Secretary Of State Fighting Election Rumors

by Gabe Bullard on October 31, 2008

With election day nearing, the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office says rumors about voting procedure have been running rampant.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Les Fugate says many rumors about voters being ineligible have been circulated via e-mail. He says many of them come from poorly-informed, out of state or partisan sources.

“There are always political accusations on both sides of the aisle that one side is spreading information trying to increase turnout and then on the other side saying they’re trying to decrease turnout,” he says. “But at this point, our main focus is to try to tell voters what the truth is – to get the facts out.”

One of the most common rumors involves electioneering, or campaigning too close to a polling place. It’s illegal to actively campaign within 300 feet of a polling place, but Fugate says it’s not against the law to wear campaign attire to the polls, as long as it doesn’t create a diversion.

“Even if you are electioneering, the punishment for electioneering is not that you will lose your vote, it’s that you could be prosecuted for misdemeanor,” says Fugate. “We will not turn anyone away for electioneering, specifically if it’s a button, t-shirt or cap.”

The Secretary of State’s office has set up a website to address the rumors.

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