Voters will head to the polls on Tuesday, May 18th to vote in the Kentucky primary. The election this year falls one week earlier than voters have come accustomed due to a law passed during the 2002 session of the Kentucky General Assembly. Last year’s primary was also held one week earlier.
Secretary of State Trey Grayson, the chief elections officer of the Commonwealth, is encouraging all registered voters to cast their ballots on Primary Election Day. “Voting is an important right and responsibility,” Grayson stated. “It is my hope that we will see an impressive turnout on the 18th.”
Voters will have the opportunity to select candidates to appear on the November ballot for a number of offices including:
- U.S. President
- U.S. Senator
- U.S. Representatives
- State Senators in odd-numbered districts
- State Representatives
Voters who changed their party registration after December 31, 2003 will be ineligible to vote in the upcoming partisan primary election. Those citizens will be eligible to vote in the November general election and were notified as such in a recent letter from the State Board of Elections.
The State Board of Elections has also notified County Clerks and members of the local Boards of Election that they shall not enforce the 500 ft. electioneering ban. The ban was deemed unconstitutional by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Office of the Attorney General requested a stay of that decision on behalf of the State Board of Elections but the court has yet to make a decision on the matter.
Secretary Grayson and the State Board of Elections have reminded clerks that this does not change other election laws.
Grayson remarked that “vote buying and voter intimidation still remain illegal regardless of whether you are five feet or five thousand feet from the polls. Our office and the State Board of Elections are working with the Attorney General and U.S. Attorney’s offices to protect voters’ rights for a fair election.” He also stated that it remains illegal to electioneer within the voting room at the polls.
“I am calling on all candidates to uphold the spirit of the electioneering law until this matter is resolved. Kentucky voters have become accustomed to an intimidation and corruption free zone around the polling place. By allowing electioneering near the polls, we allow an atmosphere for corruption to flourish. It is my hope that candidates will join with me in our attempt to prevent this environment from existing.”