Actress Ashley Judd is active in Democratic politics, but her voting history is spotty. According to public records, she did not vote in several elections over the past two decades.
Judd, a resident of Williamson County, Tenn., voted in the 1996 election via absentee ballot, but did not vote again until the 2004 general election — an eight-year gap. She then sat out another four years, before returning to vote in the 2008 Democratic primary.
Here’s a rundown of Judd’s record from the county’s board of elections, which was obtained through a public-information request by National Review Online.
‐ 1996: Voted in the general election
‐ 1998: Did not vote
‐ 2000: Did not vote
‐ 2002: Did not vote
‐ 2004: Voted in the general election
‐ 2006: Did not vote
‐ 2008: Voted in the general election and primary
‐ 2010: Voted in the general election
‐ 2012: Voted in the general election
The Hollywood star’s complete Tennessee voting record is available here. In the document, only instances of Judd voting are listed. Missed elections are not noted, in accordance with county record-keeping.
Evelyn Watson, a local and nonpartisan election official, has confirmed the finding. Watson says Judd registered to vote in Williamson County in September 1996, after previously residing in southern California. She has not changed her Tennessee registration since that date.
Reasons for Judd’s long gaps between votes are unclear, and her publicist, Cara Tripicchio, was unavailable for comment. NRO, however, reached out multiple times on Monday to Tripicchio’s firm, WKT Public Relations, and spoke with an employee who said the publicist was aware of the story.
Judd, a Tennessee delegate for President Obama at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, is now mulling a Senate run in neighboring Kentucky, where Republican leader Mitch McConnell will be up for reelection next year. “I would be surprised if she doesn’t run at this point,” said Representative John Yarmuth (D., Ky.) in a recent interview with ABC News. “My impression is this is something she wants to do.” Kentucky governor Steve Beshear, a Democrat, has called Judd a “very serious candidate.”
According to a Public Policy Poll released in December, Judd would be competitive, should she enter the race. In a hypothetical, head-to-head matchup, she trails McConnell by merely four points, 47 percent to 43 percent.
American Crossroads, a conservative super PAC associated with former Bush adviser Karl Rove, is already campaigning against the potential candidate. In a video released earlier this month, they blasted Judd as an out-of-touch and condescending progressive.