Ky Secretary of State Michael Adams Announces Photo ID to Vote Legislation

FRANKFORT, Ky. (January 8, 2020) – Secretary of State Michael G. Adams, along with bill sponsor Senator Robby Mills, announced today the filing of Senate Bill 2, which will require, in most cases, a photo identification to vote. 

During a press conference today, Secretary Adams said, “I want to thank Sen. Mills and legislative leadership for two things. First, for proposing Photo ID, and making it a top priority for this session. Second, for bending over backward to make this bill fair, humane and reasonable.”

Neighboring states Indiana, Virginia and Tennessee, and states around the country, have similar laws in place.

The photo IDs would be free for those eligible to vote—even if they don’t register to vote. They could be picked up at circuit clerks offices. “I said during the campaign that if a photo ID law was proposed that did not provide free IDs, I would publicly oppose it. Fortunately, I don’t have to do that.”  He went on, “It’s scandalous that we have second-class citizens in our state who can’t perform basic life functions because they don’t have a Photo ID due to its cost.” Right now, they cost $30.

Secretary Adams explained, “This bill is in the early stages. It’s my duty to listen to public input as we move along, and I will do so. I want a bill that will withstand a court challenge.”

This photo ID idea goes back to the 2004 commission on federal election reform co-chaired by former US President Jimmy Carter. The commission said, “There is no evidence of extensive fraud in U.S. elections or of multiple voting, but both occur, and it could affect the outcome of a close election… Photo identification cards currently are needed to board a plane, enter federal buildings, and cash a check. Voting is equally important.”

Under the bill, photo IDs will not be required for the May primary election. “I want enough time to put the public on notice of the new requirement. I do not want any legitimate voter disenfranchised regardless of reason,” the Secretary concluded.