Kentucky has received a $2.2 million federal grant to help pay for an electronic system for delivering election ballots to soldiers deployed overseas.
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced the grant Tuesday. The money is from the U.S. Department of Defense.
Grimes said the money would help with the cost of an electronic system that could be used in place of the U.S. mail to get ballots to military personnel.
Lawmakers approved legislation earlier this year to allow soldiers and civilians living overseas to receive ballots electronically to speed up the process.
The secretary of state’s office is in the preliminary stages of developing the system, which is expected to be in place for next year’s general election.
The State Journal reported Sunday that a second round of bidding for the system — approved during the 2013 legislative session — has closed.
But county clerks, the majority of whom oppose electronically casting ballots because of cyber security questions, have voiced concerns that Grimes’ request for proposals goes beyond the new law’s parameters because it seeks vendors who can both send and receive ballots electronically.
A provision that would have allowed military and overseas voters to cast ballots electronically was stripped from the compromise bill that became law. Grimes staunchly supported that aspect of the original bill, which was removed in the Republican-controlled Senate and reinserted by the Democratic-controlled House.
Clerks also say bids are unnecessary because they can currently send voter registration materials and absentee ballots via the Web.