Gov. Andy Beshear has vetoed the voter ID bill that passed out of the legislature last month.
The bill would have required Kentucky voters to show an ID before casting a ballot, or else show a social security card or credit card and sign an affidavit promising they are who they claim to be.
It would have also created a way for people to get an ID for free at their local county clerk’s office.
In his veto message, Beshear said that the law would create an obstacle for Kentuckians trying to vote, especially during the coronavirus pandemic when offices that provide ID cards are closed to in-person traffic.
“Furthermore, no documented evidence of recent voter fraud in the form of impersonation in Kentucky has been presented in support of Senate Bill 2 and, therefore, the legislation would be attempting to resolve a problem does not exist,” Beshear wrote.”
The legislature will have a chance to override Beshear’s veto when they reconvene on April 14th and 15th. It takes a simple majority of votes in each legislative chamber–51 out of 100 members in the House, 20 out of 38 members in the Senate–to override a veto.
If ultimately passed into law, the voter ID policy would go into effect for Kentucky’s November general election, when voters will weigh in on races for the presidency, U.S. Senate, Congress and most seats in the state legislature.
The bill has been a top priority of Kentucky’s new Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams, who said that it was important for the state to implement the policy this year, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is running for reelection in a high profile race.
Shortly after Beshear issued his veto, Adams issued a statement asking that legislators override the governor’s action.
“I ask the legislators of both parties who believe in election integrity and passed this law to override this regrettable veto, and I hope the Governor will eventually join me in governing from the center,” Adams wrote.
Adams said earlier this year that he didn’t have any proof that in-person voter fraud was a problem in Kentucky, arguing that the proposal would boost voter confidence in an era when citizens are worried about election security.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear is commanding nationwide attention for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the commonwealth. That praise recently transitioned into a new medium: internet memes. The Facebook group “andy beshear memes for social distancing teens” was founded March 20 and has amassed, as of March 31, more than 188,000 members.
A new order by Gov. Andy Beshear forbids Kentuckians from leaving the state, in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
At the governor’s daily press briefing on Monday, Chief of Staff La Tasha Buckner said the new rule would permit residents to leave Kentucky only for work, necessary supplies, to see a doctor or take care of a family member, or if travel is required by a court. Beshear said law enforcement or county judges could enforce the order, but its effectiveness relies on Kentuckians.
“The reality is, the only way that we’re going to get people doing the right thing is because they agree to — is because they see it as their duty, and they know that their actions can harm other people,” Beshear said. “The moment that you go across the border […] and you have that extra contact, you can bring it back to a person in your family that’s working in a nursing home.”