LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Kentucky, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Covington & Burling filed a federal lawsuit today over Kentucky’s failure to take appropriate action to ensure eligible voters can safely cast a ballot in the November general election during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The groups are challenging a number of requirements that would place Kentuckians at dire and unnecessary risk in order to vote, including a new onerous photo ID requirement that would increase Kentuckians’ risk of exposure to COVID-19 by forcing them to visit ID-issuing offices to exercise their right to vote, and the state’s failure to expand vote by mail beyond the June primary.

“Kentuckians should not be forced to choose between their health and their vote. Kentucky can and should protect voters by eliminating the photo ID requirement and allowing vote by mail in the November election because the spread of COVID-19 will remain a risk. Our lawsuit seeks sensible solutions to safely allow people to exercise their right to vote in a pandemic,” said Ceridwen Cherry, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project.

These requirements disproportionately impact older voters, voters with disabilities, black voters, and voters with underlying medical conditions.