Have you noticed it yet?

It’s May and the phone isn’t ringing with robocalls telling you who to vote for.

The TV commercials aren’t spewing hate for one candidate or another.

Very little mud is being thrown.

It’s, well, calm.

This is Kentucky’s one election-free year out of every four.

And it’s something to enjoy.

Heck, I’d vote for every other year being election-free.

That would help our blood pressure for sure.

Back in 1992, Kentuckians voted by a razor-thin margin — 51% to 49% — to rejigger the election schedule so we’d have one year out of four with no elections.

That was to reduce “voter fatigue.”

And, boy, do we have voter fatigue these days.

Why was the margin so thin — 540,156 to 516,233?

Didn’t we want a break from elections back then?

Well, you see, the constitutional amendment also allowed governors and other elected state officials to serve up to two consecutive terms and let candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run as a team for the first time.

And it eliminated the posts of register of land office and superintendent of public instruction as elective offices.

It should have eliminated more, but that’s another story.

A lot of people who liked the idea of an election-free year didn’t like the idea of allowing state politicians to serve up to two consecutive terms.

So, they voted against the amendment.

Although it passed in 1992, it didn’t take effect until 1997.

So, this is the 24th anniversary of election-free years.

Elections used to be fun.

But they’ve become increasingly bitter in the 21st century.

There’s way too much hate out there.

And people on both sides of every issue are tired of it.

Oh, sure, some people relish the fight.

But most of us just want a break from it.

A chance to rest and maybe heal some of the differences that have divided us in recent years.

So, happy election-free year!

Enjoy the silence.

And reconnect with the friends you gave up on last year.

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301 klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301


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