KY Senate Race 2020: Kentucky needs a change. Tuesday, Oct 20 2020 

By Catherine Brown-

Senator Mitch McConnell does not deserve a place in office anymore. It’s up to us to vote for Democrat Amy McGrath for Senate.

On Sept. 30, McGrath spoke to University of Louisville students at the Red Barn on the Belknap Campus. In her speech, she discussed the corruption of individuals in the government such as Sen. McConnell and President Donald Trump.

McGrath spoke to students about matters like registering to vote, racial injustice and preserving democracy.

“Kentucky has never made it easier to vote than this year,” McGrath said. “Your vote matters just as much as Mitch McConnell’s or Donald Trump’s or anybody else’s. They only get one vote, too.” 

McConnell has been in the U.S. Senate for 36 years. If he wins on Election Day, it could become 42. 

Over his 36 years in office, McConnell has left over 250 bills sitting on his desk, unread. This includes bills on gun control reform, health care and shielding survivors of domestic abuse.

U of L Young Democrats Treasurer Julia Mattingly plans to vote for Amy McGrath on Election Day.

“It’s about time we get Mitch McConnell out of office,” Mattingly said. “Considering the cards she’s been dealt, McGrath and her team have done their best to campaign throughout the state and promote her platform.”

Mattingly further explained that McGrath’s safe and socially-distanced campaign events are effective in promoting her platform. McGrath’s campaign also offers volunteer sign-ups after her speeches, where students can volunteer to make calls or canvass on her behalf.

Certainly, the young voters that she looks to appeal to appreciate her choice to take COVID-19 safety seriously.

Furthermore, McGrath and McConnell took part in the first Senate debate on Oct. 12. The candidates were questioned on multiple topics including whether Breonna Taylor received justice, Supreme Court nominations and handling of COVID-19.

Neither candidate actually answered whether they believe Breonna Taylor received justice. This is problematic because two white politicians can easily avoid talking about this, as it doesn’t directly affect them. Avoiding the actual question doesn’t do much to show that they care about this particular topic, so each politician needs to do better with their answer.

Both candidates denied wanting to defund the police and condemned the acts of looting and violent protests.

“We have to follow the laws that were written,” McConnell said. McGrath responded saying that she believes “leaders have to take a step back and recognize that we need change in this country.”

Sen. McConnell doesn’t want to bring change to a system that he doesn’t lose against.

Election Day is Nov. 3 and all eligible students, faculty and staff are encouraged to register to vote. 

Absentee ballots must be mailed by Nov. 3 at 6:00 p.m. Early voting started Oct. 13.

Don’t miss out on Election Day. Do your part as a voter.

Graphic by Alexis Simon // The Louisville Cardinal

The post KY Senate Race 2020: Kentucky needs a change. appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

KY Senate Race 2020: Kentucky is already in good hands. Tuesday, Oct 20 2020 

By Zachary Baker-

In less than one month, a very critical election to determine the path of the country will take place. Several important races are happening, one of which is for Kentucky’s seat to the U.S Senate. The Republican incumbent, Mitch McConnell, is running against Democrat Amy McGrath and there are high stakes, which is why many Kentuckians are fighting hard for their candidate. 

Despite what others would say, there are benefits for keeping Mitch McConnell in the U.S. Senate and it is very important to acknowledge them. 

For starters, Mitch McConnell is one of the most powerful men in the U.S Senate.

McConnell is the Senate Majority Leader, a position that holds a significant amount of influence over the path that the country takes. As Kentucky doesn’t hold a lot of power, it is important for the state to find its heroes wherever it can—anyone that gives Kentucky an advantage is vital to protect. It would be foolish to ignore that influence and throw away a significant seat at the national level in exchange for a first term senator entering the national political game.

Caleb Childers, senior history and political science double major, plans to vote for McConnell.

“I’m voting for Senator McConnell because he’s the most powerful man in Washington, his experience and connections matter. His role in transforming the federal judiciary has earned him a spot as the most influential American politician, that’s not a president, since Henry Clay,” Childers said. “He’s shepherded millions of dollars into Kentucky that we wouldn’t have had otherwise. So, voting against Senator McConnell is like benching LeBron in the 4th quarter when it’s a tied game.”

That opinion is invaluable for also understanding that McConnell has done well for Kentucky during his time in office. There is a reason that McConnell has continued to hold his senate seat for decades, besting his opponent every time an election comes up.

McConnell expresses the values of many Kentuckians while also changing the national conversation to fit those values. 

On top of protecting values, McConnell has helped Kentucky receive better funding for Kentucky businesses and industries. He’s holding Kentucky up in a country that wouldn’t ordinarily look after a state like ours. 

McConnell’s power extends beyond the U.S Senate as well. His power reaches all the way to the executive branch.

McConnell is the man to please in the Senate but also the man guiding along the President of the United States. Regardless of anyone’s opinions of President Donald Trump, it is valuable that Kentucky has a seat so close to one of the most powerful men in the world. That seat is McConnell’s and it would be devastating to Kentucky’s interests to lose all that influence. 

While many people across the country are arguing against Mitch McConnell and telling Kentucky to choose their best option, it doesn’t seem like they actually care about Kentucky.

There are only a few times that people will mention Kentucky in a good light. The few times that people consider Kentucky is from the influence it has through McConnell. Yet they often still insult Kentuckians when doing so.

Only Kentuckians have the ability to decide what is best for Kentucky, so it isn’t hard for me to admit that Mitch McConnell brings opportunity with him. Mitch McConnell is leading in the polls and is likely to be reelected, so it is important for everyone to look at the benefits that he brings to Kentucky.

Graphic by Alexis Simon // The Louisville Cardinal

The post KY Senate Race 2020: Kentucky is already in good hands. appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

A Pandemic Voter Guide For Kentucky’s Primary Election Thursday, May 28 2020 

vote_pinKentucky’s primary was moved to June 23 from its original date on May 19 due to safety concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic. For the primary, the state has also expanded to all registered voters the option of absentee voting, which was previously only allowed for a few reasons, such as military deployment, disability, or temporary residence out of the state. 

Because many residents will be voting by mail, it’s important to remember ballots must be received by county clerks by the time polls close at 6:00 p.m. local time on Election Day.

So, just to be clear, that means you must mail (or hand deliver) your ballot in time for it to arrive in the county clerk’s office by 6:00 p.m. local time on June 23 for the ballot to be counted.

Here are a few things you should know about mailing in your ballot.

Via Wikimedia Commons

The seal of the Kentucky Commonwealth.

You must request an absentee ballot. The state will mail a postcard to all registered voters with absentee voting information.

Registration for the primary election ended May 26, but Kentuckians have until June 15 to request an absentee ballot. 

Once you receive the ballot, carefully read and follow the instructions.

Sign and date where indicated.

Mail your voted ballot back to the address indicated on the return envelope.

Your voted ballot must arrive by the deadline. The state is paying for postage.

However, Kentucky’s primary election is not a mail-only election.

Do I have to vote by absentee ballot?

No, there are four ways to vote in the upcoming primary. 

  • Absentee by mail
  • Hand-delivery of absentee ballot
  • Vote early in-person (appointment with county clerk recommended)
  • Vote on election day in-person (appointment with county clerk recommended)

The Kentucky State Board of Elections has also approved drop off locations for absentee ballots in courthouses designated by county clerks.

You can find your polling place here. 

polling-placeJeff Young | Ohio Valley ReSource

A polling place during the 2016 election.

What are the deadlines? 

Kentuckians have until June 15 to request an absentee ballot. 

Registration for the June 23 Kentucky primary election has passed. However, you can still register to vote in the November 3 general election until October 5.

What if I or my spouse has a medical emergency?

Each person can request an absentee paper ballot, following the county clerk’s receipt of the notarized form SBE 45, Medical Emergency Application for an Absentee Ballot, and must apply within 14 days of an election.

Where can I check to see if I’m registered? 

You can check your voter registration at the Kentucky State Board of Elections’ website.

WFPL

Rules have changed to keep voters safe.

If you weren’t able to register to vote by May 26 for the June 23 primary election, you can still register to vote in the general election on November 3. The deadline for registering to vote in the general election is October 5.

In order to register to vote you have to meet a few eligibility requirements:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen
  • A current resident of Kentucky
  • Be at least 18 years of age on or before the next general election.
  • Not be a convicted felon; or if you have been convicted of a felony you have to have your right to vote restored by expungement, Executive Pardon, or Executive Order.
  • Have not been judged “mentally incompetent” in a court of law.
  • Not claim the right to vote anywhere outside Kentucky.

You also have to provide some identification information.

  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth

If I have a felony on my record can I vote?

Until late last year, Kentucky was among a handful of states that permanently banned people with felony records from voting. In his first week in office, Gov. Andy Beshear issued an executive order automatically restoring voting rights to an estimated 140,000 people convicted of felonies who have completed their sentences. Beshear also launched a website where people can check their eligibility to vote. 

Kentuckians convicted of the felonies listed below do not receive automatic restoration of their right to vote or hold public office:

Are mail-in ballots a secure way to vote?

Election experts say voter fraud among any type of voting, including mail-in ballot, is extremely rare. According to NPR, mail-in ballots accounted for 1 in 4 votes in 2018 and are increasing in popularity.

And the idea has bipartisan support. Mail-in ballots are used in Republican-friendly states such as Florida, Arizona and Utah. Former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren has proposed that a mail-in ballot be sent to every voter in the country.

For a look at how states are handling voting during a pandemic, see this chart from the Brennan Center.

This Week In Conversation: Attorney General Andy Beshear Tuesday, Oct 22 2019 

Attorney General Andy Beshear is the Democratic nominee in the race for  Kentucky governor, and a recent poll shows he is in a dead heat for the spot with Republican Governor Matt Bevin. This week, WFPL’s In Conversation talks with Beshear about his platform and Kentucky politics.

The Mason-Dixon poll, which has a “B+” rating from FiveThirtyEight pollster ratings, found that 46 percent of likely voters plan to vote for Bevin. Another 46 percent plan to vote for Beshear and 7 percent are undecided, but the poll also found that Bevin increased support within his party since the previous poll in December 2018. The governor also has more crossover appeal than Beshear with members of the other party, according to the poll. 

But some political observers say Governor Bevin’s divisive statements regarding teachers could be a deciding factor in the race, as Beshear has lobbied for their support and waged court battles with the Bevin administration over teacher retirement benefits and other issues.

We’ll talk with Beshear about education, health care, gun laws and more ahead of Election Day, Nov. 5. 

Note: WFPL also reached out to Republican Gov. Matt Bevin to invite him to share his positions on In Conversation. A campaign spokesman said it would be impossible with Bevin’s schedule.

Listen to In Conversation live on 89.3 WFPL Friday at 11 a.m. or follow along with our live tweets at @WFPLnews. Call with your questions or comments at 502-814-TALK or tweet us with the hashtag #WFPLconversation. We’re also on Facebook.