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Ky. attorney general's office randomly selects 12 counties for post-primary election audits


A number of counties’ primary election results will be getting a statutorily-mandated once-over from Kentucky’s attorney general’s office.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced Tuesday that 12 counties were randomly selected to go through post-primary election audits, including Boyd, Graves, Grayson, Hopkins, Jackson, Madison, Metcalfe, Monroe, Nicholas, Pendleton, Powell and Rockcastle.

The attorney general’s Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI) will be performing the audits to determine “if any irregularities took place” during the election, a release from Cameron’s office said.

“Post-election audits are an important part of our efforts to protect the integrity of Kentucky’s elections and to ensure our elections remain free and fair,” Cameron said in a release. “Our Department of Criminal Investigations works closely with county clerks and their staff to conduct the audit in each county, and we appreciate their partnership in this process.”

Senate Bill 216, passed during the 2022 legislative session, expanded the attorney general’s office’s regular independent inquiry into potential election irregularities from “not fewer than five percent of Kentucky counties” (which would be six of the state’s 120 counties) to “no fewer than 12 counties.” These counties were to be selected randomly in a public forum within 20 days of the election.

SB 216 also says no county can be audited in two consecutive elections. This eliminated Anderson, Boone, Fleming, Hickman, Lawrence and Livingston – which were audited in 2020 general election – from being audited this year. Those audits did not uncover any criminal conduct.

DCI and the attorney general’s Office of Special Prosecutions will present their findings to the grand jury and chief circuit judge of each audited county after the audits are complete.

The attorney general’s office maintains an Election Fraud Hotline throughout the year to monitor potential election law violations. The hotline fielded 82 pre-election day complaints, 148 election day complaints and 65 post-poll closing complaints related to this year’s primary election. A sorted-by-county list of those complaints can be viewed on the attorney general’s website.

A native of western Kentucky, Operle earned his bachelor's degree in integrated strategic communications from the University of Kentucky in 2014. Operle spent five years working for Paxton Media/The Paducah Sun as a reporter and editor. In addition to his work in the news industry, Operle is a passionate movie lover and concertgoer.
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