Scott County was among seven Kentucky counties election observers felt was telltale in the governor’s race because its voter makeup is split almost evenly between Republicans and Democrats.
That observation proved to be prophetic as Scott County voters narrowly gave the edge to Democrat Andy Beshear over Republican incumbent Matt Bevin, 9,827 to 9,730 or 49.1 percent to 48.61 percent of the ballots cast. That result mostly reflected a similar result throughout the state.
Bevin has declined to concede, submitting a written recanvass request Wednesday. Recanvassing is not unusual, said Scott County Clerk Rebecca Johnson. Now that the election is over, results must be certified, she said. A recanvassing basically mimics what happens on election night when voting machines are set back at zero and cartridges are fed back into the county’s tabulation system. The results will be compared to the totals released election night and if they match, the results are certified as “official.” Any movement in the numbers might spark consideration of a recount, which is much more extensive and requires a judge to conduct an actual recounting. The candidate requesting the recount must bear the expense.
Scott County’s voter turnout was 47.71 percent, much higher than anticipated. The county has 42,572 registered voters as of the Oct. 7 deadline for this election, and 20,182 voters participated in this election.
“That was higher than I anticipated,” Johnson said. The clerk’s office took the election turnout totals from the past three elections, which averaged to about 36 percent, and then raised the expected turnout by 10 percent to 46 percent.
“I didn’t think we would reach that total, much less go higher,” she said. “I don’t know if it was the governor’s race or the alcohol measure that brought people out. But it was a good turnout.”
Scott County is a “red” county with 20,007 registered as Republican and 18,889 registered as Democrat. Some 3,676 voters are registered as independent, Libertarian or other political affiliation. Some 6,126 GOP voters cast a straight party ticket compared to 3,550 Democrat straight party ballots. Some 123 Libertarian voters cast a straight party ballot, as well.
As such, the governor’s race was the only race that did not go GOP in the county.
In a race with a local flavor, incumbent and Republican Ryan Quarles captured 68.37 percent of the county vote over fellow Scott County native and Democrat Robert Haley Conway with 29.6 percent of the vote. Quarles pulled the most county votes of any candidate with 13,627.
The measure allowing alcohol sales in the county passed with 77.6 percent or 13,877 votes supporting and 4,059 or 22.63 percent against. The measure allows for the sale of alcohol throughout the county — Georgetown passed a similar law several years ago — including Stamping Ground and Sadieville.
Mike Scogin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.