Gubernatorial election: What happens next? A recanvass for start


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — After the Secretary of State’s office called the governor’s race for Andy Beshear Tuesday night, three things happened.

Republican incumbent Governor Matt Bevin told supporters he will not concede the race.

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Just moments later, democratic candidate Andy Beshear declared victory to supporters in Louisville.

Then, Senate President Robert Stivers said the general assembly may eventually decide the winner.

Confused? Wondering, what happens next?

The Secretary of State, Alison Lundergan Grimes, says two things can happen now. One of them happened Wednesday when her office received a written recanvass request from Governor Matt Bevin.

The request asks for a review of the vote totals by each county clerk in the state. That will take place next Thursday.

Grimes says unofficial vote totals show Bevin lost by 5,189 votes. She says a recanvassing almost never changes the results.

“I’ve overseen over 20-plus recanvasses, many high profile. A presidential primary and even including Governor Matt Bevin. In 2015 there was a recanvass request when him and Jamie Comer faced off in the Republican Primary. An 83 vote difference that did not alter the outcome of that election,” explains Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Under state law, recounts aren’t allowed in gubernatorial elections but Grimes says a another option is a contest election which is what Senate President Robert Stivers alluded to that would involve the general assembly.

“It’s a process where members of the house and senate create a board. They are able to hear an inquiry based on whatever irregularity a candidate may want to put forward. Ultimately, they could issue a new election,” says Grimes.

In Governor Bevin’s election night speech, he told supporters the race was close and gave reason as to why he wasn’t conceding.

“We know for a fact there have been more than a few irregularities, they are very well corroborated and that’s alright. What they are exactly, how many, which ones and what effect if any they have will be determined according to law that’s well established,” says Bevin in his speech.

Grimes had this to say about Bevin’s irregularities claim.

“I’m not aware of any irregularity. We field calls up to and on Election Day. There is no irregularity that I’m aware of that would swing a 5,000 vote margin difference,” says Grimes.

Grimes also says the contest election is something that hasn’t happened in more than 100-years.

Governor-elect Andy Beshear’s campaign responded to Bevin’s recanvass request saying Beshear is working on his transition.

“We hope Bevin can honor the results of the recanvass, which will show he received fewer votes than Beshear,” says Beshear’s campaign manager, Eric Hyers.

If the election totals stand, Beshear will be sworn into office December 10th.

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Christy Bollinger joined the ABC 36 news team as a reporter in March 2018. Christy comes from a little western Kentucky town called Cadiz. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May 2017 with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Criminology. Christy is thrilled to be working at her dream job in her home state. She is passionate about storytelling and you can see her weekdays on ABC 36 News at 5 and 6 p.m. She's covered everything from visits from the sitting president and vice president, to high-profile murder cases. When not chasing stories, Christy loves nothing more than being at the beach and says life is just better with sand between your toes and waves crashing at your feet. She is also a big animal lover. She's a fur momma and her mini-Australian Shepherd, Milly, standard Australian Shepherd, Bennie, and her Maine Coon, Cheeto, are the loves of her life. Christy encourages you to send her any story ideas you may have. Find her on Facebook at Christy Bollinger ABC 36, tweet her @ChristyB_news, or email her at