Incumbent Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has refused to concede to Democratic challenger Andy Beshear, who narrowly bested him in Tuesday’s gubernatorial race.
The unofficial voting tally shows Beshear ahead by just over 5,000 votes. The Associated Press declined to call the election, citing Bevin’s protest and Beshear’s narrow lead of .4 percentage points.
“What we know is that there really are a number of irregularities,” Bevin told reporters on Wednesday, adding “there’s more than a little bit of history of vote fraud in our state.”
Bevin said his campaign would seek an official recanvass of the votes. He claimed that “thousands of absentee ballots that were illegally counted,” and cited unconfirmed reports of voters being “incorrectly turned away.”
“We simply want to ensure that there is integrity in the process,” Bevin said.
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said the state will complete a recanvass on November 14. Kentucky’s 120 counties will examine their voting machines and absentee ballots to be sure the votes were tallied correctly, but will not recheck every individual ballot.
Beshear, meanwhile, attempted to focus attention on his victory.
“We’re confident in the outcome of the election, but today is about moving forward,” Beshear said on Wednesday. “The election is over. No one else is going to cast a vote. It ended last night.”
Despite Bevin’s loss, Republicans swept every other Kentucky race held on Tuesday. Lawyer Daniel Cameron became the first African American to be elected attorney general and the first Republican to hold the position in seventy years.