Organizations gather in Lexington to help voters get registered

Organizations gather in Lexington to help voters get registered
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 6:34 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The deadline to register to vote is looming, and the opportunity will close exactly three weeks from Tuesday.

On this National Register to Vote Day, different organizations are trying to help people get ready to vote this November.

“So it’s hard to take the time to stop and go register, to vote when you’re working three jobs or you’re trying to pay your rent or get your kids to school, so it’s hard when you’re doing all of the above,” said Matthew Williams, the vice president of the Lexington-Fayette chapter of the NAACP.

On Tuesday, he and other group members stood outside the county courthouse in a convenient plea to get more voters registered and help educate others about the process.

“We’re really just trying to bring the voice back to the people. That’s what voting is all about,” Williams said.

He said this particular election is vital, because of the opportunity to make changes to city council leadership and potentially see more diversity. He wants to help anyone who is eligible cast their ballot.

“We’re also helping inform people who might have felonies in the past about their restoration and getting their voting rights back,” Williams said.

Secretary of State Michael Adams announced Tuesday morning a plan to partner with VA facilities to make their sites a voter registration hub for veterans.

He said the last few years, they’ve seen the number of registered voters decline.

“That’s partly because we’ve been cutting the rolls, but also because we also didn’t have voter registration drives for two years because of COVID,” Secretary Adams said.

He said events like National Voter Registration Day are already starting to make a difference.

“We saw a huge spike online this morning for people registering to vote for the first time, so we’re really excited about that,” Adams said.

Along with a decline in voter registration, we’ve also seen a decrease in voter turnout on Election Day. This year’s May primary had just 19% voter turnout, which is the lowest for a primary since 2015.

Kentucky typically sees the highest level of turnout during presidential elections. In 2012, 2016, and 2020, turnout was just under 60%.

The last midterm election in 2018 had 47% voter turnout.

The last day to register to vote is Tuesday, October 11. Midterm elections will be held Tuesday, November 8.