KFTC members show up in big ways for primary election | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

KFTC members show up in big ways for primary election

KFTC members stepped up in remarkable ways this spring to participate in a unique election and support a true, grassroots progressive candidate – while looking out for each other.

In Louisville, KFTC printed signs and posted them at more than 100 closed voting locations, letting people know of the one location in the county to vote. And volunteers stationed at these closed precincts directed more than 100 voters to the correct location. Read more.

Members in several chapters provided wheelchairs, umbrellas, encouragement and thanks to voters waiting in long lines.

KFTC members were interviewed for many local and national news stories. Here is a good one with KFTC Chairperson Cassia Herron on the NBC podcast Into America.

We’ll be waiting until next week for the final results of Tuesday’s important elections. About half the counties will not report full results until June 30 (mail-in absentee ballots had to be postmarked by June 23 and will be counted if they are received by the county clerk by the end of the week).

KFTC started early in the year with ambitious plans to register new voters and talk about the issues that matter to Kentuckians, and excitement about the candidacy of Charles Booker for the U.S. Senate. Then the pandemic hit, and it became clear that both the election and usual voter empowerment work would be much different.

With so much at stake, KFTC and allies pushed for and won:

  • a mail-in option for all Kentucky voters for the first time ever;
  • free postage on those ballots and drop-off locations in every county;
  • a successful challenge to a push for all those drop-off locations to be located at police stations;
  • a postcard mailing to all voters and a pretty significant awareness campaign from the state;
  • two weeks of in-person early voting in every county, open to all Kentuckians without the usual complex absentee ballot process.

Secretary of State Michael Adams reported 889,679 registered voters requested a mail-in absentee ballot by the June 15 deadline. Tens of thousands more voted in-person, either on or before Election Day, leading to projections of a 31% voter turnout (if all absentees are returned), which would be the highest turnout percentage in a Kentucky primary election since 2008.

Much of the turnout was due to the excitement generated by Charles Booker’s campaign.

KFTC’s New Power PAC endorsed Booker in February, and numerous phone banks, texting campaigns, literature drops, peer outreach, car caravans and social media efforts supported his candidacy. KFTC reached out to tens of thousands of voters or potential voters, focusing on communities of folks often ignored by big campaigns and mainstream candidates.

In addition, KFTC members focused on:

  • reaching out to 172,000 Kentuckians to let them know their voting rights had been restored by Gov. Beshear’s December 2019 Executive Order;
  • creating awareness of the vote-by-mail absentee ballot option and helping voters understand that process;
  • getting out the vote, by mail and in person.