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Auditor Says Some State Workers Took Paid Time For Election But Didn't Vote

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — The state Auditor's Office says it has busted more than one thousand state employees who were paid to leave work and vote in the 2016 election but never made it to the polls.

The data come from a report released Tuesday.

State workers can take a four-hour paid leave from work to vote. But in the 2016 elections, the Auditor's Office found dozens of cases where employees took advantage of the benefit.

"Giving four hours of leave, but also four hours of paid leave, we felt like it was important that we went and confirmed that there are people utilizing that in a proper way," said auditor Mike Harmon.

He pegged the cost to taxpayers at more than $100,000.

"We've provided the information to the Executive Branch Ethics Commission," he said. "As well as we've provided the information to the Personnel Cabinet."

From here, investigators will check with employees to see if there was a mistake or if they did not vote.

"I would hope at a minimum, if they can't prove that they voted, that they would take back the four hours of pay that was given," Harmon said.

He said while the state requires employees be provided the time off to vote, paying employees is a policy decision that may need review.

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