A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

VoteNKy: Let’s break the records at the polls — just by showing up to vote; Get Out the Vote on Tuesday

The nonpartisan effort to get more Northern Kentuckians to the polls on Nov. 5 has created tools to help encourage and inform voters as Election Day looms.

VoteNKY is a regional Get Out The Vote campaign spearhead by the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, organizations, foundations, and civic-minded individuals, which seeks to stem the tide of awful voter turnout in past elections in Northern Kentucky.

“Northern Kentucky has one of the lowest voter turnouts in the state,” said Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President Brent Cooper. “With every election we don’t vote, our silence negatively impacts our communities. When we don’t vote, the issues that are important to us go unnoticed, and we don’t hold our elected officials accountable.”

“So we have created a couple of helpful tools to assist efforts to spread the word about the election and inform employees, customers, friends and others about the importance of voting on Election Day,” Cooper said.

The website was created to not only encourage voting but to also help voters by with information about the candidates and how and where to cast a ballot. The website includes:

• Information about the candidates running for office on the following offices on the Nov. 5 statewide ballot – governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, auditor, treasurer, secretary of state and commissioner of agriculture.

• A link for voters to find their voting precinct.

• Links to GOTV social media sites.

• Facts about voting, including information of Northern Kentucky voter turnout in past elections.

The NKY Chamber has also produced a Kentucky Election Guide that includes information about each candidate and describes the office they are seeking. The Chamber has reached out to its members, urging them to share the guide with their employees, co-workers, clients, and friends.

In the most recent primary in March of this year, turnout in Northern Kentucky was seven percent less than the rest of the state. In 2015, the last time a Kentucky gubernatorial race was held, the three counties in Northern Kentucky had a combined 26.7 percent voter turnout, which was substantially lower than the state’s other two large metropolitan areas — Jefferson County-Louisville at 34.1 percent (7.4 percent difference) and Fayette County-Lexington at 33.2 percent (a 6.5 percent difference).

The Secretary of State has predicted a 31% turnout for Tuesday’s election. That is not good enough.

The GOTV effort will continue into 2020, when the races for president, Congress, U.S. Senate, the Kentucky statehouse, and many local races will be decided.

Vote for NKY is a regional nonpartisan campaign spearhead by the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, organizations, foundations, and civic-minded individuals seeking to increase voter registration and turnout in Northern Kentucky (Boone, Campbell and Kenton Counties). The organization does not endorse political candidates or causes but does work to educate Northern Kentucky residents about upcoming elections and candidates. To learn more about the campaign, visit VoteNKY.com.

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