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.