Kentucky Secretary of State talks to students about upcoming election Monday, Sep 28 2020 

By Victoria Doll —

Vote Everywhere, a student organization at the University of Louisville, recently hosted Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams to discuss the upcoming 2020 election and address concerns about voting during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adams, a U of L alum, said that Kentucky is ranked number one in the country for ease of voting during the pandemic due to the work of him and Gov. Andy Beshear.

However, Adams has faced backlash from his Republican colleagues about ensuring integrity in the election. To address these concerns, he and his team have created a voting portal on the Kentucky Secretary of State website.

This portal matches voter’s signatures on their licenses to the signature on their absentee ballot. Once the voter has requested an absentee ballot, the voter is flagged in the system and cannot vote in person.

This way, voters have more ways to vote in elections along with confidence that the election is honest.

For this election, there are four different ways to vote in November. They include: in-person voting on election day, in-person voting before election day, absentee ballots by mail and absentee ballot by drop-off.

The cut off time for voting on election day, Nov. 3, is 6 p.m. Adams stressed the importance of voting before that cut off.

“That is a strict cut off that is in our constitution. There is nothing I can do to change that,” Adams said.

Voters who arrive in line before 6 p.m. will still be able to vote as long as they stay in line.

He also said that early in-person voting starts on Oct. 13. No prior excuse or appointment will be needed to utilize this voting method. Early voting stations in Jefferson County are still being decided.

Absentee voting is still open to be requested. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 9 at 11:59 pm.

Adams said that these four ways to vote are only in place for this election year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Kentuckians have voiced strong approval of these more convenient voting methods.

He mentioned that there is a push for the absentee voting portal to remain open and active after the 2020 election and he hopes to help pass legislation to make voting easier in the future.

Adams concluded the session with a piece of advice for U of L students.

“Please vote! People listen on election day,” he said. “This is an opportunity to get [your elected officials’] attention!”

Photo Courtesy // Kentucky Secretary of State Office

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Ohio Valley Election Officials Prepare For Unprecedented Pandemic Election Sunday, Sep 27 2020 

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Governors, Secretaries of State, and other state and local election officials throughout the Ohio Valley are preparing for an unprecedented election during a global pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced local governments to change practices that have been the same for decades, and to do so in a highly charged political environment. 

Some of the main changes are safety precautions suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. State officials in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia are ensuring residents feel comfortable voting in person if they choose to, while making adjustments for those who are concerned about contracting COVID-19. 

Rules have changed to keep voters safe.


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Ky. GOP Secretary Of State Candidate Represented Disgraced Missouri Governor Thursday, Oct 17 2019 

The Republican who is running for Secretary of State in Kentucky has ties to former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens. Greitens resigned last year amid accusations of campaign impropriety.

Attorney Michael Adams is running against Democrat Heather French Henry, the former commissioner of the Department of Veterans Affairs, in the election on Nov. 5. The Secretary of State oversees all elections in Kentucky.

Adams serves as a board member as well as the secretary and treasurer of A New Missouri, a dark money nonprofit created by Greitens. Missouri lawmakers alleged the nonprofit was designed to sidestep campaign disclosure laws and that Greitens illegally coordinated with it.

Adams also represented Greitens and his campaign in a consent order in 2017 acknowledging campaign finance violations: specifically, that the campaign did not disclose its acquisition of a donor list belonging to a charity the Governor founded years before. The consent order followed a state ethics investigation.

Greitens resigned in 2018, amid a litany of scandals including a threat of impeachment, a woman who alleged he blackmailed her with photos and forced her to perform oral sex, and a felony indictment tied to that accusation. The Kansas City Star also reported a number of additional accusations involving campaign finance laws, including allegations he explored the idea of raising money from foreign donors and used shell companies to hide the source of campaign donations.

Greitens’ campaign is still paying Adams’ firm, according to the Kansas City Star, which reported the Adams-Greitens connection this week. Adams has also worked with Vice President Mike Pence; he served as the counsel for Pence’s political action committee, Great America Committee.

“Legal ethics rules do not permit attorneys to comment about their representations unless at the direction of their clients,” Adams wrote in an emailed statement. “I represent high-profile clients at the highest levels of American government and politics due to my reputation for integrity. In all matters in which I’ve engaged in my distinguished legal career, I have conducted myself ethically and complied with the law, and no legal authority has found to the contrary.”

Adams resigned his position on the State Board of Elections to run for office. He has been critical of current Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and her father, Jerry Lundergan, who have been accused of campaign wrongdoing. Lundergan was convicted last month for illegal campaign contributions to Grimes’ 2014 Senate campaign.

In a recent interview with WFPL, Adams said he wants to fix corruption, and that actions like Lundergan’s put Kentucky’s elections at risk.

“If you look at what has actually happened in Kentucky, it’s not been foreign threats that have tainted our elections. It’s been domestic threats,” Adams said.

This story has been updated with Adams’ response.