Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s campaign formally announced on Wednesday that it would seek a recanvass of Tuesday’s gubernatorial election results, following the Republican’s apparent loss to Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear.
Beshear, who outpaces Bevin by more than 5,000 votes, claimed victory Tuesday night. CNN has not projected a winner in the contest.
How a recanvass works and what’s next
Kentucky law does not allow for a recount in a gubernatorial general election, but a campaign may request a recanvass of the votes with the secretary of state. There is no threshold or margin requirement for a recanvass.
Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced Wednesday that her office had received the Bevin campaign’s recanvass request. She announced it would occur at 9 a.m. local time on November 14, in accordance with state law.
All 120 counties in Kentucky are required to submit their certified vote forms by Friday. Those certified results will be recanvassed next week.
A recanvass is a reprint of the receipts from voting machines to check for reporting or clerical errors. After ballots are scanned, the machine tabulates those votes and prints out a receipt with the total.
During a recanvass, those receipts will be reprinted and checked again to make sure they were reported properly. It’s not uncommon for some clerical errors to occur during the initial vote tabulation.
All 120 counties would then fill out and submit the same certification forms again with the recanvass results.
What happens after the recanvass?
Once the recanvass is complete, the state board of elections has until November 25 to certify the election results.
A candidate can contest the results only after the election board has completed certification.
Should a candidate pursue a contest after certification, they must file a written notice citing specific grounds for the contest within 30 days of the election board’s final action.
Once that notice is given, the Kentucky General Assembly would then be authorized to constitute a board to review the evidence and hear depositions. This board must consist of three state senators and eight state House representatives.
Board members are chosen by lottery – names are written on separate slips of paper and drawn at random. The board is then tasked with reviewing the evidence and discussing the allegations. Afterward, the board would file a recommendation to the full General Assembly for further action if necessary, which could include a vote.
Republicans control both chambers of the General Assembly – 61-39 in the House, including two special election contests the GOP won last night, and 29-9 in the Senate.