Governor’s race only recanvassing request

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - The deadline for candidates to request a recanvass of the results in the general election has passed, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said Tuesday.

Under Kentucky law, the deadline to submit a written request to the Secretary of State’s office for a recanvass was 4 p.m., Eastern Time, Tuesday, Nov. 12, per Kentucky law.

The Secretary of State's Office received one statewide recanvass request for the 2019 General Election. Last week, Gov. Matthew G. Bevin and Senator Ralph Alvarado, Republican candidate for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, requested a statewide recanvass "of the voting machines and absentee ballots of all precincts in Kentucky involving my race for Governor."

Unofficial results from the Secretary of State and State Board of Elections showed Democrat Andy Beshear, Kentucky’s Attorney General, defeating Republican Bevin’s re-election bid by a margin of 5,189 out of 1.4 million votes cast, although the GOP candidates handily swept the rest of the constitutional officer races.

County boards of elections will convene at 9 a.m. on Thursday to recheck and recanvass the voting machines of all precincts in Kentucky.

During a recanvass, each machine is checked by local election officials and the totals reported to the county clerks, who then report the totals to the State Board of Election. Members of both political parties are allowed to be present and watch the recanvass process.

There has never been a race in Kentucky where the winner has been overturned following a recanvass. In fact, most have resulted in an identical count, and in the others, only a handful of numbers have changed.

Four years ago, Bevin finished 83 votes ahead of James Comer in the Republican primary, and the recanvass requested by Comer, now a member of Congress, saw no change in the totals.

If Bevin is dissatisfied with the outcome, the next and only other avenue is an election contest, which would then be decided by the Republican-controlled House and Senate.

The last election contest in a gubernatorial race happened in 1899, when Republican William Taylor beat Democrat William Goebel by a narrow margin. At that time, the General Assembly was held by Democrats and their election contest gave Goebel the win. While the results were still in doubt, Goebel was shot on the grounds of what is now the Old State Capitol on January 30, 1900. The day after he was wounded, Goebel was declared the winner and sworn into office, but died on Feb. 3.

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