Bevin should concede if votes unchanged

Louisville Courier Journal

Published 1:52 PM EST Nov 8, 2019

Republican Senate President Robert Stivers believes Gov. Matt Bevin should concede his loss to Democrat Andy Beshear if next week's recanvass doesn't significantly change the vote totals.

“It’s time to call it quits and go home, say he had a good four years and congratulate Gov.-elect Beshear,” Stivers said in a brief Friday interview at the Capitol.

Bevin finished 5,189 votes behind Democrat Andy Beshear in Tuesday's gubernatorial election but has refused to concede the race, requesting a recanvass of the vote that will take place Nov. 14.

The governor has also made allegations of widespread voting irregularities and fraud on Election Day, but hasn't provided any evidence to back up those claims.

Stivers said if Bevin chooses to contest the election by calling a special session of the General Assembly and making a case that there was illegal activity, lawmakers would have to hear the dispute under the state constitution.

However, he added that doesn’t mean Bevin would prevail in such a contest, absent compelling evidence of major fraud or error.

“It’s a pretty high bar," Stivers said.

Related: Bevin supporter's robocall seeks 'suspicious activity' at polls before recanvass

Stivers also said he has received numerous angry calls and messages from people accusing him of somehow trying to steal the election should Bevin contest the outcome to the state legislature.

These calls followed Stivers' response to a reporter’s question on election night about the procedure for a gubernatorial candidate to contest the outcome, he said.

Stivers said lawmakers don’t have a choice once a candidate seeks to contest the election, as "it’s a constitutional mandate.”

Stivers' most recent comments follow other GOP state legislators publicly voicing skepticism in recent days about Bevin's claims of voter fraud and whether an election contest would be the right move.

"For all the Republicans who scream and yell that we shouldn't overturn an election with impeachment and removal of the president, they should feel exactly the same way about overturning an election for the governor's race," said Rep. Adam Koenig, R-Erlanger.

'I knew he was in big trouble': An inside look at 24 crazy hours in Bevin vs. Beshear

The winner of an election in Kentucky has never been changed by a recanvass, which is a simple review of the vote totals by each county clerk to make sure the numbers transmitted to the State Board of Elections were correct. 

The last recanvass of a statewide race in Kentucky happened in May 2015, when James Comer requested one after coming up 83 votes shy of defeating Bevin in the Republican gubernatorial primary. The recanvass didn't change the vote margin in that race.

Reach Deborah Yetter at [email protected] or 502-582-4228. Find her on Twitter at @d_yetter. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: www.courier-journal.com/subscribe. 

Tags:                              

0 Comments