Kentucky’s 2023 voter turnout was 6 points lower than four years ago

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, November 15, 2023

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By McKenna Horsley

Kentucky Lantern

More than 1.3 million ballots were cast in Kentucky’s general election — a turnout of 38.07% of registered voters, according to unofficial results from the Kentucky State Board of Elections.

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This year’s turnout was down from four years ago by about 6 percentage points. In 2019, the general election turnout was 44.2%.

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman were reelected last Tuesday while Republicans won the other five statewide races. The election results will be certified Monday.

In this year’s election, 1,326,801 Kentuckians voted compared with 1,452,616 in 2019, when Beshear unseated Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.

In Jefferson County, Kentucky’s most populous county, voter turnout this election was higher than the statewide average at 41.45%. Second-largest, Fayette County saw a 42.77% turnout.

Before Tuesday’s polls opened, Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams, also reelected this week, predicted turnout of  around 42% after early voting numbers came in. This election, about 7,000 more Kentuckians voted early than did in last year’s early voting period.

“I’m glad numbers went up each of the 3 days over last year’s, but I’m disappointed the early turnout wasn’t higher, as this time both sides put energy and resources into promoting it,” he added on Monday.

According to unofficial returns, the Beshear-Coleman ticket received 694,167 votes compared with 627,086 votes for the Republican ticket of Attorney General Daniel Cameron and state Sen. Robby Mills.