Boyle residents did great job showing up to vote

Published 4:32 pm Wednesday, November 6, 2019


The Advocate-Messenger

Residents living in Boyle County’s Bluegrass Road precinct are our heroes. A majority of registered voters in that district — 51% — made it to their polling place and cast their votes in important statewide elections Tuesday.

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Bluegrass Road was top dog in terms of turnout, but across Boyle County, many more voters followed through with their civic duty on Election Day than in years past. Boyle’s overall turnout of 46.34% blew away turnout for the last three comparable elections when the governor’s seat was on the ballot. In 2015, only 34.75% of Boyle voters showed up; in 2011, just 32.74%; and in 2007, 37.91%. You have to go all the way back to 2003 when Ernie Fletcher defeated Ben Chandler to even come close — in that election, 45.18% of Boyle County voters actually voted.

Turnout was strong across the state, which means Boyle doesn’t actually wind up standing out more than usual. Boyle County had the 19th-highest voter turnout in the state on Tuesday; four years ago, voter turnout was significantly lower across the board and Boyle’s 34.75% still placed it exactly at 19th-best.

Out of 120 counties, that’s pretty good news — Boyle County voters are generally better at doing their job than most. But — you knew there was a but coming — that doesn’t mean we’re doing a good enough job.

This election is a great step forward for Boyle County; now, we need to figure out how to keep that turnout from returning to lower, lazier levels. In all, 3,191 more people voted this year than voted in 2015. That’s a whopping 43.75% increase. There’s also plenty of space left to improve by as much or more next time: If Boyle turnout increased again by the same percentage in 2023, around 15,000 people would be voting, out of around 23,000 registered voters.

That may be unlikely to happen, but there’s no reason not to aspire to something like every eligible voter voting in a representative democracy.

Those of you who didn’t vote in 2015 but did this time around? You may be the key. If you can commit to continuing your streak of voting in every election, you will hold Boyle’s turnout at its new, higher level. You also helped generate more voters just by voting this time. By taking the time to vote, and by telling people you voted, you helped promote the idea of voting in the minds of others who haven’t yet embraced that duty.