Early Returns Podcast: Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams and Voting Reforms: How to Get Along and Accomplish Reform

Early Returns - Law and Politics with Jan Baran

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Under the Constitution, each state establishes the time, place, and manner of holding an election for Senator or Representative unless Congress passes a nationwide change of the rules.  State laws on how to register and vote, where to vote, and how and when votes are counted vary widely.  COVID and the 2020 elections caused many voting changes and controversies.  Few people are more attuned to the challenges of election administration than Kentucky Secretary of State, Michael Adams. In this episode of Early Returns, Secretary Adams discusses voting rules and procedures through the lens of Kentucky’s history and culture. The conversation begins with Mike’s own campaign in 2019 for Secretary of State, a race which focused heavily on election integrity reforms including implementation of a voter ID requirement and bringing the state’s voter rolls into compliance with federal law. Mike shares some highlights from Kentucky’s 2020 pandemic response and what was achieved when a Democratic governor worked with a Republican Secretary of State and a Republican legislature.  The 2020 experience had a lasting impact in Kentucky when the Commonwealth enacted permanent reforms in 2021. As the 2022 midterms heat up, Mike shares his thoughts on issues like the H.R. 1 legislation introduced in Congress, continued court battles over redistricting, and campaign finance enforcement.  As with all our guests, Secretary Adams ends this episode with some intriguing book recommendations.

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