Frozen
November 8, 2019

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) fell about 5,200 votes short in his bid for re-election Tuesday, and while Democrat Andy Beshear is preparing to be inaugurated in December, Bevin has requested a recanvass, or county-by-county audit of the voting tallies. Republican lawmakers in the state are skeptical — "I've never seen a recanvass move more than 100 votes," Rep. Jerry Miller (R) told the Lexington Herald Leader — and they are urging him to put up or sit down.

"The best thing to do, the right thing to do, is for Gov. Bevin to concede the election today so we can move on," Rep. Jason Nemes (R) told the Herald Leader. "There's nothing wrong with checking the math," added Rep. Adam Koenig (R), but "unless there is a mountain of clear, unambiguous evidence, then he should let it go."

Under Kentucky law, the losing candidate in a gubernatorial race can't seek a recount, the Herald Leader reports. "That means the only way a recount could happen is if Bevin files an election contest and the legislature orders a recount as part of the resulting investigation." If Bevin contests the election, the state legislature would assemble a panel of eight House members and three senators to examine his claims of fraud or other irregularities — but Bevin has not provided any such evidence so far.

Senate President Robert Stivers (R) had suggested Tuesday night that the General Assembly might end up picking the next governor, but he dialed that back on Thursday, saying the Senate will perform its duty only if required to do so — and Bevin faces "a very high bar to succeed." Nemes said he doubted it would come to that. "The proof isn't that people were turned away, the proof is that you have to show fraud or irregularities," he told the Herald Leader. "You can't just go on a fishing expedition at this point." Read more at the Lexington Herald Leader. Peter Weber

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