Clerk's offices to conduct recanvass in governor's race Thursday

County Clerk Leslie McCarty

On Thursday, county clerk's offices across the state will conduct a recanvass of votes in contested governor's race between Democrat Andy Beshear and Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.

Leslie McCarty, Daviess County's clerk, said she hopes Thursday's recanvass is the end of the process.

"This is, for just in my first term, the second election that never ends," McCarty said.

"I hope I'm not plagued with it for the next four years," McCarty said.

Beshear, the outgoing attorney general, defeated Bevin by about 5,000 votes, according to the uncertified results from the Secretary of State's office. Bevin has requested a recanvass, when all clerk's offices will recalculate results from voting machines and absentee ballots at 9 a.m. Thursday.

The recanvass process isn't difficult and doesn't include recounting every individual ballot.

"We're going to review our tapes again" and recheck the results, Hancock County Clerk Trina Ogle said. "We did that on election night, so I don't anticipate any changes.

"We're going to do it again, just to be sure," she said.

Ohio County Clerk Bess Tichenor Ralph said the recanvass is "just verifying what we've already done, to make sure we didn't miss anything." The clerk's office also reviewed its result on election night, she said.

The process is standard. "Every county should be doing the same thing," Ralph said.

The counties will send their results to the Secretary of State's office. At that point, Bevin could further contest the election, which could include a full vote recount. In a statement released election night and in statements afterward to the press, Bevin has alleged there were "reports of voting irregularities."

"They can call for a recount, and whoever requested it has to pay," said Carol Eaton, McLean County's clerk.

The state legislature would have to decide on whether to order a recount. Daviess County went through that process in January when a House elections contest board ordered a recount in the 13th District House of Representatives race between Rep. Jim Glenn and DJ Johnson after Glenn won by one vote. That recount resulted in a tie, and Johnson later withdrew from the contest.

"We recounted 40 precincts" a process that lasted about 10 hours, McCarty said. "There was no procedure in place when we did it for Glenn and Johnson. They left it up to us to figure it out.

"If (a recount) were to happen, I would think they would look to us" to see how the county conducted the recount in the 13th District House race, McCarty said. A recount would likely be expensive.

"DJ (Johnson) paid $10,000 for that recount," McCarty said. "It was probably a 12-hour day."

Eaton said she also "doesn't expect any change" in the vote tally from the recanvass. She also said she hopes the process ends with the recanvass and doesn't go to a full vote recount.

"We are going to hope they don't do that," Eaton said.

James Mayse, 270-691-7303, jmayse@messenger-inquirer.com, Twitter: @JamesMayse

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