Sec. Michael Adams projects low voter turnout for Kentucky Primary

One reason Adams is projecting a low voter turnout is due to disenfranchised Independent voters.
Published: May. 10, 2023 at 6:48 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Early in-person voting is taking place May 11-13 across the Commonwealth. This will give Kentucky voters an opportunity to vote prior to Election Day and avoid those long lines.

Over the past few years, early voting has left a significant impact on elections across the United States.

Especially in the state of Kentucky, where voter turnout was the largest in state history during the height of a global pandemic.

“We had our first primary (election) with over a million votes cast, and our first general election with over two million votes cast,” said Michael Adams, Kentucky Secretary of State. “To be clear, that is driven by the campaigns and the issues, but also we played a part in that by expanding voting access in the course of the pandemic.”

The state of Kentucky spent around $1 million trying to get people to vote in 2020. This would be an effort to get people to avoid standing in long lines during the pandemic.

In 2022, early voting was very popular among Kentucky voters, but the majority of Kentucky voters still voted on Election Day.

Adams said the 2023 Kentucky Primary is set to have the lowest voter turnout since 2019.

“I want to strongly encourage voters to go vote in this primary,” said Adams. “If you do not, then what we are going to have is just the most extreme people on the far left and on the far right that will vote, and it will skew the outcome. It will mean some maybe less tantalizing choices in November between two really extreme candidates.”

One reason why there is a projected low voter turnout is due to disenfranchised Independent voters. Kentuckians who are registered as “Independent” make up 10% of the state’s total voter registry. Therefore, only 90% of voters are allowed to vote in this year’s primary election.

Despite some skepticism regarding early voting, Secretary Adams said the security of Kentucky’s elections has made it easier for voters to trust the election process and those in charge of the elections.

“We have made it easy to vote and hard to cheat at the same time. You do not have to make a commitment to just one versus the other. If you do that, then you begin to skew the outcomes and you lose the confidence of half of your voters. We have tried to do both and I think it has led both Democrats and Republicans to have more confidence in our election process. Early voting does not benefit Democrats or Republicans. It benefits the voters of all stripes,” said Adams.

For more information on where your polling location is, or any other general information regarding voting and the election, click here.

To view the official WBKO 2023 Kentucky Primary Election guide, click here.