Most people don’t vote.
In 2015, with 17,787 registered voters in Johnson County and Kentucky’s governorship up for grabs, 4,726 turned out in November and a scant 2,360 showed up in May. Things were a little better in 2016, with presidential candidates on the ballot, with 9,701 of the 17,877 registered voters showing up for the general election, though only 3,038 voted in the primary.
What’s worse, these numbers only track the rates of registered voters who turn out to the polls — and don’t even account for the masses of adults eligible to vote who don’t even register.
If you’re reading this, perhaps the odds are better that you vote regularly. The fact that you have picked up a newspaper is a good indicator that you care about what happens in your county, your state and your country. But the fact remains that most of the time, a fraction of the people eligible to vote actually do.
Events in Washington, D.C. and Frankfort have always been divisive, but the “middle ground” is growing narrower by the day. This issue, however, is not about your personal politics. It’s about the political process in general.
There are those who say voting does not make a difference. On larger scales, political candidates are often influenced by their donors and lobbyists, and some say one vote doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things when there are millions of votes being cast.
These excuses are weak, but they are especially flimsy this year, because many of the offices on your ballot will be for local elections right here in Johnson County. When you’re talking about elections for district seats with only a few hundred voters turning out, “big money” and the pool of other voters are non-issues. This is the best chance you have to influence the way things are run around here.
You can register to vote online at, GoVoteKy.com. The deadline to register to vote in the primary is April 23, and primary elections are of monumental importance, especially in local races. You may have to work on May 22, but employers are required to make allowances, and most do.
You don’t have an excuse.