Big Republican wins, GOP gains control of the House
10:50 p.m. — The big news of the night in Kentucky is sweeping Republican victories that give the GOP control of the House.
It’s the first time in some 95 years that the Republicans can lay claim to the Governor’s mansion, the state Senate and the House.
Gov. Matt Bevin said Tuesday night that “the voters of Kentucky have been heard and they want a new direction.”
That new direction meant a major swing in seats. Though vote returns are still coming in, various reports put the GOP’s net gain at 17 seats.
Meanwhile, longtime House Speaker Greg Stumbo, a Prestonburg democrat, is gone. He lost to Republican Larry Brown.
We’ll keep watching the returns tonight and be back tomorrow with more.
AG received 216 calls of election fraud
9:40 p.m. — Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office reports receiving 216 calls to the election fraud hotline through 7:30 p.m. The calls came from 59 of Kentucky’s 120 counties. The calls represent an uptick from the 183 calls, from 60 counties, in 2012 presidential election, according to Beshear’s office. Here’s a county by county list:
- Allen County: Electioneering within 100 feet of polls
- Anderson County: Procedural question
- Barren County: Election official
- Bath County: (3 calls) Disrupting polls; legal question; voter identification
- Boone County: (4 calls) Two procedural questions; one legal question; one voter identification
- Boyle County: (2 calls) Legal question; procedural question
- Breathitt County: (4 calls) Three procedural questions; one general election fraud
- Bullitt County: (3 calls) Voter identification; voting machine; electioneering within 100 percent of polls
- Butler County: Electioneering within 100 feet of polls
- Campbell County: (4 calls) Three procedural questions; one election official;
- Carroll County: Voting machine
- Crittenden County: Election official
- Edmonson County: Procedural question
- Elliott County: Procedural question
- Estill County: Procedural question
- Fayette County: (20 calls) Six procedural questions; four general election fraud; three voting machine; three residency; two electioneering within 100 feet of polls; one special or absentee ballot; and one voter identification
- Floyd County: (6 calls) Two voting machine; two electioneering within 100 feet of polls; one campaign violation; one election official
- Franklin County: (2 calls) Election official; electioneering within 100 feet of polls
- Garrard County: Procedural question
- Green County: Election official
- Greenup County: Residency
- Hardin County: Election official
- Harlan County: (7 calls) Two electioneering within 100 feet of polls; one disrupting polls; one legal question; one request for assistance, monitoring; one vote buying/selling (bribery); one voter assistance
- Harrison County: Voter identification
- Jackson County: Dead people voting
- Jefferson County: (65 calls) Seventeen voting machine; 13 procedural questions; 11 election official; six electioneering within 100 feet of polls; five general election fraud; four voter identification; three legal questions; three special or absentee ballot; two voter assistance; one residency;
- Jessamine County: (4 calls) Electioneering within 100 feet of polls; procedural question; voting machine; legal question
- Johnson County: General election fraud
- Kenton County: (5 calls) Two election official; one electioneering within 100 feet of polls; one legal question; one voting machine
- Knox County: Voting machine
- LaRue County: Voter identification
- Laurel County: (3 calls) One disrupting polls; one election official; one general election fraud
- Letcher County: (3 calls) Residency; voter assistance; election official
- Lincoln County: Procedural question
- Madison County: (14 calls) Five electioneering within 100 feet of polls; three procedural questions; two general election fraud; two voting machine; one residency; one special or absentee ballot
- Magoffin County: (2 calls) Two procedural questions
- Marion County: Procedural question
- McCracken County: Procedural question
- Meade County: (2 calls) Residency; voting machine
- Menifee County: Voting machine
- Mercer County: Electioneering within 100 feet of polls
- Metcalfe County: Voter identification
- Montgomery County: Procedural question
- Muhlenberg County: Procedural question
- Oldham County: (4 calls) Two electioneering within 100 feet of polls; special or absentee ballot; one voter assistance
- Owsley County: Legal question
- Pendleton County: Voter identification
- Pike County: (7 calls) Three procedural questions; one election official; one voting machine; one electioneering within 100 feet of polls; one voter identification
- Powell County: Procedural question
- Pulaski County: (3 calls) Electioneering within 100 feet of polls; procedural question; voter identification
- Rowan County: (3 calls) Two procedural questions; one election official
- Russell County: (2 calls) Procedural question; residency
- Scott County: (4 calls) Two procedural questions; One election official; one voter assistance
- Shelby County: Electioneering within 100 feet of polls
- Trigg County: Procedural question
- Trimble County: General election fraud
- Warren County: Election official
- Whitley County: (2 calls) Election official; procedural question
- Woodford County: Legal question
- Unknown: (4 calls) One disrupting polls; one electioneering within 100 feet of polls; one general election fraud; one voter identification
Voter intimidation, long wait times: What Kentucky Googled on Election Day
8:50 p.m. — Earlier today, we introduced you to this awesome ProPublica / Google News Lab map that showed spikes in Google Search terms related to voter issues.
Now that polls have closed, you’ll want to check out what Kentuckians searched for as the Election Day progressed. Spend some time with this interactive map. — Alexandra Kanik
Some hiccups, but mostly smooth process in Jefferson, Kenton counties
7:55 p.m. — As votes continue to be tabulated in Jefferson County, officials were reporting that Election Day wrapped with just a few hiccups.
Some complaints earlier in the day about electioneering near polling places were investigated and unfounded, according to Jefferson County Clerk spokesman Nore Ghibaudy.
State law says electioneering must take place 100 feet from the polls. None of the problem spots were within that limit, he said. Problems with voting machines early in the day were also resolved, Ghibaudy said. No votes went uncounted, he added.
In Kenton County, near Cincinnati, county clerk Gabrielle Summe said turnout was strong and voting smooth. The complaints she heard were typical of any election night.
“‘We had people not sure what ballot they’re supposed to get, not sure where they’re supposed to vote, which is typical whether a local or presidential race,” Summe said. — Kate Howard
Big turnout, few complaints in several eastern Ky. counties
7:20 p.m. — Officials in three eastern Kentucky counties reported heavy voter turnout and a generally uneventful Election Day.
Perry Judge-Executive Scott Alexander said voting appeared to be robust at his polling place in Hazard but that he had heard no complaints from around the county about excessive delays or fraud.
Laurel County Clerk Dean Johnson said his office has been “extremely busy,” with turnout perhaps approaching 60 percent — higher than four years ago.
Johnson said he was aware of only one complaint, about an allegedly “testy” election officer. While that could have been true, Johnson said, he hadn’t had time to investigate. And he defended election officers in general due to the long hours they work and the large crowds they may have to handle.
Voter turnout also was heavy in Floyd County, but with no complaints about excessively long lines, according to a clerk’s office employee. The employee also said the office had been notified of a complaint about election officers not checking voters’ identification. But it was pointed out that state law allows “personal acquaintance” as acceptable verification of identity.
Another complaint, about a courthouse voting machine malfunction, also was deemed to be without merit after technicians and election officials examined the machine and found that it was working properly, the clerk’s office employee said. — R.G. Dunlop
Justice Department doesn’t send monitors to Ky.
7 p.m. — The U.S. Justice Department deployed more than 500 people today to monitor polls at 67 jurisdictions in 28 states. But not a single DOJ monitor was scheduled to step foot in Kentucky.
No explanation was provided in the news release from the department’s Office of Public Affairs as to how or why the 67 jurisdictions were selected.
A 2014 Justice Department study found that the Eastern District of Kentucky ranked 17th among the 93 U.S. attorneys’ districts nationwide in total convictions for public corruption — a category that includes vote buying — in the previous decade. — R.G. Dunlop
A look back at 2012
6:20 p.m. — While we wait for the polls to close and the votes to be tallied, here’s an overview of how each Kentucky county voted back in 2012’s presidential election:
So far, no widespread voting problems reported
5:50 p.m. — Almost eight hours into Election Day, Kentucky’s election fraud hotline hasn’t turned up any widespread problems. Attorney General Andy Beshear’s fraud line received 155 calls as of 3:30 p.m., his office said in a news release. Almost a quarter of the calls were questions about procedure or law.
Calls came from 46 of Kentucky’s 120 counties. The counties with the most calls are also the most populous.
Fifty voters called from Jefferson County, where complaints cited voting machines (15), election officials (6), electioneering (5), general fraud (4), among others.
Beshear’s office released the latest tally at 5:30 p.m. today and pledged an update in two hours. Polls close at 6 p.m. in each time zone. — Kate Howard
Ballot selfies sparking controversy
4:40 p.m. — Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said some precincts around the state have been improperly banning voters from using their cell phones in the ballot booth. Grimes said voters in Scott County were instructed to not take selfies in the ballot booth, despite a recent attorney general’s opinion permitting people to do so.
“At the end of the day, we want to make sure that the experience, especially as we move towards the 6 p.m. hour, does not continue but rather folks are having an engaging, positive, enthusiastic experience free of harm, fear or intimidation,” said Grimes.
There have been several complaints across the state of precinct officers posting flyers saying that cell phone use is forbidden. It’s not. (Read “What You Need To Know Before You Hit The Polls“)
“There are a number of precincts that have signs that are not issued by the state board of elections that are up in the precincts; they say ‘no cell phones allowed per Kentucky revised statute,’” she said. “They obviously cite a very outdated statute.”
Grimes said that clerks were notified last week that cell phone use and ballot selfies were permitted, as long as other voters or ballots weren’t included in the photos. — Ryland Barton, Kentucky Public Radio
What Kentucky is Googling on Election Day
Earlier today, folks in Mount Washington were Googling “long wait times.” At noon, people were searching the term “voter intimidation” in Henderson and “provisional ballot” in London.
What are people putting into Google in your neck of the woods? Find out.
We’ll have more data point from this map — created via the Electionland project — later today.
If you think you’ve got it bad…
3:50 p.m. — If it seems like your TV time has been carpet-bombed with campaign advertising, some data indicate you might well be right.
Parts of the Ohio Valley region stand out in analyses of campaign spending on high volume TV spots. In West Virginia, there were 58,000 ads on state races alone.
True Life: How I became an election scofflaw
3:10 p.m. — When KyCIR reporter Kate Howard moved to Kentucky earlier this year, she promptly registered to vote. Then she realized something surprising: she’s still registered in four other states.
She’s breaking the rules, sort of. And you might be too. (Read “True Life: How I Became An Election Scofflaw“)
Sheriff: No reports of KKK flyers
1:40 p.m. — The Laurel County sheriff’s office said it has no confirmation of social media and state Democratic Party reports that the Ku Klux Klan allegedly distributed threatening brochures in the Lily community, about seven miles south of London.
Deputy Gilbert Acciardo told KyCIR he knew of no information verifying the reports. The sheriff’s office had not received any complaints from Lily residents about such flyers as of midday Tuesday.
Acciardo said the only call to his office pertaining to a Klan brochure was from another part of the county and involved a lone “recruitment” document that contained nothing of a threatening nature.
Yesterday evening, a Kentucky Democratic Party spokesman sent a KyCIR reporter an email with two images and a claim that the “fliers were left at many homes” of “people who didn’t have a Trump sign in their yard” in Laurel County.
The images showed a brochure stating, “BEWARE: The Klan is watching and we do not like what you’re doing!”
As of this 10:30 a.m., the Attorney General’s fraud hotline had not received any reports from Laurel County. — R.G. Dunlop
Vote hauling rumors murky in eastern Ky.
1:10 p.m. — In recent days, the usual rumors started flying: vote fraud was rampant once again in eastern Kentucky.
“I am hearing from credible sources that there are massive Democrat vote-hauling operations” in the works, one government employee told me in a text message.
KyCIR’s R.G. Dunlop sorted through the latest claims and found they are a lil’ murky.
AG reports 64 calls to fraud hotline
12:30 p.m. — Through 10:30 a.m., the Kentucky Attorney General’s fraud hotline received 64 calls across 26 counties.
Not all the calls were allegations of fraud: more than a third of the calls this morning were procedural questions, legal questions or for voter assistance. The rest included problems with voting machines, poll disruption, electioneering within 100 feet of the polls, residency or voter identification issues, and election official problems.
Jefferson County garnered 23 calls, according to a press release from the Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office. The office plans to share updates later today.
The polls close at 6 p.m. local time. Kentuckians who want to report voting problems or irregularities can call 800-328-8683 (800-328-VOTE). — Kate Howard
Voting machine problems reported in Jefferson County
11:50 a.m. — When Michael Roberts tried to record his vote at Broadway Baptist on Brownsboro Road in Louisville, a poll worker directed him to drop his ballot in a slot instead. He wasn’t surprised. The same thing happened last election, he said.
His polling location’s machine was down. While poll officers waited for a tech worker to come out, they promised the ballots would be counted later.
“I don’t feel good about it,” Roberts told KyCIR. “In all likelihood it’s probably nothing nefarious, but it’s disheartening for the second year in a row.”
Roberts’ tip came in via ProPublica’s Electionland project, a collaborative national reporting effort.
The glitch he experienced was one of a couple in Jefferson County this morning, according to court clerk spokesman Nore Ghibaudy.
Traffic has been heavy, with lines reported at a few precincts and a few others reporting trouble with the scanning machine, Ghibaudy said.
Ghibaudy said technicians have tended to all the problem machines. The ballots will be counted by a bipartisan team of election workers.
“All the votes have been cast, and they have been or will be scanned,” he said. — Kate Howard
Watchdogging Election Day
10:50 a.m. — By now, you’ve heard candidates forecast a “rigged election.” You’ve probably seen Facebook posts and email chains purporting all types of election conspiracies. According to one election law expert, voter fraud is rare and unlikely to sway ballot results.
“It would be a pretty strange and stupid way to try to rig an election,” said Joshua Douglas, of the University of Kentucky College of Law. Read more of Douglas’ take on voter fraud, via WFPL News.
Remember, we are watchdogging voting issues across the state with Propublica’s Electionland project. We’re getting some tips now and working to verify. Stay tuned.
10:20 a.m. — Our pals at the Ohio Valley ReSource have rounded up several election-related issues playing out across the region. Learn how the opioid crisis, fossil fuels and trade have impacted today’s races. Check it out.
1 in 4 black Kentuckians can’t vote today
9:15 a.m. — When Kentucky goes to the polls today, a law that ban felons from voting will leave more than 300,000 potential voters on the sidelines. That’s a full nine percent of Kentucky’s voting age population.
Most states give felons their right to vote back when they leave prison, or finish their probation or parole. But Kentucky is one of three states still clinging to a permanent ban. Here, only the governor can restore their vote.
About 240,000 of the state’s felons have finished their sentences. Disproportionately, they’re black, and 1 in 4 African-Americans in the state can’t vote. KyCIR’s Kate Howard examined this issue last week. Click here for more. And give it a listen:
Kentucky goes to the polls
8:10 a.m. — Kentucky has 3,306,120 adults registered to vote in this election. Here’s how they registered: 51 percent (Democrat), 40 percent (Republican) and 8 percent for other parties or independent.
Is your county red or blue? Check out our interactive map with a party affiliation breakdown for all 120 counties.
7 a.m. — Polls are now open (6 a.m. CST) in western Kentucky.
We’re following voting issues across the state all day. Follow WFPL News for the latest in Louisville elections. Keep up with us on Twitter #KYvote. And for more on national voting issues, follow @Electionland.