Secretary of State Adams to back bill stopping ‘frivolous’ recount bids

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams says he will support legislation to only allow recount requests from candidates coming within 1 percentage point of the winner.

Adams spoke out after at least six losing Republican candidates from Kentucky’s May primary election filed petitions requesting an official recount of the vote, including two who lost by 36 percentage points and more than 2,000 votes, the Courier Journal reported.

Adams, a Republican, described several of the recount requests as “frivolous.”

The common thread among five recount petitioners, Adams said, is these candidates ran on a “liberty” platform of anti-establishment distrust with the government, “but there’s really nothing that’s liberty-ish or libertarian about what they’re doing.

“It used to be that conservatives were against wasting taxpayer resources,” he added.

Under a 2021 law, the threshold margin of loss for a candidate to request a recanvass is less than 1 percentage point. No such threshold margin exists under Kentucky law for a candidate to request a recount — a more labor-intensive process requiring a recount of ballot totals, at the petitioners’ expense.

Adams said he’d support legislation in next year’s legislative session to use the same 1% threshold eligibility for recounts and require candidates to go through the recanvass process first.

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