Name: Alison Lundergan Grimes
Office sought: Secretary of State
Occupation: Kentucky Secretary of State
Resident of: Lexington
Social media (Facebook, Twitter): Facebook: AlisonForKentucky Twitter: AlisonforKy
Party affiliation: Democrat
Previous elected positions: Secretary of state (current)
What would be your top policy priority if elected?
I have tackled every goal I set forth when I was first elected. In my second term, I will continue to improve businesses’ interactions with government. Growing our economy and giving the green light to small businesses in our commonwealth has been a hallmark of my administration. I will continue to ensure our elections are free and fair and that we are protecting the integrity of the process. Getting all Kentuckians civically engaged will remain a top priority, and in particular, I will continue to champion restoration of voting rights for non-violent felons who have served their sentences and paid their debts to society.
What experiences qualify you to serve as Secretary of State?
I’m honored to serve as Secretary of State and have a record of success. I have tackled every promise – Grimes’ Goals – I made when I was first elected.
Since I took office, more than 100,000 new businesses have opened their doors. We have expanded the Kentucky Business One Stop Portal, a valuable tool for business creation in the commonwealth. I have helped usher in business-friendly legislation, including this year’s bipartisan legislation updating non-profit business laws. I am a proven champion of Kentucky businesses.
I am equally committed to election administration. I created Kentucky’s Election Integrity Task Force and won passage of legislation that protects absentee voters from attempts to buy or influence their votes. A new portal I established for military and overseas voters allows them to register to vote and receive their ballots electronically.
My highest priority in a second term as secretary of state is to build upon my strong foundation of success.
In what ways would you like to see the Kentucky election process improved?
I have always been a proponent of modernizing Kentucky election laws where we can while ensuring the integrity of the process is maintained. I was proud to implement an electronic portal for our military and overseas voters to register to vote and receive their ballots. Electronic voter registration is a reality in more than half the states, and I believe that it should be here in Kentucky, too. The tremendous success of electronic registration for our military and overseas proves it. If it can work for our voters in Iraq, it can work for our voters in Inez.
What do you think of a proposal from the Republican Party of Kentucky to host a caucus to select a presidential nominee?
Caucuses have been held in Kentucky before and were replaced with primaries for a reason: Caucuses were not effective. A legislative report showed few people participated, and the selection process was a reminder of a time when a select group of people chose candidates behind closed doors.
Parties may decide how they wish to choose their presidential nominee, but I have serious concerns about the Republican Party of Kentucky’s caucus proposal. Under the primary system, all eligible voters are afforded protections to ensure they are able to meaningfully participate. I have doubts that these protections would be effective for a party caucus.
Additionally, ethical questions arise when one candidate will pay for the process as has been suggested for the RPK caucus.
I have called on the RPK to provide details about how all Republican voters may participate and how the party intends to uphold the integrity of the process.
What do you think about the idea of online voting?
I am for breaking down barriers to the ballot box when it is feasible and the integrity of the election process is preserved. Technology is progressing every day, including when it comes to online voting. Once we know proper security measures can be implemented for online voting portals, I think the idea would be worthy of discussion in Kentucky.