January 17, 2023
The Kentucky Gazette

Q&A: A conversation on some ‘big-ticket, sexy voting policies’ and other election reforms with Grayson, others from IRG

Kentucky earned an A- for improving elections in the commonwealth, but it remains in the bottom tier of state rankings and still has “strong voting restrictions and anti-voter policies in place,” noted the Institute for Responsive Government in its 2023 Election Policy Progress Reports.

The goal of each state’s report, noted IRG chief of staff Ashish Sinha, is to look at what state lawmakers and policymakers did in 2021 and 2022 to make voting more secure, accessible and efficient. The report card is contextual, he said in a Jan. 11 webinar, and it slots the states into three tiers based on their baseline policies, laws and procedures – their policy and political ecosystems.

Sinha and IRG executive director Sam Oliker-Friedland said the report is not a ranking of election administrations across the country nor is it a description of which state is doing a “better job of making voting easier.”

Former Republican Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, a member of IRG’s advisory board, joined Sinha, Oliker-Friedland and former Democratic Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, an IRG senior advisor, on the webinar to discuss the report and the condition of the nation’s elections systems.

Kentucky has earned praise from across the nation for Frankfort’s expansion of voter access and security during the last two sessions of the Kentucky General Assembly and for the strong, bipartisan support shown in passing House Bill 574 in 2021 and HB 564 in 2022. Among other things, the laws created three days of early voting and allowed for voting centers.

Kentucky did well compared with its border states.
Illinois – Top Tier: B
Indiana – Bottom Tier: B-
Missouri – Bottom Tier: C+
Ohio – Bottom Tier: F
Tennessee – Bottom Tier: C+
Virginia – Top Tier: B
West Virginia – Bottom Tier: B-

Published on January 17, 2023 on The Kentucky Gazette