Elections

Thursday’s recanvass of two Kentucky primary election races has not changed the election night outcome.

Clerks in all 120 counties double-checked their totals from the GOP primaries for governor and agriculture commissioner, and reported those totals to the state board of elections.

Following the recanvass, Matt Bevin remains the victor over James Comer in the gubernatorial contest, and Ryan Quarles maintained his more than 1,400 vote margin of victory in the agriculture commissioner’s race.

James Comer’s campaign manager issued a statement Thursday afternoon saying Comer was on vacation with his family in Florida and would make an announcement Friday concerning the next steps he’ll take regarding the governor’s race.

Comer could ask for a recount—something that would require a lawsuit and would be paid for by the candidate.

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The Warren County Clerk predicts her office will complete Thursday’s recanvass in about one hour.

Lynette Yates doesn’t believe there will be great changes to the vote totals in the Republican primaries for governor and agriculture commissioner. She says her office will first scan electronic cards that compiled totals from each voting machine in the county.

“Then we have tapes coming out of each of those voting machines that back up those numbers. So what we will do tomorrow is get all of those tapes out of all of our precincts, and recalculate everything, and go over all the numbers.”

After the recanvass, each county clerks office will fax their updated numbers to the state board of elections.

“I don’t think that there will be a lot of change,” Yates said. “There shouldn’t be—but sometimes calculations with the machines may not have scanned correctly, or something like that. That would be very obscure for something like that to have happened.

James Comer asked for a recanvass of the GOP gubernatorial primary that he lost to Matt Bevin by 83 votes. The other race being recanvassed tomorrow is the Republican Agriculture Commissioner primary, which Ryan Quarles won by a little more than 1,400 votes over Richard Heath.

State Representative Richard Heath of Mayfield will seek a recanvass after narrowly losing his bid for theRepublican nomination for agriculture commissioner in Tuesday’s primary.

With more than 180,000 votes cast in the race, State Representative Ryan Quarles came out ahead of Heath by less than 1,000 votes. Jean-Marie Lawson Spann of Bowling Green was unopposed for the Democraticnomination for agriculture commissioner.

Incumbent commissioner Republican James Comer opted to run for governor rather than seek re-election.

Unofficial GOP Primary Totals

With all precincts reporting, Matt Bevin leads James Comer by 83 votes. Those are unofficial totals. Comer says he wants a recanvass, but is also pledging to support Bevin if the numbers hold.  

Bevin Barely Ahead in Republican Primary for Governor

With 99% of the vote counted, Matt Bevin leads James Comer by 83 votes.

Primary Races Called:

Whitney Westerfield, GOP primary for Attorney General

Allison Ball, GOP primary for Treasurer

Rick Nelson, Democratic primary for Treasurer

A record number of Kentuckians are registered to vote just ahead of the primary election on May 19, the secretary of state’s office announced Monday.

Despite this, voter turnout in this year’s primary is still expected to be low, with estimates ranging from 15 percent down to the single digits.

Kentucky has 3,175,905 voters registered, up from 3,147,157 in the November general election last year—the state’s previous record for voters registered.

“I am excited to see that more and more Kentuckians are registering to vote, and I hope these newly registered voters will exercise their right and responsibility to vote in the primary election,” said Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who presides over elections in the state.

A little over 2.9 million people are registered as Republicans or Democrats, meaning they can vote in this month’s primary—which will decide which candidates end up on the November ballot for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state and other statewide offices.

Another federal court has ruled that a Kentucky law that banned electioneering close to polling places violates free-speech rights.

A panel of the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld a judge's ruling that struck down the law.

The law was challenged by a northern Kentucky businessman after campaign signs were pulled from the yard of his auto body shop on election days in 2012 and 2014. He said the signs were removed by sheriff's deputies because they were within 300 feet of a polling place.

The appeals court panel said Kentucky officials failed to show why the state needs a no-political-speech zone much larger than the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld.

A spokeswoman for state Attorney General Jack Conway says the office is reviewing the ruling.

Cave City Set For Alcohol Vote

Jul 15, 2014

Voters in two precincts of Cave City are set to vote up or down on alcohol sales. A special option election is scheduled for July 22 for the 2,685 voters registered at the two precincts. The question on the ballot is "Are you in favor of the sale of alcoholic beverages in cave City?"

The effort to bring packaged liquor sales to cave City was spearheaded by the "Cave City Forward Committee". which began circulating petitions in November to get the referendum on the ballot.

Cave City has been "moist" since 2006, when restaurants were allowed to sell liquor by the drink if they meet certain state law requirements.

It's ridiculously, absurdly early to talk about 2016 presidential politics. Only a fool would try to predict who will be the next Republican nominee just seven months after the last election for the White House.

Still, in most election cycles, the GOP would already have an obvious front-runner by now, one who would more than likely prevail as the party's pick.

Not this time.

"This will be the most open Republican nomination in 50 years," says Tom Rath, a former GOP attorney general of New Hampshire and a veteran of early state presidential politics.

Talk of Tennessee resident Ashley Judd running for U.S. Senate in Kentucky has turned up ambiguity in residency requirements that a state legislative leader says needs to be cleared up.

The U.S. Constitution requires only that Senate candidates be residents of the state they would represent "when elected." But Kentucky election law raises questions about whether candidates can have their names placed on ballots if they're not registered to vote in Kentucky. And only legal residents can be registered to vote.

Kentucky state Senate Floor Leader Damon Thayer said Tuesday the issue has never before been raised here. Thayer said the Legislature may have to address the ambiguity.

Judd, an actress who lives outside Nashville, is considering a run against U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky next year.

Kentucky LRC

A bill allowing electronic voting for military members overseas has cleared the state House after amendments were added to allow for the electronic return of a ballot.

Senate Bill 1 did not original include the electronic return, despite Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes preferring the provision.

Many GOP lawmakers said the electronic return would leave ballots open to fraud and abuse. And state representative Tim Moore, an Air Force reservist and a Hardin County Republican, says he believes it would compromise legal protections for a secret ballot.

"I absolutely believe that this violates the very Constitution these folks are sworn to uphold."

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