Politics

A special board overseeing an election challenge in the state House of Representatives has voted to conduct a recount of a contested seat in western Kentucky.

Initial results from the November election showed Democrat Jim Glenn winning the seat for House District 13, defeating incumbent GOP Rep. DJ Johnson by just one vote.

The district is located in Daviess County and includes parts of Owensboro.

Glenn was sworn in to the House on January 8, but Johnson petitioned the chamber to conduct a recount of the election, a process whereby the Republican-controlled House will ultimately determine the outcome.

The House created a special board comprised of 6 Republicans and 3 Democrats to supervise the challenge.

The board voted on Wednesday to order the Daviess County Clerk to conduct a recount of all ballots cast in the election.

Glenn compared the decision to complaining about a close sports game.

“I watch Chicago Bears play football and they lost 16 to 15. They didn’t replay the game. Game’s over, they played four quarters,” Glenn said.

Glenn said the recount would make voters question the validity of elections.

Johnson claims that local officials improperly threw out 17 absentee ballots and should have rejected six ballots because voters didn’t properly sign the local voter roster.

Now the election results will be in the hands of newly elected Daviess County Clerk Leslie McCarty.

All 6 Republicans on the election contest board voted in favor of the recount, all 3 Democrats voted against.

Republican Rep. Bart Rowland said the recount is the “fairest option out there.”

“In any other contested election in the state, there is a process to ask for a recanvas, to ask for a recount and they are always granted and they are always at the cost of the person asking for that recount,” Rowland said.

Johnson will be required to pay the cost of the recount no matter the result of the election.

Ryland Barton is the Capitol bureau chief for Kentucky Public Radio.