Mayoral candidate and current District 7 Councilwoman Angela Leet called the Fischer Administration’s claim that crime is down, “dishonest.”
“This claim is absolutely disingenuous. During Fischer’s first year in office, there were 49 homicides in the county. Last year, there were 108 homicides in the county. This year, we are currently on track to double the number of homicides in Fischer’s first year. So seeing a tiny downtick in a few week’s time is not a victory when all Fischer has managed to do is set a new normal of more than a 100 homicides a year,” said Leet.
In a 2005 survey, Morgan Quitno Press ranked Louisville as the seventh safest large city in the United States with that rank dropping to number eight in the 2006 edition of the survey. Lousiville, however, failed to make independent security review site SafeWise’s 2017 list of 50 Safest Metro Cities in America at all and came in at 106 in WalletHub’s 2017’s Safest Cities in America rankings.
Leet claimed that the legacy of the Fischer Administration would be that “homicides have doubled, shootings have doubled, and drug overdose deaths have tripled” under the oversight of the current mayor.
The LMPD historical homicide data does show a dramatic uptick in murders over the past several years. The highest number of murders since 1960, the earliest year in which data is available, was 2016’s record setting year with 122 homicides in Jefferson County, followed closely by 2017’s number of 116 total homicides.
Fischer’s first year in office, 2011, saw the lowest number of homicides since 2003. The several years following his tenure as Mayor showed measurably higher numbers before beginning their remarkable increase to the numbers seen in recent years.
Leet continued, “For the 10 years prior to Fischer taking office, U of L Hospital admitted an average of 166 gunshot victims per year. During the Fischer Administration, U of L Hospital has seen an average of over 200 shooting victims, and that average is over 300 for the last 2 years. 1700 people have been admitted to University of Louisville Hospital for gunshot wounds since Fischer took office. That does not even include victims who were not admitted.”
Putting a rosy spin on crime numbers is nothing new, however. Last August we published the city’s release claiming that crime overall in Lousiville was down 4%, driven by large decreases in violent crimes such as rape and robbery, and smaller decreases in property crimes like larceny. The article, however, noted then that homicides were up by 20% over the previous year’s data.
However, Leet said of Fischer’s attempt “to spin a tale of ‘crime is down'” in a year in which he is up for reelection, “I am disappointed that Fischer is manipulating numbers and denying the reality of drug and gang issues in our neighborhoods.“
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes today projected approximately 60 percent of the 3.3 million people registered to vote in Kentucky will turn out for next week’s general election.
“We hope this year will continue to be a record-breaking year in Kentucky,” said Grimes. “Two weeks ago, we made history with the highest number of Kentuckians registered to vote. Now, we hope that will translate to great voter turnout on Election Day.”
Grimes tracks absentee ballot totals as an indicator of final turnout on Election Day. According to current statistics, Grimes projects turnout for the Nov. 8 general election will be on par with the presidential elections of 2008 and 2012 when 64 percent and 60 percent of Kentuckians voted, respectively.
As of Monday, nearly 47,000 voters had voted in person on machines in county clerks’ offices and approximately 39,700 mail-in absentee ballots had been sent to voters who had requested them.
About 20 percent of Kentucky voters cast ballots in the May Primary Election.
Grimes encourages voters to prepare to vote on Nov. 8 by checking their polling places and viewing sample ballots through GoVoteKY.com, Kentucky’s one-stop portal for election resources.
Voters can honor Kentucky veterans’ service by casting their ballots in their honor during the upcoming general election on Nov. 8. Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is reminding Kentuckians to participate in her office’s “Vote in Honor of a Veteran” program.
“The more than 300,000 veterans who live in our Commonwealth deserve our respect and admiration for their service. All of them have given of themselves to protect our rights – especially the right to vote – and many gave their lives,” said Grimes, Kentucky’s chief election official. “We owe it to them to go to the polls on Election Day and cast our vote in their honor.”
Voters can request a “Vote in Honor of a Veteran” button from their county clerk or the Secretary of State’s office. The button can be personalized to include the name of a veteran the voter will honor on Election Day. Voters can also submit online tributes to the veterans they are honoring at sos.ky.gov.
Grimes is passionate about supporting Kentucky’s active-duty and veteran military members and their families. As Secretary of State, Grimes has advocated on their behalf in a range of issues from voting to business creation to job opportunities, and she played an integral role in the creation of the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame.
Following a trip to the Middle East, Grimes fought for improved voting procedures for deployed military which resulted in the Commonwealth’s first Kentucky Military Heroes Voting Initiative, allowing military to receive absentee ballots through a secure online portal and cutting out weeks in the military absentee process. More than 4,500 military and overseas voters have utilized the portal ahead of the Nov. 8 general election. Military voters who qualify can access the portal at GoVoteKY.com.
As absentee votes are being cast and as voters prepare to head to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 8, Attorney General Andy Beshear is urging Kentuckians to report any voting abnormalities to his office’s Election Fraud Hotline.
Beshear asks all Kentuckians who witness election irregularities or possible election law violations to call the Election Fraud Hotline at 800-328-VOTE or 800-328-8683.
The hotline is open throughout the year during normal business hours and from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. (EST) on Election Day.
“Each voter has the right to cast his or her ballot free of interference and intimidation, and my office is here to protect that right,” Beshear said. “I encourage anyone with possible information about violations of federal voting rights laws to call the Election Fraud Hotline. Each and every report made will be promptly investigated to ensure a fair and honest election in Kentucky.”
By law, the Office of the Attorney General has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute election law violations.
In addition to the hotline, investigators from the Attorney General’s Office may patrol precincts and polling places across the Commonwealth on Election Day in order to respond immediately to complaints.
“We are committed to enforcing clean and fair elections, and holding those who violate the law accountable,” Beshear said.
Beshear is also a member of the Kentucky Election Integrity Task Force, and has been working closely with the Secretary of State’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Offices in Eastern and Western Kentucky to protect voters and the integrity of the election.
The Attorney General’s Office is required by statute to conduct postelection audits in six randomly drawn counties within 20 days of the election.
The Attorney General’s Office will send hotline updates to the media at 10:30 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (EST), after the polls close Nov. 8.
Members of the news media covering the election are reminded that they may be in the voting room for the limited purpose of filming the voting process. However, as per OAG 88-76, the media may not conduct interviews with voters inside the voting room, record the identity of voters or disrupt the voting process. See KRS 117.236.
It’s that time of year again: election time. This year, the primaries in Kentucky will be held on May 20. There is a US Senate position, multiple US House of Representative positions, and various state positions being contested this year. Check back in the near future for follow-up articles about the different elections that will have an impact on Louisville.
It might sound cliché, but it is a citizen’s right and duty to vote in elections. If you want to vote in the Primary election in May, the deadline to register is April 21. If you are not registered to vote, there are a few eligibility requirements that need to be met. To be eligible to vote, you need to:
If these requirements are met, there are a few different places that voters can complete registration, such as the County Clerk’s office, the DMV, and through a mail card.
What else should you know about voting in Kentucky?
As a reminder, it against the law for a voter to impersonate another person to vote, to vote under a false name, to vote more than once in an election. It is also unlawful for any person or group to influence a voter’s decision through force, threat, menace, intimidation, bribery, or reward. If a voter feels that their right to vote has been violated, they should contact the County or State Board of Elections, the Attorney General’s Election Fraud Hotline, or notify any of the elections officers are their polling location.