Kentucky state capitol building, Frankfort

Two things.

First, there is a good deal of bal­ly­hoo going about regard­ing the fact that the num­ber of reg­is­tered Republicans out­num­bers the num­ber of reg­is­tered Democrats for the first time in Kentucky history.

It should be not­ed that this fact — the excess of 2,491 vot­ers, 1,612,060 to 1,609,569 — rep­re­sents only 45% of all Kentucky reg­is­tered vot­ers, Democrats, Independents, and oth­ers com­pos­ing the remain­ing 55%.

And before Republicans gloat too much, they may wish to con­sid­er the fol­low­ing:  it is entire­ly pos­si­ble that num­bers of “oth­er” reg­is­trants have sim­ply reg­is­tered as Republicans in order to be able to vote in pri­ma­ry elec­tions here since Kentucky is a closed-pri­ma­ry state.  And, fur­ther, not only “oth­er” reg­is­trants, but Democrats as well, have reg­is­tered as Republicans in order to be able to have a say in who the Republican Party sends to the gen­er­al elections.

“OTHER” is the des­ig­na­tion that appears on the Kentucky vot­er reg­is­tra­tion form and appar­ent­ly includes Libertarians, Independents, Greens, Socialists, Communists, etc.

And even if Democrats have crossed over due to dis­gust with the Kentucky Democratic par­ty because of its incom­pe­tence, it does not nec­es­sar­i­ly fol­low that those vot­ers will aban­don their Democratic pro­cliv­i­ties and posi­tions on issues.

And it should be remem­bered that, even when Democrats have pro­vid­ed the major­i­ty of vot­ers, Republicans have tak­en over­whelm­ing con­trol of our leg­is­la­ture, so hav­ing this vot­ing major­i­ty sig­ni­fies little.

Second, Kentucky vot­ers will have the abil­i­ty in November to vote on a pro­posed amend­ment to the Kentucky con­sti­tu­tion, and this one is a doozy.

The ques­tion will be pre­sent­ed on the bal­lot as fol­lows:  “Are you in favor of amend­ing the Constitution of Kentucky by cre­at­ing a new Section of the Constitution to be num­bered Section 26A to state as fol­lows: ‘To pro­tect human life, noth­ing in this Constitution shall be con­strued to secure or pro­tect a right to abor­tion or require the fund­ing of abortion.’”

Recent polls sug­gest that more than 60% of Kentuckians sup­port rights to abor­tion, even if under some rea­son­able restraints.  Like the recent bill passed by our leg­is­la­ture, this cod­i­fi­ca­tion with­in the con­sti­tu­tion will close the door on ALL abor­tions, under any cir­cum­stances, regard­less of rape or incest or the life of the moth­er.  And since the Supreme Court has thrown the con­trol of abor­tion access to the states, this change in the Kentucky con­sti­tu­tion will be the ham­mer that dri­ves the nail into the cof­fin of abor­tion rights here, now and in the fore­see­able future.

Not only is the Kentucky con­sti­tu­tion awash with amend­ments and rules and reg­u­la­tions far beyond those con­tained in the com­plete Constitution of the United States, this pro­posed amend­ment is just anoth­er step toward the total­i­tar­i­an con­trol of indi­vid­ual rights, most notably those of women, and clear­ly at odds with the view­points of the major­i­ty of Kentuckians.

  • Chuck Witt

    Chuck is a retired archi­tect, a for­mer news­pa­per colum­nist, and a life­long res­i­dent of Winchester.