LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Secretary of State Michael Adams continues to take on unfounded, false claims of election fraud in Kentucky.
"Despite all this progress, despite enhanced security, we still have an element of people who further conspiracies," Adams while speaking to the Lexington Rotary Club on Thursday.
Adams said the conspiracies "were just merely annoying" at first. But now, he believes they "increasingly threaten to disrupt our elections."
In recent years, Kentucky has made changes to its elections by enhancing security and giving voters more options. For example, the state added three days of no-excuse early in-person voting. These changes have made Kentucky a national example of bipartisan progress. But they've also made Kentucky a target for conspiracy surrounding its elections.
Adams says that even though the election fraud claims have been repeatedly debunked, the lies continue.
"These folks that are black helicopter conspiracy theorists - they always move the goalposts," said Adams. "When you debunk something they say, they make up something different. We just did a recount in northern Kentucky and proved the tech worked. We proved that the votes were counted accurately - and they said 'ha, we've got you now - we just proved you stuffed the ballot boxes to make the count match.' You just cannot please these people, so just ignore them."
But Adams admits that it's frustrating to deal with the conspiracies. He worries that this is taking a toll on election officials.
Adams said "frivolous" lawsuits and recounts make the job of election officials more difficult than it already is.
"It's a big strain on our election officials who have to re-run an election for a pointless reason," said Adams. "They've got enough trouble as it is."
Five county clerks in Kentucky resigned last month alone, according to Adams.
And then, there's the abuse election workers face. Adams says it's making it difficult to recruit poll workers and to keep clerks working.
"The abuse is just beyond belief," he said.
Along with the abuse, there are threats. Adams himself has been dealing with these issues.
"It is getting dangerous out there. I just had to refer another death threat to the FBI this week," said Adams. "It's ugly."
But Adams will continue to push back against those who spread the lies. For him, this is about protecting Kentucky's elections.