Just over a fourth of registered voters are projected to cast ballots in next month’s election. Secretary of State Elaine Walker predicts between 25 to 28 percent of eligible voters will turn-out for the November 8th election. While Kentucky’s six-statewide campaigns are in the final stretch, there’s also a great deal of media attention focused on next year’s presidential race. Walker’s says it may be distracting voters. "You know, I’m not sure if the presidential race is having an impact on the local….it could…but…my feeling is more that people are not really angry with the state of the commonwealth,” said Walker.
The voter response four years ago when Democrat Steve Beshear was elected governor was 37 percent. Walker says smaller turnouts help special interest groups.
“The fewer people that we have turn out to the polls on November eighth… the easier that any one group…is able to sway that election,” added Walker.
With each election comes the threat of voter fraud. Walker believes there’s been a pro-active approach to such crimes. She says an aggressive policy resulted in two to three convictions this past year. If county clerks see a spike in the number of absentee ballots requested for a particular area, she says it should send up a red flag.
“And quite frankly, if you want to guarantee that any voter fraud is not effective…get the voter turnout higher…if we had a 75 percent voter turnout, there is no way that you could take over an election through voter fraud, because you just couldn’t get the numbers up,” said Walker.
Elaine Walker says about three-fourths of Kentucky’s counties feature voting machines which can upload the results quickly.