‘Cast your own vote’: UK community celebrates the Constitution’s 229th birthday


Captain Christopher Hopkins, UK Army ROTC (Left), Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton, State Auditor Mike Harmon and JOU 101 professor Buck Ryan celebrate during UK’s Constitution Day in the William T. Young Library on Sept. 17, 2018.

Taylon Baker

On the 229th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution, members of the UK community decided to join in on the party.

The Journalism 101 class hosted Kentucky’s Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton and State Auditor Mike Harmon to speak on the importance of the Constitution in the William T. Young Library on Monday.

Harmon kicked off the discussion by placing a premium on the importance of the work of the Founding Fathers. He said the separation of powers and system of checks and balances outlined in the Constitution are even important in his role in the state government.

“I believe that transparency is important. We owe it to the taxpayers of society. The same transparency that our Constitution has,” Harmon said. “Without that check and balances, we tend to embrace our demons. It’s so important we always have someone looking over our shoulder.”

Hampton, who served for seven years in the U.S. Air Force before serving alongside Gov. Matt Bevin, took the stage to stress the importance of exercising the right to vote. Hampton said that in her political career she once won an election by a margin of just 83 votes.

“If there’s one thing I tell people, it’s to ignore the polls. If you are in line to close and the polls close, they have to give you time to vote. You never know, so keep trying,” said Hampton. “Cast your own vote. It is a precious thing. You have this power, and you have this right.”

While Hampton spoke about the importance of voting, she also encouraged all in attendance not to shy away from their constitutional rights to free speech. She said that no matter your political affiliation, you should always be aware of what’s going on in the world.

“During my run, I had some of the best discussions with people whose ideas are 180 percent different than my own,” Hampton said. “I thought it was interesting. I was able to confirm if things were true. Don’t believe everything you read is what I’m saying.”

To end the afternoon of thoughtful discussion, voter registration tables were set up for those who were not previously registered to vote.