Kentucky Legislature Could Decide Election Result

Matt Bevin has officially requested a recanvass
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2019 4:05 AM CST
Kentucky Governor Takes Step Toward Recount
Kentucky democratic gubernatorial candidate and Attorney General Andy Beshear speaks to the media during a press conference at the Muhammad Ali Center, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, in Louisville, Ky.   (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

After a narrow election result in Kentucky Tuesday, Gov. Matt Bevin isn't going down without a fight. The Republican—who refused to concede after unofficial results showed him around 5,000 votes, or less than half a percentage point, behind Democrat Andy Beshear—confirmed Wednesday night that he will seek an official recanvass of the results. That would require the clerks of all 120 counties to verify that the vote count totals they submitted were accurate. The next step would be a recount, but under Kentucky law, Bevin would have to pay for it himself, NBC reports. Bevin said there had been "irregularities," adding that "there's more than a little bit of history of vote fraud in our state," reports Politico.

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says the recanvass will be conducted Nov. 14. This is the first disputed gubernatorial election in the state since 1899, and under state law, it could end up being decided by the Republican-controlled state legislature, according to Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers. Sam Marcosson, a constitutional law professor at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, tells the Louisville Courier-Journal that such a move would raise "serious questions" about voter disenfranchisement. "It’s an extraordinary proposition to suggest that the General Assembly would take vague allegations of unspecified irregularities and call into question a gubernatorial election," he says. (More Kentucky stories.)

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