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LEX 18 rechecks votes in all 120 counties ahead of recanvass

Posted at 6:25 PM, Nov 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-14 15:08:28-05

(LEX 18) — On election night, Gov. Matt Bevin first brought up claims of "irregularities."

"We know for a fact that there have been more than a few irregularities," said Bevin.

The next day, he talked about possible voter fraud.

"We know there have been thousands of absentee ballots that were illegally counted. That is known," said Bevin. "And this again is something that is being looked into. We know that there are reports of people being turned away, incorrectly turned away, from various voting booths around the state. Again, things that need to be corroborated."

However, the governor has not shown any evidence to support his claims. But, that is not stopping claims of voter fraud from spreading on social media.

In one Facebook post, the writer says the governor's race totals in Anderson County don't match up with the state's numbers. The post asks, "how did 435 votes go missing in this count?"

(Facebook post)

LEX 18 called Anderson County Clerk Jason Denny to find out what happened, and he said there's an explanation for the difference.

The results on the clerk's website say Bevin received 5,380 votes, Andy Beshear received 3,978 votes, and John Hicks received 227. That brings the total to 9,585 votes cast in the governor's race in Anderson County. However, the state's website says 9,173 votes were cast in that race.

So what happened? Denny says the difference in those numbers are absentee ballots. The clerk says Anderson County was testing out a new machine to count absentee votes and that machine did not directly send its results to the state. However, he says this is a normal election night error and believes all of this will be resolved in the recanvass.

Did this happen in any other county? LEX 18 called all 120 county clerks in Kentucky. 100 Of them got back to us. Out of those 100, only three others had any vote changes to report as of Wednesday afternoon.

The first was Jefferson County. The vote total there was off by 54 votes in the governor's race. The state's website shows a total of 278,418 votes, but the Jefferson County Clerk's website says 278,472 votes were cast for Bevin, Beshear, and Hicks. A spokesperson for the Clerk's Office says there's a difference because they received a batch of military votes after they sent their numbers into the state.

The second county was Daviess County. The Clerk's Office says one vote was changed after they realized a write-in vote was miscounted.

The third county is Elliott County, and the clerk says when they certified their results, five votes changed from their election night numbers.

With these four counties' changes, both Bevin and Beshear essentially gained a few votes in total. Bevin got 234 more votes and Beshear got 220 more votes. The net change between them comes down to 14 votes, with Beshear winning by 5,175 votes.

Fayette County didn't have any changes to report now, but it's one of the counties being brought up in voter fraud accusations. It's something the Fayette County Clerk said he doesn't understand. He said nothing out of the ordinary happened on election day in Fayette County.

"We had nothing happen," said Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins. "Usually there's at least comedy that occurs in one or two of the precincts. Didn't even have that. Had very few appeals from voters. It was as smooth a day as I ever had."

He believes tomorrow's recanvass will prove that.

Until the State Board of Election certifies the results of the election, all numbers are still considered unofficial. The recanvass may also find other changes, but election officials say they don't believe it will be enough to change the outcome of the race.

LEX 18's intern Jade Grisham, LEX 18's Assignment Manager Mike Taylor, and LEX 18's Digital Content Producer Sierra McLean contributed to this report.