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Add Kentucky to list of states being sued to expand voting access

Kentucky is the latest state to face a lawsuit asking for election law easement in the face of the coronavirus.

The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union are among those who sued Wednesday, but with a bit of a twist: They are out to reverse one of the very few state laws enacted since the pandemic began that was designed to make voting more difficult this year.

Still, the new suit is similar to dozens of others filed this year that seek to make battleground or red-leaning states relax their election regulations and expand voting by mail.

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Congress

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is one of 10 Republican Senators targeted in a series of ads from a conservative group supporting efforts to ease voting in November.

Conservative group's new TV ads press 10 key GOP senators to pay for vote-by-mail

The most prominent conservative group pushing to overhaul election procedures during the coronavirus pandemic has expanded and refocused its campaign.

The targets of a new, $750,000 advertising blitz are 10 GOP senators. The group controls the fate of a proposed infusion of cash to pay for diversified voting options this year, mainly by accommodating an expected surge of absentee balloting.

Republicans for the Rule of Law has purchased three weeks of airtime on Fox News affiliates in their states and on Facebook, starting Wednesday, urging them by name to support funding in the next economic stimulus package.

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Photo ID law coming to Kentucky while virus shuts many issuing offices

At a time when primary turnout is already taking a hit from the coronavirus, a new photo ID requirement in Kentucky looms as another deterrent from the polls this year.

Legislation cleared Thursday by the General Assembly would require would-be voters show a driver's license or other government-issued identification with a photo. Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear has signaled he opposes the bill, but his veto would have minimal effect because the House and Senate are solidly Republican and have the power to override him by simple majority.

The bill was already viewed as adding Kentucky to the roster of states with the toughest voter ID requirements. Critics now lament the measure could suppress the vote further because of the public health emergency, which has closed or curtailed office hours at many of the government offices that issue ID cards.

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Missouri, Kentucky move forward on tough voter ID laws

Two more solidly red states are moving closer this week to enacting a photo ID requirement for voting starting this fall.

The Republican-majority state House in Missouri gave initial approval to such a bill Wednesday. The GOP state House in Kentucky is expected to clear a measure by Friday, with enough votes to override a potential veto.

Only 18 states now require people to present an identification card with a picture on it at the polls, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and such rules have become one of the more highly contentious parts of the democracy reform debate in recent years.

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