Kentucky Governor's Race Spurs Higher than Predicted Voter Turnout

Nov 6, 2019

Teacher activism in Kentucky over pensions created controversy and intense interest in the governor's race. Democrat Andy Beshear won in a tight race with incumbent Republican Matt Bevin.
Credit facebook.com/andybeshear

Voter turnout in the Nov. 5 general election in Kentucky surged past the prediction by the secretary of state. Alison Lundergan Grimes predicted a 31 percent voter turnout for the election for governor and other statewide offices, but voters easily beat that prediction, with 42 percent casting ballots.

Warren County Clerk Lynnette Yates said both political parties had so much at stake in the governor’s race that it ignited an unusual amount of voter interest. 

"Everyone was very passionate about it, I think," said Yates. "So, I think that instilled in everyone that they needed to get out and vote. Typically, the governor’s race is not one we have great voter turnout for. Our last governor’s race I think we were right at 28, or 29 percent.”


The highest voter turnout was 55 percent in Franklin County. It’s probably no surprise that voters are engaged in the county where the state capital of Frankfort is located.

However, voters in Hancock County, along the Ohio river east of Owensboro, were also highly engaged in the democratic process, coming in third in the state with 53 percent of registered voters going to the polls.

McLean and Metcalfe counties also had a strong turnout at 51 percent. Counties with higher than average turnout also include Warren with 43 percent, Pulaski with 44 percentm and Daviess with 45 percent.

Barren County voters came in at the state average of 42 percent.

Coming in below the state average were Henderson County with 37 percent, and Hardin County with a 36 percent. 

Christian County voters were not very enthusiastic, with only 27 percent casting a ballot.

The lowest turnout was 26 percent in Bell County in the southeastern corner of the state.