Nonpartisan Elections

Hopkinsville is one of a handful of Kentucky cities that still conduct partisan elections for mayor and council.

Under the current system, registered Democrats and Republicans cast ballots only within their party and their geographic ward in the primary. Independents and those who don’t have a party affiliation cannot vote. In the general election, everyone votes in all 12 wards.

In July 2020, the city council voted to shift to a nonpartisan system, but Mayor Wendell Lynch vetoed the effort, saying residents needed more time to understand how nonpartisan elections would affect the community. In May 2021, he appointed a citizens committee to study partisan versus nonpartisan elections.

Here’s our coverage of the initial discussions and the efforts made by the panel of residents.

In February, the Nonpartisan Elections Citizens Committee will begin preparing a report to city council on its findings about a possible switch from partisan to nonpartisan city races.
Citizens comment on potential nonpartisan city elections
The forum begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Hopkinsville High School gymnasium.
Nonpartisan elections forum is Tuesday
Nonpartisan Elections Citizens Committee is planning two forums to help educate local voters.
Community forums to address nonpartisan elections
The committee is arranging to have several speakers address the community on the differences between nonpartisan and partisan city elections, and the potential impact of each.
Nonpartisan election panel prioritizes role to inform public
Political science professors, representatives of the Kentucky League of Cities, and possibly others, will be asked to address the committee and the public.
Nonpartisan election panel to seek expert input
The 12-member committee is slated to review and discuss state laws relevant to local elections.
Nonpartisan elections panel to meet Thursday
As a community journalist, you shouldn't count on an anonymous life. You should count on running into the people you write about at the grocery store, among other places.
grocery cart aisle
The 12-member committee, appointed by Mayor Wendell Lynch, will meet June 3.
Hopkinsville city seal
The committee chair will be Rich Maddux, a former manufacturing plant executive who with his wife now runs The Rabbit’s Basket, an urban farm.
Mayor selects 12 citizens for nonpartisan elections committee
The committee’s first charge is to learn and educate the public in an “unbiased manner” on partisan versus nonpartisan elections and to explore the “basis for changing the present system.”
Mayor Lynch set to appoint nonpartisan elections committee

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