State Officials Work To Politically Motivate Kentuckians

By: Julie Maloney Email
By: Julie Maloney Email

State officials are working to politically motivate Kentuckians after voter turnout rates were down this year.

WYMT's Julie Maloney spoke with Secretary of State Trey Grayson about an initiative to get more people involved in the political process.

State officials say an estimated forty-five percent of registered voters showed up at the polls last month. That's three-percent lower than last year's elections.

Trey Grayson says in order to make voting a priority, there needs to be more leadership from communities and more time to get to the polls.

Fewer Kentuckian's cast their votes this year, which Secretary of State Trey Grayson says is a problem.

He says the key to boosting political participation is getting leaders to communicate with their neighbors to create more interest in local government.

"What they need to do is get engaged in their communities, make it a better place and demand that officials become more dedicated, more responsive to their needs," Grayson said.

Because leadership is so crucial in creating community involvement, many Harlan County residents are teaching others to have a voice. It's a program called Harlan County United.

Megan Mosely graduated from the leadership program and says it's helped her become more socially involved both in the community and in her workplace.

"Any job that you take, most of the time, you have to learn leadership skills or you're going to work with people who are your leaders," Mosley said.

As soon as more Kentuckian's take a step forward, forming their own opinion and taking action in their community, Grayson says more people will feel compelled to vote.

"Once that happens the folks that don't vote will see better government, better community leadership and that will increase their desire to participate, they'll believe that their voices actually matter," Grayson said.

While leadership and communication are crucial, state officials say so is time.

Grayson says many working Kentuckian's don't vote because they're at work from 6am to 6pm on election day. So he's pushing to make voting begin days..even weeks before election day.

29 states across the country already begin voting two-weeks to a month before the actual election day.

Grayson's office says in order to create this change the state would have to provide counties with more funding for elections.


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