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Primary Day in KY: "Our Future Depends on Our Vote"

Polls are open until 6 P.M. today for Kentucky's primary election. (Gage Skimore/Flickr)
Polls are open until 6 P.M. today for Kentucky's primary election. (Gage Skimore/Flickr)
May 22, 2018

FRANKFORT, Ky. – It's primary day in Kentucky, and advocates for older adults are encouraging all registered voters to make their voices heard.

The Secretary of State's Office is projecting a 30-percent turnout today, 3.3 million people, which would be the highest voter participation in a primary election since 2010.

AARP Kentucky state president Charlotte Whittaker says it's especially important for those ages 50-plus to cast a ballot.

"Our future depends on our vote," she says. "Medicare, Social Security, financial planning and caregiving are main, main issues that we all have concerns about. And the eyes of Kentucky are going to be on Washington because of all the congressional elections in the primary."

AARP's "Be the Difference. Vote" campaign is working nationwide to get the largest possible turnout of voters age 50 and older to the polls both during the primaries and in the November general election. Whittaker says the nonpartisan campaign offers information on where politicians stand on the issues, so they can be held accountable.

Whittaker contends the 50-plus vote is very powerful and believes it should be used to protect senior-service programs such as Meals on Wheels.

"There's possibilities of cuts with those services and there's more people waiting," she notes. "The list keeps growing because people are living longer, so there are a lot more needs for the 50-plus population even than there was 10 years ago."

She says Kentucky lawmakers do listen to the voters, noting that a caregiving bill passed last year without a single "nay" vote.

"Our legislators understand the important roles of caregivers and what they mean to families, but also how much money they're saving Kentucky by keeping that person at home and out of the nursing homes," she explains.

Polls will be open until 6 P.M., and information on polling locations is available at GoVoteKy.com. With the state's closed primary system, no voting across party lines is allowed and independent voters can only cast a ballot on nonpartisan issues.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - KY