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State Elections in Kentucky

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Next year Kentucky will have elections for its state constitutional officials- Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Attorney General, Auditor, and Commissioner of Agriculture. In 2011, there was low turnout due to 1) the Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams was not very popular among most conservatives, which in turn not only enabled Steve Beshear to be re-elected, but also resulted in his fellow Democrats winning (the exception being Republican James Comer being elected Commissioner of Agriculture), 2) apathy, and 3) ignorance (some people were not even aware there was an election- perhaps they were looking ahead to the 2012 Presidential Election).

Due to the low turnout in 2011, the solution should be to hold the elections for the state constitutional officials on an even-numbered year. People are used to voting on even-numbered years (hence larger turnout), plus doing so would save the Commonwealth money.

It should be noted that such action took place in the 1990s regarding elections for local officials throughout Kentucky. In 1993, anyone who was elected or re-elected served either five-year or three-year terms for their respective offices. It is unclear why similar action was not taken regarding the elections for Kentucky's state constitutional officials.

So here is the solution: whoever gets elected or re-elected in 2015 should be allowed to serve a five-year term, thus holding the next election for these respective offices in 2020. Since the Presidential Election will be that year, turnout should be high.

As for our odd-numbered years, they can continue to be reserved for special elections (as was the case in 2013).

Thus, the General Assembly needs to implement this long-overdue change.



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