Kentucky Electric Cooperatives President Chris Perry is encouraging the local consumer-members of Kentucky co-ops to vote in the Commonwealth’s Primary Election on Tuesday.
“Elections matter, and the communities we serve are facing challenges that require attention and respect,” Perry says. “To ensure that these issues remain part of the discussion, I encourage you to join me in making the commitment to vote.”
Kentucky Electric Cooperatives is a leader in the Co-ops Vote initiative, launched in 2016 to remind co-op consumer-members across America that the best way for their interests and concerns to be represented in government is to express them at the ballot box.
In partnership with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Associaiton, Co-ops Vote is a non-partisan effort; it does not advocate or endorse a particular party or candidate. Instead, Co-ops Vote taps into the democratic DNA of rural electric cooperatives that serve their consumer-members in 117 of Kentucky’s 120 counties. A cooperative is uniquely suited to understand and serve a community because it literally belongs to the people it serves and was built by people in that community.
When Co-ops Vote was launched in 2016, it aimed to reverse a downward trend in rural voting. And, this effort appears to have had a positive effect. Compared to the previous national election cycle in 2012, 500,000 more rural voters went to the polls in 2016.
According to an analysis of voter turnout by the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives, rural voter turnout in Kentucky accounted for an increase of about 85,000 voters between 2012 and 2016.
Despite the increase in voters, Kentucky’s turnout as a percentage of registered voters slightly decreased in 2016, down from about 60 percent in 2012 to 59 percent.
“We face another opportunity and a challenge in 2019.” Perry says. “Because Kentucky’s off-year elections do not include any federal races or Kentucky General Assembly contests, turnout is often low. I encourage Kentuckians to make voting a habit, no matter when an election is held.”
The polls will be open May 21 from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m., local time. Anyone who is in line at 6 p.m. will still be able to vote. In person absentee voting is available until the close of business May 20th. Contact your County Clerk for the hours absentee voting is available.
Anyone who can vote, no matter where they live or whether they are co-op members, can participate in Co-ops Vote and take advantage of its resources. Just visit www.vote.coop and take the pledge to vote in this year’s elections. Once you’ve registered, you’ll have access to information on registering to vote, where to vote, and background on all the candidates.