Politics

Update: Bernie Sanders’ campaign says it accepts the results of the recanvass and will not contest Kentucky’s Democratic presidential primary.

The outcome of last Tuesday’s Democratic presidential primary in Kentucky is unchanged after a recanvass of votes in the state.

The recanvass was requested by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who lost the race by fewer than 2,000 votes to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In a statement, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said the review ensures the result was right all along.

“I’m grateful to our county boards of elections for their work today. Their efforts help ensure confidence in the primary election results for both candidates and the electorate,” Grimes said.

A recanvass is essentially a re-tabulation of votes in each of Kentucky’s 120 counties. Historically, the process hasn’t yielded enough votes to change the outcome of elections in Kentucky.

According to a release from the Kentucky Democratic Party earlier this week, Clinton won 28 delegates and Sanders won 27 from the May 18 primary election.

Initial results from election night showed Clinton with a 1,924-vote lead over Sanders. On Thursday, counties showed a 1,911 difference — 212,534 votes for Clinton and 210,623 votes for Sanders.

Grimes said the 13-vote difference “was due to provisional votes and a discrepancy in absentee ballot totals in two counties.”

If the recanvass had found additional votes for Sanders in the Sixth Congressional District in Lexington, one of Clinton’s delegates could have swung in Sanders’ favor. Clinton won that district by about 500 votes.

The last recanvass in Kentucky was the 2015 Republican gubernatorial primary. It was requested by James Comer after he lost to then-candidate Matt Bevin by 83 votes. The recanvass did not change the outcome of the primary election.

In a 2010 congressional election, Republican Andy Barr requested a recanvass in his race against Democratic incumbent Ben Chandler. Barr was down by fewer than 700 votes, and the recanvass yielded only one additional vote.

This story has been updated.

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