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Republican who refuses to concede defeat in Kentucky governor’s race calls for statewide ‘recanvass’

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Kentucky’s Republican governor Matt Bevin asked state election authorities on Wednesday to re-check the final totals in every voting machine that was in use on Tuesday, when he appeared to have lost his job to a Democratic rival in a squeaker.

A ‘recanvass,’ as it’s called, has never reversed the result of an election in the Bluegrass State. 

Andy Beshear ended Tuesday night 5,189 votes ahead of Bevin, but the governor has refused to concede the race. 

‘What we know is that there really are a number of significant irregularities, the specifics of which we are in the process of getting affidavits and other information that will help us to get a better understanding of what did or did not happen,’ Bevin said Wednesday afternoon.

‘Those will be forthcoming in the days ahead, but that is the cart getting ahead of the horse because none of this will be really followed through on until after the recanvassing process.’ 

Kentucky's Republican governor, Matt Bevin, on Wednesday asked for a recanvass of Kentucky election results that showed him more than 5,000 votes behind Democrat Andy Beshear

Kentucky’s Republican governor, Matt Bevin, on Wednesday asked for a recanvass of Kentucky election results that showed him more than 5,000 votes behind Democrat Andy Beshear

Some Kentucky counties use vote-tallying machines that don't produce a paper trail, leaving them vulnerable to tampering; newer computerized systems in other parts of the state were shown last year to be easy for hackers to penetrate

Some Kentucky counties use vote-tallying machines that don’t produce a paper trail, leaving them vulnerable to tampering; newer computerized systems in other parts of the state were shown last year to be easy for hackers to penetrate

Democrat Andy Beshear claimed victory on Wednesday alongside his wife, Britainy

Democrat Andy Beshear claimed victory on Wednesday alongside his wife, Britainy

Beshear claimed victory and his campaign said in a statement that the apparent winner ‘is already working on his transition so that he can best serve the people of Kentucky on day one.’

Bevin campaign manager Davis Paine said that Kentuckians ‘deserve a fair and honest election. With reports of irregularities, we are exercising the right to ensure that every lawful vote was counted.’

The Bevin camp has not said what the ‘irregularities’ are, how much of an impact they may have had, and how they might be documented.

Some Kentucky counties use vote-tallying machines that don’t produce a paper trail, leaving them vulnerable to tampering. Newer computerized systems in other parts of the state were shown last year to be easy for hackers to penetrate. One model was breached in less than two minutes.  

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Democrat who unsuccessfully challenged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel in 2014, received Bevin’s request on Wednesday. She is expected to order the recanvassing thie week. 

That will require election officials in each of Kentucky’s 120 counties to double-check numbers in every voting machine, and report the numbers to their county clerks. The goal is to ensure that the Election Day figures weren’t misreported.

Bevin could ask for a statewide recount if the recanvassing doesn’t change the result. He must make his request by November 15; his campaign would have to cover the entire cost.

If Republicans should uncover corruption in the election, the Bevin campaign could also make a petition to contest the results – provided there’s a convincing reason.

The Kentucky state legislature, which is controlled by the GOP, would then have the power to re-examine the election and possibly order a new one. 

President Donald Trump held a flashy and energetic rally Monday night to support Bevin, who was leading in a reputable poll by 5 points last week but appears to have lost anyway.

President Donald Trump threw the apparent gubernatorial loser, the incumbent Republican Matt Bevin, under the bus almost immediately on Tuesday night

President Donald Trump threw the apparent gubernatorial loser, the incumbent Republican Matt Bevin, under the bus almost immediately on Tuesday night

Apparent Gov.-elect Andy Beshear celebrated with supporters after voting results showed the Democrat holding a slim lead

Apparent Gov.-elect Andy Beshear celebrated with supporters after voting results showed the Democrat holding a slim lead 

Pushing back against the idea that his endorsement has become a ‘Midas touch’ in reverse, Trump and his White House insisted that the result wasn’t his fault. 

‘Our big Kentucky Rally on Monday night had a massive impact on all of the races,’ the president tweeted. 

Bevin trailed Democrat Andy Beshear by less than four-tenths of a percentage point after the votes were counted – in a race that the Associated Press said was too close to call.

A week ago, Bevin was projected to win by 5 points in a Trafalgar Group poll of 1,117 likely voters, the largest group anyone surveyed about the race. That suggests his lead evaporated around the time Trump came to Kentucky to support him.

But the president ‘sees the Bevin race as an anomaly,’ a White House official told DailyMail.com, noting Trump’s observation that five of the six statewide races in the Bluegrass State went to Republicans.

They included the first African-American to ever win an election for the Kentucky attorney general’s office.   

In mid-October a Mason-Dixon Poll of 625 likely voters had Bevin and Beshear tied.

The only poll showing Beshear with a lead was conducted by Targoz Research, a Nashville organization that offered to conduct the polling for $2,750 – a pittance compared to the resources most surveys require.

Targoz reported that its panel of just 401 likely voters gave Beshear a 19-point advantage. The FiveThirtyEight political data analysis website rates the firm between a ‘C’ and a ‘D’ for the reliability of its predictions.  

Trump claimed Tuesday night that Bevin ‘picked up at least 15 points in last days, but perhaps not enough.’

‘Fake News will blame Trump!’ he added. 

Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, said in a statement that Bevin was a weaker candidate than the other Republicans who emerged as winners.

‘The President just about dragged Gov. Matt Bevin across the finish line, helping him run stronger than expected in what turned into a very close race at the end,’ he said. ‘A final outcome remains to be seen.’

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