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.
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.