Editor’s Note: In order to get this Forward Five out to you on time, we are writing it before we write the stories for the web site. So, rather than refer to stories on the site (other than Berry Craig’s article), we’re going to put the main points in here, then flesh them out later today on the site.
SOME Things to Know Today
Beshear wins … maybe?
Riding a huge margin in Jefferson County and surprise wins in rural counties across the state, Democrat Andy Beshear beat incumbent Republican governor Matt Bevin on Tuesday. The final vote margin was 5,189 out of more than 1.4 million votes cast.
While Beshear claimed victory, Bevin refused to concede, citing “irregularities” in the election. “We know for a fact that there have been more than a few irregularities. They are very well corroborated and that’s alright. What they are exactly, how many, which ones & what effect if any they have will be determined according to law that’s well established,” said Bevin.
So what could come next?
There are three possible next steps for a challenger who wishes to contest an election result.
- Recanvass – All county clerks recheck vote totals from voting machines and absentee ballots, to make sure what was sent to the Secretary of State was accurate. Essentially, it’s a “check your math” step. Must be requested by Bevin by next Tuesday. No cost to the candidate requesting it.
- Recount – All individual votes are recounted. Must also be requested by next Tuesday by filing a petition in Franklin Circuit Court, and the recount itself must be paid for by the challenger. (It can cost tens of thousands of dollars.) If granted, the judge hearing the case takes possession of all ballots and conducts the recount, then issues a ruling. That ruling can be appealed.
- Contest the election – A third option is somewhat outlined in Kentucky statutes, involving the state legislature. A challenger can file a formal request to contest the election results by the Tuesday after the election. The filing is made with the state legislature, and must outline the reasons the challenger is contesting the election. This process has not been used in over 100 years, and some legal scholars note that it would be problematic. But, it is in the statutes, and could be used.
Republicans take all down-ballot races
Outside of the governor’s race, the Republican candidates won all the other races:
- Attorney General: Daniel Cameron defeated Greg Stumbo to become the first African American individually elected to state-wide office. (Jenean Hampton was elected as part of the Bevin candidacy.) This flips the office from Democrat to Republican.
- Secretary of State: Michael Adams defeated Heather French Henry for SOS. This was a surprise, as most felt Henry would win this easily. This office also got flipped from blue to red.
- Treasurer: Allison Ball won re-election over Michael Bowman.
- Auditor: Mike Harmon won re-election over Sheri Donahue.
- Ag Commissioner: Ryan Quarles won re-election over Robert Conway. More than one person noted that Quarles is well positioned to run for governor in four years.
Looking at the vote totals, it is obvious that numerous voters voted Beshear at the top, then Republican the rest of the way.
Turnout much higher than expected
Secretary of State Grimes had predicted a 31% turnout, which would have been about 1 million votes. On Tuesday, voters went to the polls in much higher numbers than that, with 1.4 million votes cast.
State-wide turnout was about 42%, which is the highest for a governor’s race since 2003. Numerous counties, both urban and rural, saw turnout above that.
Three quick takes on the election
Berry Craig makes three good observations about the values of Bevin and Beshear, the name-calling in the campaign, and GOP “diversity.” (Forward Kentucky)
Did you miss any of these?
Featured Content on Forward Kentucky
([new] indicates new since last Forward Five; 🔥 indicates lots of reads)
‘Pretty disappointed in my Republican Party’: Longtime legislator Dan Seum retiring – Republican state Sen. Dan Seum of Louisville sent a letter to Gov. Matt Bevin on Thursday announcing that he will retire from his seat effective Nov. 16, ending his 35-year career in the Kentucky General Assembly. Seum told The Courier Journal in an interview that he partly made the decision because he is 80 years old and thought it was time, but added, “I’m pretty disappointed in my Republican Party and I’m really disappointed in Bevin, obviously.” (read)
Are restrictive voting laws one reason for Kentucky’s low voter turnout? – SOS Grimes predicted voter turnout of 31%. There are a number of factors at play to explain such a low voter turnout, but it’s worth noting that Kentucky has some of the most restrictive laws in the country when it comes to early voting, absentee voting and the time the polls close on Election Day. (read)
Donors pledge enough money to get Baby Trump balloon to Lexington for president’s visit – President Donald Trump will not be the only larger-than-life figure appearing in Lexington on Monday. The “Baby Trump” balloon is also coming. (read)
The faith-story background of Beshear and Bevin – Both the Republican governor and the Democratic AG have included aspects of their personal faith in their campaign. We visited their churches to learn more. (read)
Eleven voting tips from Secretary of State Grimes – SOS Grimes reminds voters of the following guidelines to make Election Day go well for everyone. Some are laws, some are suggestions, but all are helpful. (read)
🔥‘Some random old guy’ – I did GOTV (“Get Out the Vote”) canvassing today in south Louisville. Here are my thoughts on the day, as well as a few of those experiences. (read)
🔥Dem bus tour rolls into E-town – The statewide bus tour of Democratic candidates made a stop in Elizabethtown on Thursday, and supporters turned out and were excited. (read)
[new] Teachers aren’t the only ones outraged by Matt Bevin’s elitist education policies – Teachers have gotten lots of attention this election. But parents, students, and everyday citizens are also outraged by Bevin’s policies. Here’s why. (read)
Blazing Britches – Remember “Blazing Saddles”? “Blazing Britches” would be the perfect title for a Matt Bevin biopic, based on the old saying “Liar, liar, pants on fire.” (read)
A must-watch video about civility (in response to Scott Jennings and others) – As pundits across the county cry out “Civility!” in response to Trump being booed, an internet vlogger named Beau has the right response. Watch this video. (view)
Bevin’s Misdeeds #8 – Turnout Matters! – Aaron Smith concludes his “Bevin’s (Mis)Deeds” series with a reminder that only 16% of eligible voters elected Matt Bevin last time. Turnout matters! (view)
[photo gallery] Bevin and crew in Winchester – Matt Bevin and crew rolled into Winchester on Saturday night, and Nick Lacy was there to capture the event in words and pictures. (view)
[podcast] Robert Haley Conway, election preview, debate 3 & 4 recap, and Justin Walker confirmed – This week’s show features Robert Haley Conway, candidate for ag commissioner. And, Robert and Jazmin share their predictions for Tuesday’s election. (listen)
[photo gallery] The Dems come to Springfield – Andy Beshear and the rest of the Dems on next week’s ballot rolled into Springfield for a meet-and-greet, and Nick Lacy was there to capture it all. (view)
Posts with Most Social Media Shares in Past Fourteen Days
( 🔥indicates post with surge of recent shares)
- Who loses if Matt Bevin wins on November 5th? (6,000 shares [!!])
- Matt Jones on what is at stake in this election (2,000 shares)
- Four reasons Matt Bevin should not be governor (2,000 shares)
- The Lexington Herald-Leader endorses Andy Beshear for governor (2,000 shares)
- Senate confirms Louisville’s Justin Walker as federal judge despite unqualified rating (1,000 shares)
The Forward 5 is published Monday to Friday by Forward Kentucky, an independent media organization focused on progressive news and issues in Kentucky, and is re-posted with permission. You can sign up for the email version of the newsletter on their website.