Get out and vote!

Published 3:15 pm Monday, May 20, 2024

By Representative Daniel Elliott

America was founded to give all citizens of the nation a voice in the political process. The founders rallied behind the demand of “No taxation without representation” and fought to establish a nation where the voice of the people was paramount. Though our founders disagreed on many aspects of their future nation, one facet of our political system was agreed to by all, in one form or another, and this was the right to vote for those who govern us.

As we approach the primary elections that will be held on May 21, voters need to understand the election process, the intent of these elections, and how to learn more about those competing for their party’s nomination. Unlike general elections, primary elections require voters to be registered members of the party they are voting for. This means Republicans vote between Republican candidates, and Democrats vote for Democratic candidates. Primary elections empower members of political parties in a given jurisdiction, whether a State Representative District or a Presidential primary, to choose the nominee for the party in the general election in the fall.  Those without a party affiliation cannot vote in a party’s primary, and all others must have registered as a represented party by April 22 of this year.

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Unfortunately, primaries are historically marred by low voter turnout. The lack of voter participation may result in the ascension of an unpopular candidate to the general ballot, forcing the voters to choose between the notorious “lesser of two evils.” To avoid this, you must exercise your right to vote during a primary and support the candidate you believe will do the best job for your community. These elections are not just important to all people, parties, and communities; they are vital to the nation’s and state’s well-being. They determine your representation and, ultimately, who will be on the ballot in November. Your vote matters.

It is important to vote in every election. Without high voter participation and engagement, your community will not have access to the change and strong leadership it deserves. No matter your preferred candidate or your party, I encourage you to get out and vote on May 21.

Kentucky offers voters a variety of options when considering when and where to vote. First, we have traditional in person voting that will be available to everyone on election day. Second, the state offers mail-in ballots on request. Additionally, you can vote in-person before election day at a location selected by your local governments during the excused in-person absentee or in-person no-excuse absentee periods between May 8 and May 18.

To find your polling location and learn more about locations that offer Mail Ballots, or Absentee voting locations, please visit the State Board of Elections website at and click “Find My Polling Place.” The State Board of Elections website also provides information about becoming a precinct election officer and other ways you can help your community during election season.

As always, I can be reached anytime through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181. You can also contact me via e-mail at and keep track through the Kentucky legislature’s website at