Kentucky Secretary of State debate sees sparks fly over photo IDs for voting

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September 23, 2011

By David Godow

Monday's debate between this year's candidates for Kentucky Secretary of State saw photo ID requirements for voting take center stage. The ID issue has already been at a slow burn since the general election campaign began this summer, with Republican businessman Bill Johnson and Democratic attorney Alison Lundergan Grimes exchanging barbs over voter registration issues throughout July. Johnson supports stricter photo identification rules to discourage voter fraud, while Grimes argues requiring a photo ID would effectively disenfranchise students, the elderly and the homeless, among other groups.[1]

Grimes responded to Johnson's concerns about voter fraud by arguing Kentucky already has significant ID requirements compared with other states -- the Bluegrass State is one of 29 which requires voters to present an identification document like a Social Security card or driver's license. Beyond ID requirements, Johnson argued against restoring voting rights to convicted felons through a 2012 constitutional amendment.[2]

Johnson and Grimes will face off in the November 8, 2011 general election.

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