Students use their devices to register to vote as Sec. Grimes speaks at MSU on Thursday.
(Murray, KY April 7, 2016) - Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, shown below, told a crowd of ninety students, faculty, staff and supporters that Kentucky joined thirty other states that offer online voter registration a few weeks ago. Grimes and her staff brought a powerpoint demonstration of www.GoVoteKY.com to Murray State University as part of her tour of state universities rolling out the program.
Before GoVoteKy, registering to vote meant a trip to the local county clerk's office and then waiting for a card confirming registering. Online voting means no trip to the county clerk's office. A postcard still comes from the state confirming registration and showing the voter's precinct.
Grimes directed those in the audience who were not registered Kentucky voters to do so during the demonstration. Students brought out cell phones and tablets and registered as Grimes walked through the website. Several students finished well before she finished speaking.
With creation of the online voting portal, Kentucky becomes the 31st state to offer online registration. In the three weeks since it opened, 15,000 voters have registered. Ages range for a 98 year old woman to 17 year olds, eligible to vote for the first time. Grimes said the portal will increase access and accuracy. Registrants' info will be typed in - rather than handwritten. Before finalizing registration, misspelled submissions can be corrected. Registrants can provide an email address to receive reminders and updates from the state.
One student noted that the site carries a dot-com extension and asked who would get information which includes a social security number and a driver's license number.
Grimes said that the state purchased all extensions and going to dot-gov or spelling out Kentucky will still get applicants to the correct website.
Users of android devices may have difficulty using the site, Grimes admitted. She said that techs are working on the problem.
"Each Android is unique." She said.
The deadline of April 18th to register for first time voters for the May 18th primary is approaching quickly. Currently registered voters may only vote in the party primary in which they are currently registered. The deadline to change parties for the primary passed at the end of December. There is still time to change parties for the November 8th general election.
Shown at left, Grimes also demonstrated the percentages of voters with a human chain of students. Of the ten she chivvied into volunteering, only seven would register to vote. Of those seven, only two would actually cast a ballot. Grimes emphasized the importance of young people voting.
For those already registered who can't find their polling place on Election Day, Grimes says she will be working the phones. She said that new tech allows her to send a map and directions to the lost voter.
To register to vote in Kentucky, click on "More" below.