Secretary of State talks processes for recanvassing, contesting election results

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says she's seen more than 20 re-canvasses, and she's...
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says she's seen more than 20 re-canvasses, and she's never seen the outcome change. (Photo: WKYT/Hillary Thornton)(WKYT)
Published: Nov. 6, 2019 at 12:04 PM EST
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Five thousand votes may sound like a lot, but in a statewide election, that’s close. With the results as close as they are, many Kentucky voters are left wondering, what happens next?

Kentucky’s chief election officer, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, says she’s seen many close races - even certifying elections decided by one vote.

Now that Gov. Bevin has requested a recanvass it will happen on Thursday, Nov. 14.

That process checks to make sure the vote totals from each machine were accurately recorded. Grimes says she’s seen more than 20 recanvases, including Gov. Bevin's narrow 83-vote primary win in 2015, and she’s never seen the outcome change.

Bevin could still file an election contest with the General Assembly after the recanvass. He has up to 30 days after the votes are certified to do that.

He must contest the election to receive a recount of the votes. If that process is initiated, the General Assembly will form a committee of 11 randomly selected lawmakers that could take depositions, order a recount, and make a recommendation to the full legislature.

This was done just last session for a House seat decided by one vote - it didn’t change the outcome.

“While every vote does matter and does count... I wouldn’t feel a contested proceeding before the General Assembly would likely result in anything either,” says Grimes.

Beshear is set to be inaugurated at the Capitol on Dec. 10. That date could still fall within the 30 days Bevin has after certification to request a contest, which means this could still all be in question past the inauguration.