Republican party says voter disenfranchisement is real

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, November 23, 2021

A recent editorial in this paper accused the Republican Party of disenfranchising Boyle County voters. Let’s take a quick trip back through the political history of Boyle County to see what real disenfranchisement looks like.

Since the mid-1970s, “ALL” County Judge Executives have been appointed mid-term by a Democratic governor and were Democrats. This pattern stopped in 2018 when the first Republican was elected to the County Judge Executive position for the first time since 1860.

All County Court Clerks since 1997 until present have been appointed by a Democratic County Judge Executive. Boyle County Court Clerks have been Democrats since 1862.

The last two sheriffs of Boyle Count have been appointed by a Democratic County Judge Executive. All have been Democrats since at least 1890.

See a pattern here?

By filling these positions mid-term, the then-current Democratic party leaders were ensuring that any challenge would have to be made against an entrenched incumbent. Statistically, this extra time in office before having to conduct a campaign, prevents a fair race between qualified candidates by giving the incumbent an advantage.

Historically, most Boyle County voters have registered with the Democratic party which at one time were at least 80% of the county voters. Today, of the 23,364 registered voters in Boyle County, only 355 voters separate Democrats from Republicans and this difference is decreasing rapidly every month and is on a trajectory to disappear by mid-2022.

Republican candidate filings for most county offices will continue through at least January 7, 2022. I expect many other Republicans to file, adding to what appears to be the largest slate of Republican candidates in Boyle County history.

Make no mistake, disenfranchisement is real, and has been practiced rather effectively by the Democratic party in Boyle County. In 2022 the Boyle County Republican party intends to bring a real choice to the citizens of this county.

Also, in response to the latter part of last week’s letter, YES, the candidates participating in the City of Danville’s nonpartisan races have chosen to be identified with their political party so that voters will know the values they represent.

Tom Tye

Chair – Kentucky Republican Party 2nd. Congressional District

Chair – Boyle County Republican Party