greg Woosley, Bill VanArsdall, Alisha Miller, Karen Powell, and Terisa Roland.
Chairman Owens asked for approval of the August 25, 2009 minutes, and the minutes were approved.
First on the agenda was a discussion on early voting, and Chairman Owens noted that he intended to use the discussion to help draft a bill for the 2010 Regular Session. Several guests offered various perspectives on the issue, with Secretary of State Trey Grayson providing an overview of state trends; Jefferson County Clerk Barbara Holsclaw speaking mostly in favor of early voting from a large county perspective; and Leslie County Clerk James Lewis speaking mostly against early voting and cautioning the task force about the potential costs. Several members of the task force posed questions to the guests and voiced their opinions and concerns, with the main focus being on how early voting might change campaigns, voting, and elections generally, and on the costs to establish an early voting system. A copy of the handout material from the discussion can be found in the LRC library.
The second item on the agenda was an update on the filing requirements of “future year candidates” by Sarah Jackson, Executive Director of the Registry of Election Finance. Ms. Jackson explained that persons wanting to raise and spend money as candidates in future elections, prior to the date for filing nomination papers with the Secretary of State or county clerk, are required to file a letter of intent (termed a “future year letter” by the Registry) and a financial report with the Registry. A copy of the handout material can be found in the LRC library.
The final item on the agenda was a presentation by Representative Jesse Crenshaw and several invited guests presented information on pre-filed BR 1, relating to the restoration of voting rights for felons. The presenters noted that Kentucky is only one of two states that deny the right to vote to convicted felons unless the right is restored by the Governor and stated that more than 128,000 persons in Kentucky have completed their sentence but not had their right to vote restored. A copy of the handout material from this presentation can be found in the LRC library.
Chairman Owens said that an October meeting had not been confirmed, but he noted that if one were held it would likely be on the regular meeting date, October 27, 2009.
Chairman Owens concluded all business and the meeting was adjourned at 2:45 p.m.