‘I think they want to watch the world burn’: Ky. sec. of state responds to Oldham Co. candidate’s request for recount in 36-point loss
OLDHAM COUNTY, Ky. (WAVE) - An Oldham County Republican has to raise $22,000 before June 16 to fund a primary ballot recount in a race she lost by 36 percentage points.
But, Bridgette Ehly, who failed to win more votes than incumbent David Osborn in District 59′s state house race, isn’t alleging fraud. She doesn’t expect to be the rightful winner. The reason for the recount, she told WAVE News, is to double-check new voting machines with a hand recount of the paper ballots.
“I think it’s time to check the machines,” Ehly said. “We have brand new machines that count these ballots, and I want human eyes and human hands to count these ballots for the very first time… Call me old fashioned: I trust people.”
Ehly and five other candidates who all lost decisively are suing the State Board of Elections for the hand recounts.
“These folks are trying to use–misuse–a recount law that’s designed for close elections just to create havoc in the process,” said Ky. Secretary of State Michael Adams, a Republican himself. “The idea is to undermine our democracy. The idea is to make it harder for government to function.”
In their legal paperwork, the candidates state the recount is for the sake of “checking the machines.”
“The machines are checked already,” said Adams. “We checked them before the election. We’re not dumb.”
Adams says the machines are checked at the state and county level, and the public is invited.
As noted by Oldham County Circuit Court Judge Jerry Crosby, who issued the decision in Ehly’s case, Ehly did not attend that public verification session.
In the same document, Crosby orders Ehly to pay a $21,700 bond, detailing a long list of costs the recount would incur. The document also states that Ehly’s attorney requested the bond be $2,000, “arguing that a requirement to post a larger bond may have a chilling effect on candidates who wish to utilize this statute.”
However, now, Ehly said she and her donors are quite willing to pay the bond in full.
“I’m not asking taxpayers to pay for it,” said Ehly. “I am not alleging fraud in this. I am not saying that I won this race, not by any means. I am simply asking for a count of the paper ballots.”
For Adams’ part, he said “we’ll do the recount if they pony up the money,” but he doesn’t like the idea of a recount with no evidence of fraud, mistake, or a close race. Adams said he is going to push for a state law that won’t allow a recount except in those cases–no matter who is willing to pay for it.
“I think they just want to watch the world burn,” said Adams.
The full conversation with Adams and WAVE’s Kathleen Ninke is below:
To read Ehly’s original release requesting a hand recount, see below:
Immediate Release Bridgette Ehly
May 26, 2022 502-905-7376
LaGrange, KY (Oldham County) firstname.lastname@example.org
Check The Tech!
Bridgette Ehly petitions Oldham County circuit court for recount in her race for State Representative
“I don’t need to be in office to start keeping my campaign promises.”
Bridgette Ehly promised voters of Kentucky’s 59th House district that she would fight for election integrity, and that is exactly what she is doing, despite having been declared the loser in her race. Ehly petitioned the Oldham County Circuit Court for a recount today, saying it’s time to “Check the Tech.” Local poll workers never get to count election ballots since they are counted by machines and sent digitally to the KY Board of Elections in Frankfort. Ehly says human eyes need to bear witness to this data.
The results of the May 17th primary showed Ehly’s opponent, House Speaker David Osborne, the winner in the race with 68 percent of the vote compared to Ehly’s 32 percent.
Ehly says she is not alleging fraud in her case, but simply asking the judge to allow a test of the accuracy of Kentucky’s new digital system by approving a recount. Ehly says citizens question the electronic poll books purchased with money from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg that digitally record signatures. “We need real signatures on paper instead of digital pollbooks.”
“I want our local poll workers to count the ballots,” Ehly says. “This is a Local Control issue. How can we know the results are correct if nobody in our community ever touches the ballots or records the data? We need human eyes to see and attest to this information.”
Ehly says the affairs of private citizens are often inspected by the government, and it’s time that citizens are able to make occasional checks on unelected bureaucrats. “The Kentucky Board of Elections is a government agency, no one there is elected, so they don’t answer to the people. I pray that our local circuit court judge will allow this recount so that we can all feel more confident about this new digital technology or replace it.”
Ehly’s recount, if approved, will NOT be paid for by tax-payers. The judge will set the cost of the recount and it will be paid for by people who support Ehly’s effort to “Check the Tech.”
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