Kentucky Governor Vetoes Voter ID Bill, Says Ballot Fraud a ‘Problem That Does Not Exist’

April 6, 2020 Updated: April 6, 2020

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D-Ky.) has vetoed a bill that would require the state’s voters to show government-issued identification before being allowed to cast ballots.

In a statement (pdf) on April 3, Beshear said he was vetoing Senate Bill 2 because it would introduce an impediment to voting and that it sought to address a “problem that does not exist,” referring to Republican claims of voter fraud in the state.

“I am vetoing Senate Bill 2 because the provisions of the law would create an obstacle to the ability of Kentuckians to exercise their right to vote, resulting in fewer people voting and undermining our democracy. Furthermore, no documented evidence of recent voter fraud in the form of impersonation in Kentucky has been presented,” Beshear said in the statement.

Beshear said the legislation could endanger the health and safety of Kentucky residents by forcing them to leave their homes during the current pandemic to obtain the needed identification.

Beshear’s veto might be overridden since the bill had been passed by supermajorities in both chambers of the state’s legislature.

“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,” Secretary of State Michael Adams, a Republican, said in a statement.

‘Sanctity of the Vote’

Voter fraud is a contentious issue, often falling along partisan lines, with Democrats often portrayed as broadly supportive of measures that soften voter ID requirements, while Republicans as those seeking to harden them.

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) put her party’s stunning disregard for the ‘sanctity of the vote’ on full display when she tried to include the following measures into a proposed House bill dealing with the coronavirus: ballot harvesting, no voter identification requirement for absentee ballots, and no signature from a witness on absentee ballots,” wrote Adrian Norman, author of the book, “The Art of the Steal: Exposing Fraud & Vulnerabilities in America’s Elections,” in an op-ed published by The Epoch Times.

“America currently has millions more names on its voter rolls than it does citizens eligible to vote. This vulnerability can be (and often is) exploited by casting invalid absentee ballots. Not confirming the identity of the person casting a vote makes it much easier to game the system,” Norman wrote, providing a list of examples that he said pointed to “evidence that an ample amount of election fraud is facilitated by loopholes provided by mail-in and absentee ballots.”

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, argues that voter fraud isn’t just real, but bipartisan.

“Heritage Foundation experts have long pointed out that voter fraud is not particular to one party or ideology. At its core, people cheat in elections to further their preferred causes or to advance their own careers, and there’s nothing inherently conservative or liberal about the desire to win,” Jason Snead, a former policy analyst at the foundation, wrote in August 2019.

While not a comprehensive list, the Heritage Foundation’s Election Fraud Database provides a sampling of election fraud cases from across the United States.

Meanwhile, the Brennan Center for Justice, in a document (pdf) titled “Debunking the Voter Fraud Myth,” claims that “fraud by voters at the polls is vanishingly rare, and does not happen on a scale even close to that necessary to ‘rig’ an election.”

The document provides a list of studies and analyses that purport to show that voter fraud is a minor problem and references a policy solution (pdf) that is “a six-part agenda to target fraud risks as they actually exist—without unduly disenfranchising eligible citizens.”

Epoch Times Photo
An official checks a voter’s photo identification at an early voting polling site in Austin, Texas, on Feb. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

‘It Is Already Killing People’

Meanwhile, Kentucky’s death toll from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, has climbed to 45. According to official state figures, 18,767 Kentuckians have been tested for COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP virus, and 955 have tested positive.

Beshear said in a COVID-19 update on April 5 that the lower-than-usual number of new cases was probably because fewer labs reported results that day.

“I wouldn’t read too much into it today because of it being a Sunday and what labs are reporting,” he said, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. “With that said, we’ve had a number of days in a row, I think four, where we have been about the same.”

Beshear said a Covington-based company would provide as many as 2,000 additional tests each day, the newspaper reported.

He warned that his administration would crack down on those who disregard the state’s social distancing policies, censuring two gyms that were recently cited for allowing people to enter.

“It is already killing people and with an order out there that you cannot operate, you would open up the back door?” Beshear said. “My goodness, come on, we ought to be better than that and shame on those that are doing that.”

Beshear issued an executive order mandating all non-life-sustaining public-facing businesses, including gyms, to halt operations by 5 p.m. on March 18.

Follow Tom on Twitter: @OZImekTOM