Kentucky’s Registry of Election Finance has released 88 recommendations to improve the state’s election finance system, and Glasgow attorney John Rogers, who chairs the registry board, hopes to persuade legislators to enact them into law.

Some recommendations have drawn the most attention, including one which would allow successful primary candidates for governor to choose a running mate after the May primary election. Some question if that conforms to the constitutional amendment which created slates, but both Rogers and Secretary of State Trey Grayson, who served on the KREF task force which developed the recommendations, believe it does.

Other recommendations would require electronic filing of finance reports by any candidate raising more than $25,000; establish a defined time after elections by which candidate loans must be repaid; permit electronic contributions; require deposit of contributions within 10 days of receipt; and require candidates to indicate personal approval of advertising on their behalf.

The registry created an advisory task force, chaired by Rogers and David S. Samford, to review the state’s election finance laws and recommend changes to the full KREF. The task force worked for eight months and engaged in more than 20 hours of public debate before issuing its report to the KREF which accepted minority dissents. Those are included in the final, three-volume report by the KREF. The first volume, which consists of the final report, can be viewed at the registry’s web site at www.kref.ky.gov. The second and third volumes, containing appendices and minority dissents, can be obtained by calling the KREF at (502) 573-2226.

“The registry entrusted the study and review of current election finance statutes to a group whose interest and direct experience or participation in the electoral process provided a backdrop to propose meaningful, positive changes to the way campaigns are financed in the commonwealth,” Rogers said.

Rogers expects to appear before the interim Task Force on Elections, Constitutional Amendments, and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee in November to endorse and explain the recommendations.

RONNIE ELLIS can be reached at rellis@glasgowdailytimes.com or at (270) 678-5171.

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