More than 100,000 new voters registered in Kentucky

A record number of people in Kentucky are signed up to vote in the Nov. 8 general election. Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced on Thursday that more than 100,000 people registered to vote since March.

It was close, but the Republican Party got more interest, with 46,328 new voters. 44,712 voters registered with the Democratic Party, and 15,380 voters chose to affiliate with another party or as "other."

In Kentucky, 3.3 million people are now registered to vote, but political experts say that doesn’t mean all of them will make it to the polls.

If you bring up politics to Aaron Bugg as he rings up your order at Etcetera Coffeehouse in Paducah, he’s always willing to talk.

"I think it’s so crucial," Bugg said.

Just a few years ago, he had no say in what went on in government, and he wasn’t registered to vote. That all changed when he left college, got a job and started reading up on the issues.

"If you go vote and stay educated on the issues, and especially in the primaries, if you pick the best candidates, you can, I think, you’ll see the results," Bugg said.

The McCracken County Clerk’s Office noticed more people are getting interested in voting, with 600 new voters signed up this election. Most registered online.

"You can be eating breakfast and reading the paper and see something about registering to vote, and then do it right there," Bugg said.

Murray State University Political Science Professor Dr. Drew Seib says now the focus needs to be getting those voters to the polls.

"Even though you register more people, you don’t actually get more people to show up to vote. There’s been very small upticks in actual voter turnout," Seib said.

"I hope it’s just not the excitement of the presidential election that’s made people interested. I hope they stay involved and vote in the off years," Bugg said

Bugg says he’ll do his part in trying to get more people to vote.

If you’re a Kentucky voter and you’ll be out of town during the election, you can go into your county clerk’s office and vote starting on Friday. The McCracken County Clerk’s Office is stressing you can only vote early this way if you are leaving town.   
Some counties choose to start walk-in absentee voting early. People have been voting in McCracken County since Sept. 30. 

"We wanted to make sure we got our snowbirds the opportunity to vote, and it’s so much easier if you’re going to be out of town to come on in and do it than to do the mail back and forth," said McCracken County Deputy Clerk Lyne Dickey.

People who temporarily live out of town, such as college students, or can’t make it to the polls because of a disability can vote by mailing in their ballot. You must apply to vote that way by Nov. 1. 

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