Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ky. election recanvass continues

Election officials across the state are wrapping up their review of results of Kentucky's primaries for governor/lieutenant governor and commissioner of agriculture. Boards of election in all 120 counties began reviewing totals from all respective electronic voting machines and absentee ballots at 9 a.m. local time.

Late this morning, Crittenden County Clerk Carolyn Byford said the review of totals from the May 19 election in Crittenden County had been completed with no changes found in either race. In fact, according to The State Journal in Frankfort, 85 counties have reported with no changes discovered.

Louisville businessman Matt Bevin leads state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer by 83 votes in one of the closest elections in state history. Comer has not conceded and requested the review, called a recanvass, the day after the election. Richard Heath, a state representative from Mayfield, lost to fellow state representative Ryan Quarles by 1,427 votes out of the more than 183,000 cast in the race, and also asked for the recanvass last week. The review is different from a recount in that it does not examine individual ballots.

“Transparency is an important element of ensuring confidence and integrity in our elections,” said Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. “My office is committed to providing information as quickly as possible, and we’ll make the results available online.”

Immediately upon completing the recanvasses, each county board must fax the results to the Secretary of State’s office. The results of both the governor/lieutenant governor and commissioner of agriculture recanvasses will be available on the Secretary of State’s website.

In Crittenden County, Comer earned 274 votes to Bevin's 260 and Heath outpaced Quarles 300-220 in the primary. Those results were again reported to Frankfort after today's recanvass.

With the exceptions of Daviess, Fayette, Henderson, Jefferson, Kenton, Nelson and Rowan counties, which received an extension until Monday to certify vote totals to the Secretary of State’s office, the results of the recanvass shall become the official returns of the county. All vote totals remain unofficial until the State Board of Elections certifies the results of the primary election.

Election results won’t be official until the State Board of Elections certifies them by June 8.

Any of the four candidates involved in the recanvasses could ask a judge to order a recount, an expensive process the candidate would have to pay for himself.