FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 26, 2012) — Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky’s Secretary of State and chief election official, has been invited to travel abroad in the fall to work with the an overseas voting initiative.
The Federal Voting Assistance Program aims to assess and make improvements to military voting procedures.
The itinerary tentatively includes Afghanistan, Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Grimes, Kentucky’s only current female constitutional officer and one of 10 female secretaries of state in the nation, was selected to participate in the program by the United States Secretary of Defense. During the trip, she will meet with military men and women in the field and learn about the logistics of delivering ballot materials to deployed troops and returning ballots to the United States on a timely basis.
“I am grateful for every opportunity to educate military personnel about the current absentee voting procedures, and I look forward to assessing firsthand the challenges confronting military voters and helping to improve the process for the future,” Grimes said.
The secretary of state also is working with military personnel in Kentucky and abroad to ensure that military men and women have equal access to the polls.
“One of my goals as Secretary of State is to increase access to the polls for members of the military, both active and veterans,” Grimes said. “Those who risk their lives on the battlefield must have their voices protected at the ballot box, and ensuring they have access to vote and that their votes are counted is and will continue to be a priority of my office.”
In this effort, she met with senior officers and soldiers in the Kentucky Army National Guard’s 138th Fires Brigade at the Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center in Greenville, Ky., on June 18. Grimes greeted the soldiers and learned about their training and upcoming deployment. She presented several soldiers with Army Commendation Medals, which are awarded for exemplary motivation, dedication and professionalism. Grimes thanked the soldiers for their service and educated them about the voter registration and absentee voting processes.
The 138th Fires Brigade consists of more than 1,500 soldiers from across Central Kentucky. Approximately 900 soldiers were on-site at the training center in preparation for a mission that will deploy later this year. Prior to their deployment, Grimes will provide absentee voting training to officers and assist soldiers in registering to vote and obtaining absentee ballots.