Testimony Indicates Election Integrity is Strong in the Commonwealth

FRANKFORT, KY (July 19, 2022) – Sen. Robby Mills, R-Henderson, chaired yesterday’s Interim Joint Committee on State Government meeting. The committee heard from representatives from the Secretary of State’s office and professionals within the tech industry who provide election technologies and services to state and local governments. In addition, they provided updates on current standards and the implementation of policies enacted by the Kentucky General Assembly to bolster and safeguard the integrity of the commonwealth’s elections. 

“Over the past few years, ensuring our elections are secure has been a top priority of the General Assembly,” said Mills. “We have examined the research, studied election results and scrutinized the election process top to bottom. Through all of this, needed legislation has been signed into law, filling gaps and bolstering security and making our commonwealth one of the most secure in the nation to vote in.” 

Jenni Scutchfield, assistant secretary of state, and Karen Sellers, executive director of the State Board of Elections, spoke on the topic of policies in place and what the Secretary of State’s office is doing to make it “easier to vote, but harder to cheat.”

Scutchfield emphasized early on in her testimony that Kentucky’s voting equipment does not have internet connectivity. Kentucky statutes do not allow voting machines to connect to the internet.

Scutchfield addressed some resident concerns about the security of the voting equipment by stating, “hand counting is not the most secure way to count ballots.” The Kentucky Constitution was amended in 1940 to allow voting machines to combat widespread fraud throughout the commonwealth. 

She highlighted two particular election reform bills enacted by the General Assembly in 2019 and 2022 during her testimony as examples of how the state is meeting its goal and being a model for a nation currently divided on the issue.

Scutchfield began by discussing 2020’s Senate Bill 2, sponsored by Mills. The bill enjoyed strong support from Secretary of State Michael Adams. The bill requires voters to present a government photo ID or other approved identification ID and affirm under penalty of law that they had an impediment from accessing a government photo ID.

Voters without an approved form of identification at the polls but who are otherwise eligible to vote are permitted to cast a “provisional ballot” for candidates in federal elections. They must, however, provide some form of approved identification before the close of business on Friday immediately following the election. 

Scutchfield also spoke about Senate Bill 216 from the 2022 session, also sponsored by Mills and which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. It further guarantees that Kentucky’s elections and ballot counting process are secure. 

SB 216 expands the Attorney General’s Office’s independent inquiry of potential election irregularities to include no fewer than 12 random Kentucky counties. It implements measures to prevent voter fraud by removing credit or debit cards as a viable form of voter identification. It prohibits a voting system from being connected to any network, including the internet or any external device. Additionally, it requires all voting machines to use paper ballots by Jan. 1, 2024, and reappointed the Kentucky Secretary of State as chair of the State Board of Elections. 

Tucker Omel, the senior sales engineer for ES&S (Election Systems & Software), provided lawmakers an inside look and in-depth briefing on the voting devices used for Kentucky’s elections. He also discussed why he feels Kentuckians should be confident in the integrity of their elections. 

“Election security is one of the most important issues on which the General Assembly crafts legislation,” Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer said. “A free election is the foundation of our republic. In being involved in this process over the years, hearing the testimony today, and receiving an emphatic ‘no’ answer to my inquiry regarding if evidence exists that machines can switch votes, I am fully confident in the safety and security of Kentucky’s election system.” 

For more information on members of the Senate Majority Caucus and on the 2022 Interim Session, such as committee schedules and membership, please visit Live legislative coverage is available at and the Legislative Research Commission YouTube channel. In addition, access archived footage of legislative meetings at


Senator Robby Mills, R-Henderson, represents the 4th District, including Henderson, Hopkins, Union and Webster Counties. Mills serves as the chair of the Senate Standing Committee on State and Local Government. He also serves as a member of the Senate Standing Committees on Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection; Economic Development, Tourism, and Labor; and is a liaison member on the Budget Review Subcommittee on General Government, Finance, and Public Protection. Additionally, Mills serves as a member of the Public Pension Oversight Board, and was most recently appointed as co-chair to the Executive Branch Efficiency Task Force during the 2022 Interim. 

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