Supporters say it would increase voter turnout
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 20, 2015) — A bill that would move the Kentucky governor’s race to even-numbered years passed out of the state Senate today by a 28-9 vote.
State Sen. Christian McDaniel (R-Taylor Mill) who introduced the legislation, known as Senate Bill 10, said it would increase voter turnout by aligning state elections with federal elections. He said voter turnout in Kentucky is usually 20 percent higher in even-numbered years when there are federal elections.
“This measure carries with it many benefits but chief among them is what it does and what it means to our democracy,” McDaniel said. “The death of our democracy is not likely be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference and undernourishment.”
McDaniel said SB 10 would also save Kentucky $3.5 million and its 120 counties more than $14 million every four years by consolidating the dates elections are held.
For example, Kenton County would save $603,000, Pike County $173,000, Clay County $45,000 and Jefferson County $1.3 million.
State Sen. Robin L. Webb (D-Grayson) who voted against the bill, said saving money on elections doesn’t strengthen democracy or increase citizen involvement. “I think anything that suppresses voters, or suppresses elections, or the disengagement of the populous isn’t good for democracy,” Webb said.
If SB 10 passes the state House of Representatives, it would still require a vote of the people since it’s in the form of a constitutional amendment.