Under current law, Democrats vote for Democrats on primary day and Republicans vote for Republicans. Crossing party lines is not permitted until the general election. A bill sponsored by Senator Jimmy Higdon of Lebanon would let registered independents cast primary votes for Democrats or Republicans, but the measure fell one vote short of passage.
The Senate has passed the bill, but it does not have enough support to clear a House committee.
The measure would let the nearly 200,000 independents in Kentucky choose a primary to vote in for each election. Senator Jimmy Higdon sponsored the measure and he says he will try to pass it again next year.
The bill gives independents until December 31st to choose which party’s primary they want to vote in the following May. The first election it would affect would be in 2012.
Independent candidates seeking partisan offices, candidates for non-partisan offices with no primary, or those seeking to fill an office with a recent vacancy must have their filing papers in the hands of state or local elections officials by 4:00 pm, local time, August 10th.