Bevin Calls For Re-Canvassing, But Jury’s Out On Contesting The Election

on May 20, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky.
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 20: Gov. Matt Bevin (R-KY) (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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November 6, 2019 3:52 p.m.
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Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) officially called for a re-canvassing Wednesday, a fairly common re-tallying of the votes that left him just shy of the governor’s mansion.

As Lundergan Grimes told TPM earlier Wednesday, re-canvassing is relatively quick and simple, and she’s seen it performed more than 20 times in her career, including during Bevin’s 2015 primary.

“I’ve never seen a re-canvass actually alter the outcome of an election,” she said. Democratic state Attorney General Andy Beshear is ahead of Bevin by more that 5,000 votes with all precincts reporting, a large enough gap to make it virtually impossible for Bevin to have a hope of catching up with this procedure.

A re-canvass is the much less extreme of the two avenues Bevin can take to challenge the election results. He could also formally contest the election itself, which state Senate Majority Leader Roger Stivers (R) floated earlier on Wednesday and which Lundergan Grimes lays out here.

As for Kentucky House Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey (D), his read is that Republicans will stop pushing back against the election results once the re-canvassing is complete, and will opt out of the more formal election contesting.

“I don’t think this is a real play,” McGarvey told TPM. “I don’t think it’ll happen. People just went to the ballot box and rejected a government by chaos.”

He said that he has no issue with Bevin asking for a re-canvass, that any candidate in a close election has the right to “double check,” but that Republicans need to accept the unwelcome result and move on after that.

“Elections have consequences. You don’t have to agree with the results, but you have to accept the process,” he said. “Last night, 710,000 people voted for Andy Beshear. To erase their votes is wrong, and a direct attack on democracy.”

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