FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The House is continuing its crusade to allow members of the military to vote by email while serving overseas, a measure that's certain to be opposed in the Senate during the final days of the legislative session.
The Democratic-led House on Monday voted 57-42, mainly along party lines. Republicans in both the House and Senate are concerned an emailed vote could not be secret, a requirement in the state constitution.
They also expressed concerns about hacking vulnerabilities. But proponents, mainly Democrats, say an emailed ballot could help ensure service members' votes are counted on time. They also point to 24 other states that have enacted electronic overseas voting.
The measure now proceeds to the Senate, where the Republican leadership opposes it.
In 2012, about 300 overseas ballots of nearly 3,700 arrived in the mail too late to be counted, according to Kentucky's secretary of state's office.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonburg, said the proposal is about ensuring that service members can vote by the deadline.
"We know that 300 ballots from our fighting men and women were not counted in this last general election," Stumbo said. "The question before this body today is do those 300 ballots matter to you ... I'm not saying you should ignore (privacy and security) concerns. But what I'm saying to you is our job is to direct public policy."
Rep. David Floyd, R-Bardstown, said the methods for counting electronic votes cannot be audited and are vulnerable to hacking and fraud. He voted no.
Rep. Tim Moore, R-Elizabethtown, argued that the clerk of his home county could not ensure that an electronic ballot could remain anonymous.
"He said if we're going to try to account for who they are, we're going to know how they voted," Moore said before voting no.
But Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, said her county's clerk supports the measure.
"Twenty-four states have done this. They have not been hacked," Marzian said. "This will make sure that our folks that are fighting overseas for our freedoms will get an opportunity to vote."
The legislation is Senate Bill 1.