A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Primary election was a smooth one, says SOS Michael Adams; federal monitors agree

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Kentucky’s primary election was a smooth one with few problems, according to Secretary of State Michael Adams, the state’s chief election officer.
While the State Board of Elections was preparing to meet Tuesday afternoon, Adams said, “Right before I walked in here, my election director said we got three calls today. Normally we get a hundred. They were all benign situations like how to put up a vote sign by polling locations.  So, it’s been really, really quiet.”

State Board Elections met Tuesday afternoon. (Photo by Tom Latek/Kentucky Today)

He noted he’s been hearing the same from federal officials who have monitored the election.

“Nothing that concerns them in terms of security issues. So our federal partners and us agree.”

Adams said Mother Nature has been the biggest problem.

“There was a tornado warning for three of our central Kentucky counties, resulting in voters having to shelter in place at one of the polling locations.”

There have been some recent changes regarding recanvass and recounts, once the results are known.

One is that the results must be within one percent for a loser to be able to demand a recanvass, which is free to them. That is when each county simply rechecks their tabulations from election day.

The recount law has also changed, which is when each ballot is recounted which Adams expects to cut down on frivolous recounts. He pointed out recent recount lawsuits, which require posting of a bond, have involved state representative races, which are in small areas.

“We’re dealing now with statewide elections, and the bond you’d need to post would be maybe $1 million to conduct a statewide recount,” he said. “I’m hopeful that we won’t have efforts of that nature, either in my race or treasurer or other races, where we have people from that wing of the party who like to bring frivolous litigation.”

He said there will be one difference in the general election.

“In November, there will be an automatic recount, if the margin is within a half percentage point, and the candidate will not have to pay for it. That’s something else that’s new.”

The deadline for a recanvass or recount request for the primary election results is May 25. The State Board of Elections is scheduled to certify the results on June 5.

One other deadline, each party’s gubernatorial nominee will have until August to name their running mate as lieutenant governor.

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