Wednesday, October 20, 2004

State vigilant on vote fraud

U.S. attorneys to oversee complaints

By Murray Evans
The Associated Press

FRANKFORT - With national elections two weeks away, Kentucky Attorney General Greg Stumbo and Secretary of State Trey Grayson said Tuesday that their agencies want to ensure that vote fraud does not become an issue in the state.

Stumbo and Grayson said that two assistant U.S. Attorneys, James Zerhusen of the eastern district and Tom Dyke of the western district, will serve as election officers, responsible for overseeing the handling of complaints of election fraud and voting abuses.

In addition, Stumbo said at least two investigators from his office will be present in each of the state's six congressional districts on Election Day to respond to allegations of voting irregularities. Stumbo said the state has also set up an election-fraud hot line, (800)328-VOTE, to take voter concerns.

Stumbo said he will be watching for voting irregularities on Election Day, Nov. 2.

Stumbo said his office received 43 calls complaining about election issues following the state's most recent primary election, and nearly half of those were from Clay County, where there was a hotly contested state race. Stumbo said he visited Clay County but found no election improprieties.

In January, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down as unconstitutional seven of the state's election and campaign laws, including one that prohibited campaigning within 500 feet of a polling place. Grayson said that more than 100 of the state's 120 counties either have or will pass county electioneering laws to replace the voided state law.

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