Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is disputing claims that her office is preparing to remove up to a quarter-million Kentuckians from the voter registration rolls.
Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit in 2017 that claimed Kentucky had more registered voters than citizens over the age of 18. The conservative watchdog group alleged that the state’s failure to remove ineligible voters violated the National Voter Registration Act.
Under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, the State Board of Elections mailed out notices last month to 250,000 inactive voters, informing them that they’ll be removed from the state’s voter registration system if they don’t update their current address or vote within the next two federal elections, 2020 or 2022.
Inactive voters may appear in registration systems for a number of reasons, including death or change of address. It's possible for a voter to move out of state and continue to vote in Kentucky by absentee ballot.
“Dirty voting rolls can mean dirty elections, so it is essential that dead and long-gone voters be removed from voter registration lists,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement.
Secretary Grimes said no voter would be removed unilaterally and accused Judicial Watch of pushing false and misleading information. In a letter dated July 23, 2019, an attorney for Grimes requested Judicial Watch retract a July 15, 2019 article, and denied her office had intentionally delayed the cleanup of voter rolls. Grimes instead said the delay was caused by a lack of funding from the General Assembly.
A spokeswoman for Grimes said she wasn’t available for an interview on Wednesday.