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Why Sanders Requested A 'Recanvass' And Not A 'Recount' In Kentucky

Sen. Bernie Sanders sits for an interview with The Associated Press Monday.
Jae C. Hong
/
AP
Sen. Bernie Sanders sits for an interview with The Associated Press Monday.

Bernie Sanders' campaign has requested a "recanvass" of voting in the Kentucky primary — not a "recount."

They are not the same.

What's the difference?

As NPR's Asma Khalid noted on air — a recanvass will "entail checking all of the voting machines and absentee ballots in all each of the state's counties to verify the accuracy of the vote totals."

In other words, individual ballots will not be checked. A recount would have re-checked how people voted on actual ballots.

Hillary Clinton leads Sanders by less than 2,000 votes following the May 17 primary.

You mean they won't check actual ballots?

Nope.

Why would Sanders not request a recount then?

Because his campaign would have to pay for it. The state pays for the recanvass.

Politically, it 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.

Not to mention — all of this is over probably one delegate. The AP allocated 27 pledged delegates apiece for Clinton and Sanders with one outstanding. Clinton currently leads by 271 pledged delegates and 766 overall.

Here's the Louisville Courier-Journal's explainer from the last time the state conducted a recanvass.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Domenico Montanaro is NPR's senior political editor/correspondent. Based in Washington, D.C., his work appears on air and online delivering analysis of the political climate in Washington and campaigns. He also helps edit political coverage.
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