According to the Lexington-Herald Leader, requests for absentee ballots for the June 23rd Primary indicate a higher voter turnout statewide since the 2008 Primary.
Nearly 27 percent of registered voters in Kentucky have requested an absentee ballot or already cast their vote a week out from the June 23 primary, according to the Kentucky State Board of Elections, indicating a potentially high turnout amid a statewide push to get people to vote absentee because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
That compares to a turnout of 20.6 percent four years ago, 13.9 percent eight years ago and 32.2 percent 12 years ago, when the Democratic presidential primary betweet Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton was still undecided.
There really is not a competitive contest in the presidential contest, so most people would say that the increase in interest in this primary is driven by the fact that people can simply vote by mail. I can’t argue with that.
The state has seen 937,723 votes cast or requested, according to the board of elections, and at least 92,611 of those ballot requests came from Fayette County. That would equal a 38 percent voter turnout in the state’s second-largest city if all ballots are returned.
“It exceeds every presidential primary going back to Bush vs. Gore,” said Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins.
In Jefferson County, 56.8 percent of the registered voters have requested ballots, according to Nore Ghibaudy, spokesman for the Jefferson County Clerk. The highest recorded turnout since 1980 in Jefferson County was 44.4 percent in 1983.
Normally, Jefferson County mirrors the rest of the state with regards to voter turnout. However, Jefferson County’s requests for absentee ballots is more than double the voter turnout in the 2016 Primary (24.3%). And Jefferson County has the highest percentage of Democrats and black voters. And it has the greatest population in the state. I don’t think this is some quirk. Something is happening in the Louisville area politically. And I think it will affect the U.S. Senate contest.
I think the renewed political activism in Louisville — killings of Breonna Taylor and David McAtee — may spill over into the race between Charles Booker and Amy McGrath. And it may be to the benefit of Charles Booker.