Less than 24 hours after Kentucky Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andy Beshear won a stunning surprise victory over incumbent Governor Matt Bevin (R), members of Bevin’s party who control the state legislature are hinting that they may overlook the results of the close election and name Bevin to the post.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports:

Kentucky Senate President  Robert Stivers  threw another wrench into the state’s razor-thin gubernatorial outcome late Tuesday night, saying that the legislature could decide the race.

Stivers’ comments came shortly after Gov. Matt Bevin refused to concede to Attorney General Andy Beshear , who led by roughly 5,100 votes when all the precincts were counted.

“There’s less than one-half of 1%, as I understand, separating the governor and the attorney general,” Stivers said. “We will follow the letter of the law and what various processes determine.”    

Kentucky does not have automatic vote recounts for close elections — Beshear won by a margin of 49.2 percent to 48.8 percent; about 5,000 votes — but Bevin can request a recount. Under state law, a losing candidate has 30 days to contest an election after they’ve been certified by the Kentucky Board of Elections. 

According to the Kentucky state constitution, a format is specified for contested elections. Section 90 of that document reads:

“Contested elections for governor and lieutenant governor shall be determined by both houses of the General Assembly, according to such regulations as may be established by law.”

But Sam Marcosson, a constitutional law professor at the University of Louisville, warned that if Republicans go against the will of the voters, that could wind up creating a larger problem:

“(It’s a risky) proposition to suggest that the General Assembly would take vague allegations of unspecified irregularities and call into question a gubernatorial election.”

As usual, however, it appears that if Republicans can’t win an election honestly, they’ll cheat until they manage to eke out a victory.

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