Thousands of new voters have registered in Kentucky and poll workers are bracing for a large turnout today.
There are 3,037,153 registered voters in Kentucky, according to the Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grime’s office, up more than 130,000 voters since the last Presidential election in 2008.
The voter rolls in Kentucky have swollen by 57,145 since the May primary, setting a record for registration. The old record was set leading up to the primary.
“Our democratic government works best when all citizens are engaged, so I am excited to see Kentuckians eager to be involved in the process,” said Grimes in a statement released earlier this month. “I hope we can translate this record registration in to record participation on Election Day.”
The U.S. Census Bureau estimated Kentucky’s population at just more than 4.3 million. Approximately 23.4 percent of the population, roughly 1 million, would be under age 18 and, therefore, ineligible to vote.
In 2008, just 64 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the general election, down slightly from the 64.7 percent turnout in 2004.
A majority of new voters registered as Republicans but the state still has more registered Democrats than Republicans. There are 1.6 million registered Democrats, comprising 54.8 percent of Kentucky voters compared to 1.1 million registered Republicans who represent the 37.91 percent of registered voters.
However, the electorate is shifting to become more Republican. Of the new registered voters since 2008, 97,460 of them are Republican compared to 3,760 new Democrats. According to turnout data, when a Presidential candidate is on the ballot, a higher percentage of Republicans actually vote on Election Day compared to the Democratic rivals.
A growing number of voters are also identifying themselves as “other.” Since November 2008, the number of voters identifying as “other” has grown by .67 percent to 7.24 percent of the electorate of 219,969 voters. Just since May, 29,124 new voters have registered as other.
The electorate is also more female than male, which is consistent with prior years, according to the Secretary of State’s office. Women represent approximately 53 percent of registered voters in Kentucky and men 47 percent.
Those same statewide trends hold true locally. In Boyd County, of the 36,498 registered voters 17,053 are men and 19,444 are women. Democrats outnumber Republicans 21,347 to 12,491 and 2,660 voters are registered as other.
Greenup County has 27,708 registered voters, of which 16,486 are Democrats; 9,373 are Republican and 1,849 are registered as other. Woman again outnumber men 14,555 to 13,148.
In Carter County the margin between male and female voters is smaller. Of 18,874 registered voters 9,757 are women and 9,116 are men. Republicans also trail Democrats in numbers, 6,496 to 11,327. There are 1,051 voters registered as other.
CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2653.