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.

The committee that Mayor Wendell Lynch appointed last April is charged with studying the potential impact of switching to nonpartisan elections for city offices.
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.
Political science professors, representatives of the Kentucky League of Cities, and possibly others, will be asked to address the committee and the public.
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