Kentucky secretary of state Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democrat trying to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), once again refused to say if she voted for President Obama in 2012, arguing that revealing her vote would undermine the right to privacy at the ballot box for other Kentuckians.
“This is a matter of principle. Our constitution grants, here in Kentucky, the constitutional right for privacy of the ballot box, for a secret ballot,” Grimes said during her debate with McConnell. “I am not going to compromise a constitutional right provided here in Kentucky in order to curry favor on one or other side, or for members of the media, I’ll protect that right for every Kentuckian.”
Asked directly if she would say who she voted for Grimes refused. “Again, you have that right, Senator McConnell has that right, every Kentuckian has the right for privacy at the ballot box,” she said. “If I as chief election official, Bill, don’t stand up for that right, who in Kentucky will?”
The questioning, prompted by Grimes’s refusal to tell an editorial board how she voted, came after debate watchers had already heard McConnell accuse Grimes of trying to hide her true beliefs.
“Can Kentuckians expect her to cast a tough vote on anything? Is she ever going to answer a tough question on anything?” NBC’s Chuck Todd asked after her first refusal. “You want to be a U.S. senator? If you can’t say — if you can’t find a way to stand behind your party’s president, you can disagree with him but can’t answer that basic question and come across looking ridiculous. I think she disqualified herself.”
Grimes never explained, during the debate, how choosing to reveal her vote would undermine the secrecy of other voters’ ballots.
“I voted for Mitt Romney, proudly. I voted for John McCain,” McConnell said. “And by the way, in 2012, 116 out of 120 Kentucky counties agreed with my judgment that we might be in better shape had Mitt Romney been elected.”