Can Independents Vote In The Kentucky Primary? The Rules Are Firm
With only a few Democratic primaries left in the election season, you might be wondering: Can independents vote in the Kentucky primary? Unfortunately, you can't. Kentucky's partisan primaries are both closed, meaning that only those registered as Democrats or Republicans may vote in their respective primaries. The deadline for voter registration in Kentucky was April 18, so independent voters must wait until the general election in November to cast their votes.
Bernie Sanders tends to perform very well with independent voters, whose distaste for partisan politics shapes their support of the anti-establishment candidate. With Kentucky's closed primary, the lack of independent voters may spell bad news for Sanders, who polled five points behind Hillary Clinton among Democrats in Kentucky in a March survey of 501 potential Democratic primary voters in March. And although independents are only seven percent of Kentucky's voters, PPP's poll found that 68 percent of polled Kentucky voters believe that an atheist cannot be an effective president, and 41 percent take issue with Sanders' socialist leanings.
Although Sanders polled poorly among Democrats in Kentucky, Clinton hasn't fared much better. Nearly one-in-five voters polled said they do not believe a woman is fit to be president, and a whopping 37 percent of these Democrats said they would vote for Donald Trump over Clinton in a hypothetical race between the two. Despite these numbers, Nathan Francis at Inquisitr noted that polling has been light in Kentucky this election season, and also pointed out that Sanders "could press Clinton on her opposition to the coal industry, which has a presence in the Bluegrass State." Indeed, Sanders won West Virginia, the heart of coal country, on Tuesday.
Sanders supporters in Kentucky shouldn't be too emboldened by his win in West Virginia given the differences between their primary election styles -- West Virginia, unlike Kentucky, allows independent voters to vote in their primaries by choosing either a Republic or Democratic ballot.