MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The following statement about Kentucky's primary elections today is by Nancy Abudu, deputy legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center:
"Today, the state of Kentucky follows states like Wisconsin and Georgia in conducting a primary election during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic without necessary preparations to ensure every eligible voter can easily cast a ballot. The trend of consolidating and closing polling locations, especially in areas where communities of color are concentrated, increased after the disastrous Supreme Court decision in Shelby Co. v. Holder and has accelerated to new levels during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s unacceptable and a recipe for potential Election Day disaster today and on November 3.
"We offer our support to partners in Kentucky who are working right now to ensure the state conducts an election befitting a democracy. Congress should take immediate steps to renew and expand federal protections to ensure that every eligible voter in Kentucky can vote without onerous hurdles by reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act and passing the House-passed Heroes Act.
"In the Deep South, the SPLC, through our Vote Your Voice project, has set aside up to $30 million in upcoming election cycles to support local organizations overcome state and federal voter suppression policies that make voting even harder."