A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Record number registered to vote in state’s primary May 21; here are the two ballots for statewide races

A record number of Kentuckians are registered to vote in the May 21 primary election, but the bigger issue is whether they will head to the polls.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced Thursday that 3,421,796 Kentuckians are registered to vote, a net increase of 18,891 since the 2018 General Election.

The gap continues to narrow between party registrations.  Democratic voters represent just more than 49 percent of the electorate with 1,684,200 registered voters. Republican voters total 1,437,897 million or about 42 percent of voters Almost 9 percent of voters, about 299,699, affiliate with another party or as “Other.” 

In addition to tickets for governor and lieutenant governor, other races on the May primary ballot include attorney general, secretary of state, auditor of public accounts, state treasurer and commissioner of agriculture. A handful of non-partisan judicial races will also appear in some areas.

There are no GOP opponents for two incumbents, State Auditor Mike Harmon and Treasurer Allison Ball. Likewise, Democrat Greg Stumbo, who is seeking to return to the office of the attorney general, is also unopposed.

Those registered as “other” will not be able to participate in the primary unless they have a non-partisan race on their ballot.

”The people’s interests are better represented when a majority of voters go to the polls to make choices about who serves in elected office,” said Grimes. “This is a huge election year in Kentucky with constitutional officers on the ballot. Every Kentucky voter should make it a priority to vote.”

Despite her encouragement, Kentuckians have not made participating a priority in recent years, according to figures from the State Board of Elections.

In 2015, the most recent year for statewide constitutional officers, only 12.57 percent of eligible voters headed to the polls for the primary election.

The previous election for constitutional officers, in 2011, the turnout was even worse, with just 10.35 percent participation.

Grimes urges Kentucky voters to visit www.GoVoteKy.com, the state’s one-stop elections portal for voter resources, for information on absentee voting, checking your voter registration status, sample ballots, and the locations of polling places.

*DREW CURTIS announced in April that he was withdrawing from the race for Auditor.

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