Kentucky Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear signed into law Wednesday a significant election reform bill that will make it easier to vote early in the state.
The bipartisan bill bucks a national trend of more restrictive election laws in the aftermath of the 2020 election.
“We showed during this pandemic that we can vote in a safe way, that we can eliminate any concerns about fraud while expanding access so everyone can make sure that they can cast their ballot,” Beshear said. “While some states have stepped in a different direction, I am really proud of Kentucky.”
Kentucky already has some of the most restrictive voting laws in the country. Even with the expansions included in the bill, the state’s voting laws in many ways remain more restrictive than the provisions contained in a controversial law that was recently signed in Georgia.
Beshear said he would have liked to see more restrictions loosened in the bill, but said it was a significant step in expanding voting access.
“Listen, this is a session we saw a lot of battles in, and to be able to come together and expand, at least in part, our access to the ballot box is a win for Kentuckians,” Beshear said.
Things like voting supercenters — where a voter from any precinct in the county can vote — and the online absentee ballot request portal will now become permanent fixtures in Kentucky elections. As will absentee ballot drop boxes and three days of early in-person voting for all registered voters.