Daviess County Clerk’s Office could hold a full recount of the 13th District House election on Saturday. While Jim Glenn currently holds the seat after winning by a one-vote margin in November, DJ Johnson made a special request to the Kentucky Speaker of the House for a historic election contest.
Once the General Assembly session resumed in early January, a committee of nine House members was formed. These committee members voted 6-3 for a full recount last week.
On Monday, Chief Deputy Clerk Richard House submitted a recount proposal on behalf of the Daviess County Board of Elections after meeting with County Attorney Claud Porter. The recount would take place in one day in the election warehouse behind the county operations center on Highway 81 and would cost $10,200.
To be addressed are the 17 absentee ballots that Johnson called into question with his request to the speaker. Those 17 absentee ballots were rejected by the Daviess County Board of Elections after the November 2018 election. House testified to the committee last week that those ballots were rejected for a number of reasons, but most commonly because voters failed to sign inside or outside envelopes when returning their ballots.
Kentucky State Police has maintained custody of those ballots, which were taken from the Daviess County Clerk’s Office to Frankfort in early January. They have now been returned to Daviess County in the same manner and will be reviewed by the Daviess County Elections Board and reflected in the total submitted to the committee after completing the recount.
The board of elections proposed a hand count of all paper ballots from the eScan machines that were located at polling locations on Election Day as well as in-house absentee and mail-in eScan machine ballots. The committee did not request the votes from the electronic eSlate machines.
The proposal outlines that candidates must post a $10,200 bond with Daviess County Circuit Court before a recount will take place. This covers the cost of counters and other officials, security measures and supplies estimated for the recount process.
Johnson’s attorney said during last week’s committee hearing that his client would be willing to pay the “full cost of the recount,” but has the right to dispute that cost if he finds the amount to be unreasonable.
In full transparency of the process, the board of elections proposed to allow the public, press and other stakeholders to be present during the recount. Two Daviess County sheriff’s deputies would also be requested to be present.
The proposal suggests that four groups of four individuals will be stationed at a table during the recount — one Republican counter, one Democratic counter, one member of the board of elections and one other member of the opposite party of the board of elections member.
Each table will be responsible for one precinct count at a time, taking a voting machine from the 13th District, breaking the seal and hand counting each ballot. Ballots will be counted twice and the board will review the results in each precinct against the Nov. 6, 2018 precinct report.
The board would have three days to file their report with the House committee.