Hillary Clinton remains the winner of Kentucky’s Democratic presidential primary after Thursday’s recanvass of votes. “The recanvass results that we received today are the same as those certified totals that my office received on Friday. The difference between Hillary Clinton and Sen. (Bernie) Sanders: 1,911 votes,” Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced Thursday afternoon at the State Capitol. Unofficial vote totals reported by the state Board of Elections on the night of the May 17 primary gave Clinton a 1,924-vote lead over Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont. But those totals changed slightly on Friday – reducing the margin to 1,911 votes – after each county reported its certified results to Grimes’ office later in the week. Grimes said the recanvass resulted in no change from those certified results she had in hand as of Friday: 212,534 votes for Clinton, and 210,623 votes for Sanders. “The recanvass vote totals, which were submitted to my office today will become the official vote totals that the State Board of Elections will certify on May 31,” Grimes said.
With election night results showing a difference of less than one half of 1 percent, Sanders’ campaign requested the recanvass. The recanvass called for each of Kentucky’s 120 county boards of elections to recheck totals on its voting machines Thursday morning and report the results to Grimes.
Sanders had the option of asking for a more complicated recount of all votes overseen by a judge. But Thursday afternoon he accepted the recanvass as final. “We are very pleased that we split the delegates in a state with a closed primary in which independents cannot vote and where Secretary Clinton defeated Barack Obama by 35 points in 2008,” Sanders said in a statement.
Daniel Lowry, spokesman for the Kentucky Democratic Party said last week that the results in the primary will give Clinton 28 delegates, and Sanders 27 delegates, to the Democratic Convention. On Thursday Lowry said that delegate split was based on election night results which showed Clinton with the 1,924-vote margin. He said party officials will review how and where the vote changed to reduce the margin to 1,911 votes, but said he expected Clinton will still get 28 delegates to 27 for Sanders.
Clinton leads Sanders in delegates and is very close to securing enough to win the presidential nomination at the July Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, but Sanders is pressing ahead and contesting the few remaining state primaries.