Nov 1, 2011 12:20 PM
Attorney General Jack Conway, Secretary of State Elaine Walker and their staffs have been working closely to ensure that the November 8 general election is fair and free of voter fraud.
Representatives from both agencies have been meeting in recent weeks as part of the Kentucky Election Integrity Task Force to prevent and investigate allegations of vote fraud during the general election. Kentucky State Police, the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky and Kentucky Board of Elections are also represented on the task force.
"I am proud of the work my office has done to crack down on corruption and ensure that all voters have a chance to legally cast their vote on election day," said Conway. "Investigators from my office will be patrolling precincts and polling places on election day, but we also need citizens to join in the effort by reporting any election irregularities."
Walker, the chief elections official of the Commonwealth and Chairman of the State Board of Elections, praised the cooperation between the agencies and also stressed the important role citizens play on election day.
"Every Kentucky poll worker is thoroughly trained by our county clerks and county boards prior to every election. Included in that training is how to spot and deal with any voting irregularity." Walker said. "Per Kentucky law, if a poll worker does not personally know a voter, they must see a form of identification, which is also specified."
Walker added that thanks to Conway, incidences of suspected fraud are rigorously pursued. She also noted that higher voter turnout means more people at the polls to report any suspicious voting behavior.
"We depend on honest citizens to help us maintain fair and honest elections in Kentucky. It's in every voter's best interest to do so," Walker said.
The Office of the Attorney General has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute violations of the Kentucky election laws. By law, the Attorney General administers programs to observe the conduct of elections, maintains a toll-free hotline to receive reports of election law violations, investigates any such violations, takes appropriate enforcement action and conducts post-election audits based on random selection in counties throughout the Commonwealth.
"We have made a significant dent in election fraud during my tenure as Attorney General," Conway said. "Each year we have fewer reports of suspected fraud. The reports we do have are followed up on immediately."
General Conway's Election Fraud Hotline received six calls from six counties between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. during the 2011 primary election. The Attorney General's office worked with its state and federal law enforcement partners, as well as election officials, to review the election complaints, and where necessary, investigate any that proved to be criminal in nature. During the November of 2007 general election, when the same offices were on the ballot, the hotline received 38 calls from 14 counties.
The Attorney General's Election Fraud Hotline is 1-800-328-VOTE (800-328-8683). The hotline is available throughout the year during normal business hours. On November 8, 2011, calls will be received from 6 a.m. EST to 7 p.m. EST.
Members of the news media covering the election are reminded that they may be in the voting room for the limited purpose of filming the voting process. However, as per OAG 88-76, the media may not conduct interviews with voters inside the voting room, record the identity of voters, or disrupt the voting process, a Class A misdemeanor. See KRS 117.236.
You can follow Attorney General Conway on Twitter @kyoag, visit the Attorney General's Facebook page or view videos on our YouTube channel.
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