Incumbent Matt Bevin Asks for Recanvass in Disputed Kentucky Governor's Race

Nov 6, 2019

Credit Matt Bevin campaign

Kentucky’s chief election officer says she doesn’t think Governor Matt Bevin will be able to successfully challenge the results of Tuesday’s election. 

According to unofficial results, the Republican incumbent lost to Democrat Andy Beshear by 5,189 votes.

Bevin formally requested a recanvass on Wednesday, which will be conducted Thursday, November 14.  The process requires county clerks to make sure the vote totals from each machine were recorded accurately.

Bevin has refused to concede the race, citing what he calls “irregularities," though he hasn't offered specifics, or evidence.  In an interview with WKU Public Radio on Wednesday, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said based on her experience, there’s never been a time when a recanvass has resulted in a different outcome. 

Warren County Clerk Lynette Yates echoes Grimes' statement, and said mistakes in tallying votes are less likely now than in years past.

“In this day and age, everything is tabulated electronically," said Yates. "I mean, there’s always something when you’re dealing with electronics where you might have an issue, but you’re going to know immediately and be able to correct it.”

A recanvass was conducted following the 2015 gubernatorial race, when Bevin defeated James Comer in the Republican primary by just 83 votes.  The results were unchanged.

University of Kentucky election law professor Joshua Douglas said other than a recanvass, Bevin’s only other option is contesting the election, which would be settled by the Republican-led legislature, according to a report by WFPL.  Kentucky law has no provision for a recount in gubernatorial races.