Kentucky Senate Votes to Move Presidential Primary from May to February

On February 19, the Kentucky Senate passed HB 18 after amending it. The Senate amendment changes the Kentucky primary schedule.

Currently, Kentucky holds its presidential primary, and its primary for all other office, together, in May. The Senate amendments would establish an early February presidential primary, and a primary for all other office in late August.

HB 18 also eliminates the run-off primaries for Governor that have long existed in that state. HB 18, as passed by the House, only concerned abolishing run-off gubernatorial primaries. Now the bill will to to a conference committee to see if the House will accept the amendment to the bill that changes the primary schedule.


Kentucky Senate Votes to Move Presidential Primary from May to February — No Comments

  1. Runoff primaries for governor have “long existed” in Kentucky? The 1995 election was the first one to which the runoff provision applied. There is a 40% threshold to avoid a runoff, so no runoff has ever been necessary.

    In 2007, when it appeared gubernatorial runoff(s) might be needed, the local election officials complained loudly about the possible additional expense. The legislature then appropriated additional money to cover the possible runoff(s), which turned out to be unnecessary.

    The candidates in both the Democratic and Republican 2007 primaries also agreed that if no one got the threshold 40%, the second-place finisher would drop out in order to avoid a runoff.

  2. Darryl: You would have nonpartisan elections for ALL offices, including president? Never happen.

    Nonpartisan elections are, in my view, a good idea for local offices. But political parties deserve to be able to officially nominate candidates for state and federal offices.

    Nominating candidates is, after all, a basic function of a political party.

  3. Steve, we vote for Electors, not actual Presidential Candidates, so, it’s not that hard. Simply list the Electors on the ballot and each Elector is elected using IRV.

  4. it would be a wonderful idea to have nonpartisan elections but it would never work.the founding fathers would have prefered this concept to the mess we have now

  5. Several of the Founding Fathers criticized political parties, but almost all of the founders wound up participating in parties.

    You didn’t really address my comment, Darryl. What about state and congressional elections? You want those to be nonpartisan?

    Currently, each party lists a slate of presidential electors on the ballot. Are you saying that you want all candidates for elector to be nonpartisan? Never happen.

  6. Yes, Steve, I would like to see ALL elections as non-partisan IRV, that includes Congressional elections.

    I’d like to see all Presidential electors listed on the ballot, without party labels. All Electors would be elected individually, not as a block and using IRV. This would allow a State to have split-Electors and the Electoral College to more accurately reflect the will of the people.

  7. Louisiana is the only state that has elected all of its state officials on a nonpartisan basis. And Louisiana, which alone has had nonpartisan congressional elections, is restoring party primaries for those elections this year.

    Under your plan, individual candidates for elector would still have the First Amendment right to publicly pledge to vote for a certain presidential candidate. So leaving party labels off of the ballot would mainly make it harder for the voters to determine which candidate each elector was pledged to. Furthermore, I don’t see how you could prevent the parties from continuing to put up slates of electors pledged to their presidential nominees.

    In my view, you should forget the “nonpartisan” part and concentrate on getting IRV enacted. That will be a tough enough task.

  8. Steve, you’re missing my point. Even in cities with non-partisan elections, for the most part, people know who’s a Democrat, Republican, Independent, etc. And you are correct, that a “party” could get a slate of Electors on the ballot, HOWEVER, using non-partisan IRV, there wouldn’t be a label next to the persons name.

  9. So what would be the point of leaving party labels off the ballot, other than to make things more difficult for the voter? (In its nonpartisan state and congressional elections, Louisiana has always put party labels on the ballots.)

    One reason nonpartisan elections are a bad idea for state and congressional offices is that, unlike in local elections, the national parties get involved in those elections. Louisiana has had instances of the national party and the state party backing opposing candidates in the same election. That ain’t the way it’s supposed to work.

    Example: In Louisiana’s 2002 U. S. Senate race, the national Republicans supported one candidate, while the incumbent Republican governor endorsed an opposing candidate.

  10. I don’t see how you could prevent the parties from continuing to put up slates of electors pledged to their presidential nominees.

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