Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign was accused of election fraud during Kentucky’s presidential primary last week — and now officials are going to take a second look at the results.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign requested a statewide recanvass in Kentucky’s presidential primary Tuesday, where he trails Clinton by less than one-half of 1 percent of the vote — less than 2,000 votes.
The formal request will trigger a statewide investigation into the election results, a move Saunders supporters say is long overdue after over 76 complaints of election fraud came out of the Bluegrass State’s Democratic primary.
The Sanders campaign said it has asked the Kentucky secretary of state to have election officials review electronic voting machines and absentee ballots from last week’s primary in each of the state’s 120 counties to make sure votes aren’t missing.
Sanders signed a letter Tuesday morning requesting a full and complete check and recanvass of the election results in Kentucky.
Should the recanvass uncover evidence of widespread election fraud, it would likely trigger further investigations.
“Politically, [the request] gives Sanders the opportunity to continue to call into question the results; allow some of his supporters to continue to allege that Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is close to the Clintons, put her finger on the scale; raise money — and do all of it at no cost,” NPR reports.
The office of Kentucky’s secretary of state said Tuesday that they will begin the process on Thursday.
“He’s in this until every last vote is counted and he’s fighting for every last delegate,” said Sanders’ spokesman Michael Briggs.
Clinton holds 1,924-vote lead over Sanders out of 454,573 votes cast. The Associated Press had not called the race, despite Clinton’s slight lead, in the event that Sanders might ask to recanvass the vote.
A recanvass is a review of the voting totals, and is paid for by the state of Kentucky. Sanders can ask a judge to order a recount or an examination of individual ballots but his campaign would have to pay for it, and Sanders has blown through just about all his cash on hand despite his campaign having raised more money than any other presidential candidate.
Sanders has vowed to amass as many delegates as possible in his lengthy primary fight against Clinton, where he trails the former secretary of state by 271 pledged delegates. Clinton holds a substantial lead with party leaders and elected officials, called superdelegates, and is on track to clinch the nomination through the combination of pledged delegates and superdelegates after contests on June 7.
Clinton and Sanders both picked up 27 delegates in Kentucky and one remaining delegate will be allocated in the sixth congressional district, which includes Frankfort and Lexington. The delegate will be awarded based on final vote tallies and Clinton currently leads Sanders by a slim margin of about 500 votes in that district.
A tip in the statewide vote in Sanders’ favor would not guarantee him that last delegate. But if a recanvass were to determine he actually received more votes than Clinton in the sixth congressional district, Sanders could earn the last remaining delegate that Clinton would otherwise receive.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.