(14 Nov 2019) Republican Gov. Matt Bevin could face a legacy-defining decision when the vote totals from the Kentucky governor’s race are double-checked Thursday – concede to Democrat Andy Beshear or contest last week’s election in a historic move that could put the outcome in the hands of state lawmakers.
Bevin faces a growing chorus of Bluegrass State Republicans urging him to accept the results of the recanvass unless he can point to evidence of substantial voter fraud.
Even Bevin acknowledges that the recanvass, which he requested, is highly unlikely to change the outcome.
“I don’t mind at all losing by a close race. That’s the way races go. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose by close margins. As long as we’re confident that the margin is a reflection of the votes that were cast, then by all means that’s what should occur,” he told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday.
Asked if he’ll concede if the vote totals stay about the same, Bevin replied: “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
He was feistier during a weekend appearance in California before a group of young conservatives, defending his refusal to concede while repeating his claim that he wants to ensure the integrity of the election.
The day after the hard-fought election, Bevin hinted without offering evidence that there had been “irregularities” in the voting.
A conservative political activist put out robocalls urging Kentuckians to report suspicious activity or voter fraud.
Bevin told the AP on Wednesday that he knows “for a fact” that ballots were counted illegally, making references to absentee ballots without offering explicit examples of wrongdoing.
The election results showed the governor _ an ally of President Donald Trump, who campaigned for Bevin the night before the election _ trailing Beshear by more than 5,000 votes out of more than 1.4 million cast. Beshear’s lead is less than 0.4 percentage points.
Beshear, the state attorney general and the son of a two-term Kentucky governor, declared victory and turned his attention toward the Dec. 10 inauguration.
Kentucky’s secretary of state, Alison Lundergan Grimes, has forwarded all election-related concerns to her Election Integrity Task Force, which includes representation from the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and federal prosecutors, her spokeswoman said.
The AP has not declared a winner, in keeping with its policy not to call races close enough to go to a recount.
Although Kentucky’s recount law doesn’t apply to a governor’s election, the AP is applying that same standard here.
Across Kentucky, county boards of election will convene Thursday to check their voting machines and absentee ballots to verify the vote count.
This will not be a recount, meaning officials will not check individual ballots.
Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork
You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/youtube/e1d0f86cb70341e4af5b3a07b7efa701