FRANKFORT — A newly launched program allows victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Kentucky to remove their addresses from public voter registration records in an attempt to stay safe from their abusers.
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, at a Capitol news conference, said the Address Confidentiality Program will "allow people to register to vote and vote without fear for their safety, or the safety of their children."
The program was created by House Bill 222 in last year's General Assembly. Rep. Joni Jenkins, D-Louisville, sponsored the measure.
To be eligible to participate in the free program, a person must have either a current emergency protective order or a domestic violence order, or be a victim of a specified sex offense in a criminal case that is open or has resulted in a conviction.
Grimes said victims can apply for the program by contacting her office, or by going to SOS.ky.gov/elections/ACP or calling 1-844-292-5227.
Grimes, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate this year in Kentucky, acknowledged that there are other ways for people to get addresses of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, but "this is a good first step to try to keep people safe."
Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer said the program gives such victims "a valuable way to protect themselves in trying to vote freely."
Fayette County Sheriff Kathy Witt said Kentucky now is one of 36 states that have address-confidentiality programs.