FRANKFORT — Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes will travel to Afghanistan and several other countries in September to help American soldiers vote.
Grimes is one of six secretaries of state across the nation asked by the Federal Voting Assistance Program and the Department of Defense to make the two-week trip to Afghanistan, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
No state money will be involved, Grimes said, and no staff or family will accompany her.
The Federal Voting Assistance Program administers the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act of 1986. It acts on behalf of the U.S. Secretary of Defense. It primarily assists uniformed services and overseas voters in exercising their right to vote.
During the trip, Grimes will visit soldiers in the field to learn about the logistics of delivering ballot materials to deployed troops and returning ballots to the United States on a timely basis.
Last month, Grimes met with senior officers and soldiers in the Kentucky Army National Guard's 138th Fires Brigade at the Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center in Greenville to learn about their training and deployment. The unit has more than 1,500 members from across Central Kentucky. About 900 were at the training center.
Grimes told the Guard members about voter registration and absentee balloting and presented to several of them Army Commendation Medals for exemplary motivation, dedication and professionalism.
In 2008 for the last presidential election, Kentucky issued 4,723 absentee ballots to military personnel; 76 percent of them were returned.