Kentucky governor to challenge election and seek recanvassing

Matt Bevin is highly upset with his failure in the re-election campaign for Kentucky governor in which he fell short by 5,000 votes to his rival Andy Beshear, a defeat that he finds hard to accept. Bevin has called for votes for recanvassing across the state as he has concerns about voting irregularities, though not specified. While talking to reporters, Mr Bevin, who intends to keep his post, has clarified his stand about recanvassing. He feels he should give absolute confidence to the people of Kentucky that there was no foul play in the counting of votes, and counting was done as it should have been.

Although experts see little hope for Mr Bevin because a reversal of the result is most unlikely to happen if re-canvassing takes place but still, he can challenge the election that could lead to a showdown in the state legislature with his fate being decided by the lawmakers.

What is recanvassing?

It means recounting or double-checking the statewide county boards to verify that the totals of the voting machines tally with the totals added up by the county boards before reporting it to the county clerk. It takes only a day to complete the process. Candidates must ask for recanvassing within a week of the election, but Mr. Bevin did it promptly on November 6th, and verification will take place on Thursday, November 14th.

Is there any possibility of changing the outcome?

Critics and legal scholars were sceptical about the governor levelling allegations of irregularities without any evidence. Meanwhile, Attorney General Mr. Andy Beshear of the Democratic party has set in motion his plan to choose his staff and set the agenda of the office while Mr. Bevin prepares a review of the election.  Mr. Beshear, the governor-elect, has also declared his plan for presenting his first budget proposal in January 2020 as he believes that it is not the time for politics but to start governance.

Although Mr. Beshear and Mr. Bevin have not been on talking terms and not spoken to each other, Mr. Beshear’s campaign has asked the governor to accept the mandate and step down as he did not even have the remotest chance of overturning the considerable lead established by Mr. Beshear.

The changing fortunes

Mr. Bevin sought re-election despite being one of the most unpopular governors of the US. His popularity took a severe hit after a face-off with teachers and an attempt to curtail a Medicaid expansion. His personal style of operating irked many voters who felt that it was utterly disrespectful and abrasive.  Seizing upon the weakness, Mr. Beshear chose to put teachers at the center of his campaign. He even went ahead to pick Jacqueline Coleman, a high school assistant principal, as a lieutenant governor alongside him.

With the casting of 1.4 million ballots, the election had an unusually high turnout of 42 percent, which was far higher than the other governor’s races. Mr. Beshear claimed victory on November 5th, but instead of conceding defeat, Mr. Bevin began raising alarms over electoral deficiencies.