A record-breaking number of Kentuckians have registered to vote this year, when Lovecraftian demon Mitch McConnell is up for another term in the Senate. A slight majority of those voters are actually registered as Democrats, too. In fact, only 9 percent of those registered voters are ineligible to participate in the state primary elections because they are not affiliated with either party.
Unfortunately, Kentuckians of all stripes will likely face some difficulty voting in the primaries this year, regardless of their political affiliation. As The Independent reports:
In a typical election year, Kentucky has about 3,700 polling sites, according to most reports. When Election Day arrives on 23 June, there will be just 200 polling sites across the state — with some of those sites having to serve upwards of 600,000 residents.
Voting rights expert Ari Berman wrote in a tweet: “There will be one polling place for 616,000 registered voters in Louisville’s Jefferson County, where half state’s black voters live.”
He added: “This is going to be a disaster.”
The State Election Board had previously postponed the primary election by a month because of coronavirus. But it appears they did not use that time to make any better plans for how to deal with the sudden increase in voters amidst a global pandemic.
Unless their plan was to sabotage the entire thing. Which is certainly possible, as Black voter disenfranchisement efforts have increased in recent years.
Mitch McConnell, whose approval rating after 35 years dropped down to an embarrassing 18 percent last fall, has 4 challengers in this primary: Nicholas Alsager, Paul John Frangedakis, Louis Grider, and Naren James. None of them are reported very likely to defeat McConnell; indeed, it's hard to come by the multi-million dollar backing of McConnell's wife's family, or any of the out-of-state corporations that shovel money towards McConnell so he might continue to reign as their gatekeeper. The greater stakes lie in the Democratic election, where Charles Booker and Amy McGrath are the likely contenders to face down McConnell in the fall.
‘It’s going to be an angry mob’: Kentucky cuts number of polling stations by 95 percent ahead of primary voting [Chris Riotta / The Independent]
Image: Donkey Hotey / Flickr