The Student News Site of University of Kentucky

Kentucky Kernel

The Student News Site of University of Kentucky

Kentucky Kernel

The Student News Site of University of Kentucky

Kentucky Kernel

Follow us on Instagram

Beshear promotes early voting at on-campus campaign stop

Gov. Andy Beshear takes a selfie with students on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023, outside the Gatton Student Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo Samuel Colmar | Staff

Gov. Andy Beshear appeared on the University of Kentucky’s campus to speak to students as a part of his Beshear Bus Tour.

Students gathered at the Gatton Student Center courtyard on the first day of early voting, Nov. 2, with signs and stickers that read “Vote Andy and Jacqueline.” 

After his introduction, students cheered for the governor and began chanting Beshear’s name repeatedly.

Beshear spoke of early voting, voting on election day and the impact of working together.

“Your vote matters. Your friend’s vote matters. Your family’s vote matters,” Beshear said. “We need you to talk to your friends. We need you to call your family. We need you to knock on doors these last days, because you never know. That last person you talked to might be the person that puts us over the top.”

To further stress the impact he feels coming together makes, he told the crowd “this isn’t my campaign, it’s our campaign.”

Junior linguistics major Cassie Bell said she was eager to learn more about his campaign.

“I’m looking forward to knowing what he stands for and what he’s going to offer us again if he gets re-elected,” she said.

Bell said she went to the rally because her mother strongly supports Beshear and what he strives for the Commonwealth to achieve.

“She always talks about how she’s never voted in her life,” Bell said. “But this is going to be the year she votes because of Andy.”

According to Bell, her mother liked the way Beshear handled the COVID-19 pandemic.

Junior Reece Russell shares the same opinion on Beshear’s approach to the COVID-19 pandemic as Bell’s mother. 

“I think he did a really good job with Kentucky during Covid. He handled it much better than states around us,” Russell said.

Attendees voiced their approval of the Beshear administration and how he handled certain issues during his current term. Beshear also voiced what he felt were his administration’s biggest achievements.

Beshear said Kentucky is on an “economic win streak, the likes of which (Kentucky has) never seen.”

He highlighted Kentucky’s economic development, electric vehicle battery production and the creation of jobs within the Commonwealth over the past two years. 

Russell said Beshear traveling to UK to speak to students made him feel as if Beshear appreciates younger voters and their impact.

“I think it shows that he cares about younger voters. Him rallying at (the University of) Louisville and now Kentucky shows progress towards younger voters,” Russell said.

President of the Fayette County Young Democrats Emma Curtis also attended the event to see the drive students possess to vote and to hear what Beshear has to say about early voting.

“I wanted to come to this rally today because I wanted to witness the enthusiasm that young voters have specifically for this democratic slate,” Curtis said.

She said her goal as a young voter is to dispute the notion that college students are going to show up in “low numbers” and that young voters are “not reliable.”

She said she was pleased to see the governor expressed his disapproval of Senate Bill 150 with the veto he placed on the bill earlier in the year. 

SB-150 was passed in February of this year, banning gender-affirming care for minors. 

Curtis said she agreed with Beshear’s adamancy of the importance of early voting.

“I thought Beshear’s message today with early voting was incredibly important,” she said. “When we get folks out to vote early, and we drive those early voting numbers up, we are signifying just how effective it is and how important it is to make voting accessible to as many people as possible.”

The event was met with students protesting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with signs of the Palestinian flag, statistics of Palestinian deaths and chants calling to free Palestine.

“Free free Palestine,” the protestors said countless times.

Students had differing opinions on the presence of the protestors at the event. Russell said he was glad to see the representation of Palestine in the crowd whereas Curtis said while she understood their fear and frustration, she questioned the efficacy of their methods.

Beshear shared his optimism for the upcoming election with the crowd as they cheered for him.

“Folks, in 2019, we came together, we shocked the world and we beat Matt Bevin,” Beshear said. “And in five days we’re going to beat Daniel Cameron too.”

Bell, Russell and junior communications major Olivia Taylor said they will be voting for Beshear to continue within his position as Governor.

“He’s got my vote 100%,” Bell said.

To find the nearest polling location, visit the Commonwealth of Kentucky State Board of Elections website here.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Casey Sebastiano, News Editor

Comments (0)

All Kentucky Kernel Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *