Kentuckians have access to multiple online services that will allow voters to prepare for the upcoming general election, an historic election with more races on the ballot than at any other time in Kentucky’s history. Citizens may view sample ballots online, check their voter registration and obtain driving directions to their polling location – all by visiting the online presence of the Office of the Secretary of State (OSS): www.sos.ky.gov.
“Information about the voting process should be as accessible as possible,” stated Secretary of State Trey Grayson. “This will allow citizens to better educate themselves about the candidates and initiatives for which they will be voting on election day and have access to pertinent voting information for the elections process.”
The OSS worked with county clerks across the commonwealth as well as with election services providers, Harp Enterprises and Kentuckiana Election Services, to place as many ballots on the Web as possible. All of Kentucky counties’ sample ballots are now available online.
The OSS also offers a candidate registrar database where voters may view information about candidates that file with the OSS. Most of these candidates have their photos, e-mail addresses and links to their campaign Web sites. The registrar database also serves as a confirmation service of official candidates along with the OSS Election Security Seal Program.
The Security Seal program, a first-in-the nation online service, is a new effort to protect voters from fraudulent campaign Web sites. Official candidates who have filed with the OSS have the option to place an encrypted seal of the Secretary of State onto their site. When a visitor clicks on the seal, it will redirect them to a site for official authentication. In providing the latest in encryption services, the program delivers trust, confidence, as well as peace of mind among voters and candidates as they become secured and certified interactive online participants. During the 2004 elections, it is estimated that 75 million Americans used the Internet to obtain political news and information, making the Internet and online campaigning a top focus and communications medium for politicians and political groups.
Kentuckians who do not know where they are supposed to vote may find their voter information via the State Board of Elections Web site’s Voter Information Center (VIC). The VIC may provide information on a particular registered voter’s polling location, party registration and driving directions from the registered address to the polling location. The service may now be accessed from many mobile devices.
“It is particularly important for voters to verify the address of their polling location due to a large number of polling location changes in order to comply with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA),” noted Grayson. “Checking this information before election day may reduce confusion before a citizen heads to the polls.”
Other election services that Kentuckians may find online include the Election Night Tally system, where citizens may access up-to-the-minute unofficial results of the election, as well as general information about the election process in Kentucky and the HAVA.
Citizens may access the OSS Web site at www.sos.ky.gov. That site also contains a link to the State Board of Elections Web site, www.elect.ky.gov, and the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance Web site, www.kref.ky.gov, where other election information is located.