Governor Matt Bevin is formally asking for an official recanvass of Tuesday's gubernatorial election, which vote totals showed Democrat Andy Beshear as winning by just over 5,000 votes. A recanvass is a double-checking of the vote totals and rarely produces different results.
In a statement, Bevin's campaign manager Davis Paine said: "The people of Kentucky deserve a fair and honest election. With reports of irregularities, we are exercising the right to ensure that every lawful vote was counted."
University of Kentucky election law professor Joshua Douglas said other than a recanvass, Bevin's only other option is contesting the election, which would be settled by the Republican-led legislature. Kentucky law has no provision for a recount in gubernatorial races. But Douglas was skeptical a recanvass would make much difference for Bevin.
"Well I think the 5,000 vote differential out of 1.4 million cast, yeah, although it sounds small, is actually a pretty large amount when it comes to the likelihood of the vote totals changing in any of these post-election disputes," Douglas said.
Bevin's administration has not yet returned request for comment on the so-called "irregularities," but as of Wednesday, the number of election law complaints reported to the attorney general's office was on par with those made in 2015.
In a statement, Beshear campaign manager Sam Newton expressed hope the recanvass would be the last step in the process.
"Last night, the people of Kentucky elected Andy Beshear as their next governor. Today, Governor-Elect Beshear is already working on his transition so that he can best serve the people of Kentucky on day one," Newton said. "We hope that Matt Bevin honors the results of the recanvass, which will show he received fewer votes than Andy Beshear. As has been reported, a 'recanvassing has never changed the result of a Kentucky election.' "