Voter turnout for Kentucky midterm was lowest in decades, report says

Voter turnout for Kentucky midterm was lowest in decades, report says
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 4:11 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A recent Courier-Journal report found that Kentucky had the lowest voter turnout for an election since 1994.

Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins says only 42% of those registered in Lexington cast their ballots.

UK political science professor Stephen Voss tells us that low turnout stems largely from the fact that so many of the races on people’s ballots this year were predetermined.

“We had such sleepy races at the top of the ticket,” said Voss. “Congressional seats that weren’t seriously being contested, a Senate race that was seen as a foregone conclusion.”

Even while being buoyed by the amendments at the bottom of the ticket.

“It would’ve been even lower if Amendment Two wasn’t the caboose at the bottom of that train,” Voss said.

A majority of registered Kentuckians did not show up to the polls.

Lexington had its lowest turnout in at least 40 years, which stunned Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins. In Madison County, only 40 percent voted. A sharp drop from 51% in 2018, according to Clerk Kenny Barger.

Voss noted these numbers can be made to look worse because of the fast-growing population in the Lexington metro.

“You have to be careful with voter turnout numbers because they’re calculated based on how many people are registered,” said Voss.

Voss believes it could be a different story next year when Kentucky holds its statewide elections, including the governor’s race.

He says the fact that Kentucky’s race is in an odd year means it will get a lot of attention around the country and political ad dollars could be used to boost interest in voting.