In 1792 Kentucky County officially became its own state, seceding from Virginia after 7 years of petitioning its legislature. They wished to be “free and independent” and “known by the name of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.” In 1850, the constitution was changed, rendering the “State” of Kentucky to the “Commonwealth of Kentucky”, the only state outside of the first 13 to use such a title.


Commonwealth is a term indicating voluntary collaboration between citizens under common objectives and interests. The Kentucky Department for Library and Archives describes the term: “To be a commonwealth meant that all power was vested in and derived from an equally free and independent people rather than a hierarchical and/or feudal system under a king.” The word is virtually synonymous with republic and, unfortunately, many politicians don’t internalize its meaning.


Kentucky is known as the “Bluegrass State”, a nickname based on the fact that bluegrass is present in many of the lawns and pastures throughout the state. It is a land with diverse environments and abundant resources, including the world’s longest cave system, the greatest length of navigable waterways and streams in the Lower 48 states, and the two largest man-made lakes east of the Mississippi River. It is also home to the highest per capita number of deer and turkey in the United States, and the nation’s most productive coalfield. Kentucky is also known for thoroughbred horses, horse racing, bourbon distilleries, bluegrass music, automobile manufacturing, tobacco, and college basketball.

November 2008 Primary Election Voter Turnout Report indicates that out of 2.9 million registered voters, Kentucky represents about 1.7 million Democrats and 1.1 million Republicans, with 190,000 voters registering otherwise. In 2008, Kentuckians set a new state record for voter registrations. Both voter turnouts were approximately 65%.

Because Kentucky has closed party primary elections you must register as a Democrat or Republican to vote. If you choose a different party registration, you cannot vote in their respective primaries, but you may vote in nonpartisan city and judicial primaries.