Beshear: Legally Required Post-Primary Election Audits ‘Clean’

Randomly chosen counties were Bullitt, Jessamine, Owen, Powell, Rowan, Scott

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 6, 2018) – Attorney General Andy Beshear today announced that the postelection audits conducted by his office in six counties revealed no potential criminal activity surrounding the 2018 May primary.

The recently concluded audits of Bullitt, Jessamine, Owen, Powell, Rowan and Scott counties were “clean,” Beshear said.

He randomly drew these counties June 6, 2018.

Following the public drawing in June, Beshear’s Department of Criminal Investigations Public Integrity Unit checked election forms and interviewed county officials as part of the audits. The unit investigates numerous arenas of corruption including election fraud.

Beshear’s Special Prosecutions Unit, which investigates and prosecutes election law violations, then presented the audits to the respective grand juries.

Beshear said while each grand jury was presented with clean audits, had there been any evidence of wrongdoing in a particular county, his office would have presented the findings to jurors.

“Our extensive audits are part of the AG’s legal authority to ensure the integrity of the election process in Kentucky,” Beshear said. “The work leading up to and during the primary election by many, including our investigators and local county election officials, helped to ensure an impartial and fair election process.”

Kentucky law requires Beshear’s office to conduct postelection audits in no fewer than 5 percent of Kentucky’s counties following each primary and general election.

The office answers the Election Law Violations hotline – 800-328-VOTE (8683) – on a daily basis throughout the year, with an expanded presence on primary and general election days. Beshear’s staff reviews complaints and, when appropriate, refers them for further action.

In addition to the hotline, investigators from the attorney general’s office are staged throughout the state during elections to immediately respond to complaints.

To date, during the 2018 primary election cycle, Beshear’s office received 339 election complaints through the hotline or other sources. Of that number, 25 complaints are still under review by Beshear’s Department of Criminal Investigations. By law, the office cannot provide details regarding specific complaints or possible pending investigations.

Beshear’s Special Prosecutions Unit coordinates election monitoring with the State Board of Elections, Secretary of State’s Office, Kentucky State Police, U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI. This monitoring looks at not only primary and general elections, but also special elections held throughout the Commonwealth.

Several employees within the office participated in the Election Integrity Task Force with those agencies to enhance the coordinated efforts of all agencies to combat election fraud.

Earlier this year, Beshear announced a section of his civil division has a singular focus to monitor and possibly challenge any unconstitutional laws passed in Kentucky that could disenfranchise voters across the state.