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House leaders Rocky Adkins, David Osborne sign off on bills regarding election recount procedures

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

The top House leaders of both parties have signed on to each other’s bills that would have candidates for the General Assembly follow the same recount procedures as nearly all other candidates in close races.

House Speaker David Osborne, R-Prospect and Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook, are the main co-sponsors

House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook, and House Speaker David Osborne, R-Prospect, talk in the House. The top House leaders agreed on each other’s legislation to change the recount procedure for narrow races. (Photo by Tom Latek,Kentucky Today)

The bills are an effort to avoid a repeat of the controversy surrounding the election contest that challenged the election of Democrat Jim Glenn by one vote over Republican incumbent DJ Johnson, in the 13th House District, which includes part of Daviess County.

Under Osborne’s bill, recounts of legislative and constitutional officer races would be automatic, if the margin of victory is less than 0.5 percent, although the loser could waive the requirement.

Osborne said the two leaders have been thinking about this since the election contest. “We had talked about it and kept saying we’d get together and do it together, but our schedules just didn’t allow it. So, we each decided to take a stab at it. We are committed to doing something that works for everybody.”

Adkins’ version would give General Assembly candidates 10 days from the end of an election to file a petition for a recount with the circuit court located in the county where the requesting candidate resides. The one making the request would be responsible for the recount costs. Osborne has similar language in his bill.

“This process has worked well for many years and it just makes sense that legislative candidates follow the same rules,” Adkins said. “If this becomes law, only gubernatorial slates will still petition the General Assembly for a recount.”

Before going the recount route, candidates could still ask for a recanvass, which is basically double-checking machine and paper totals. A recount involves every ballot being checked.

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