31 Kentucky counties investigated ‘election fraud’ — but that doesn’t mean what you think it means
Voters At Polling Station In 2012 Presidential Election (Shutterstock)

Out of the 120 counties in Kentucky, 31 of them reported cases of "election fraud," according to WSAZ News. But upon further inspection, what is being reported as "election fraud," isn't as serious as you might think.


Boyd County's County Clerk Debbie Jones was quick to clarify that the report about her county was wrong. "There were no reports of election fraud in Boyd County last night," she said over the phone. She explained she spoke to her representative in the Attorney General's office who said that he was contacting media to explain that the report was inaccurate and give updated information.

WSAZ said that of the 31 counties, Boyd, Floyd, Johnson, Rowan and Pike reported voter fraud. Jones was told by the AG's office that there was only one case of voter fraud and that it was in Pikeville, where, as WSAZ reported, there were procedural questions and questions about an election official reported. Courier-Journal reporter Thomas Loftus tweeted Tuesday night that the AG's office also received a call alleging vote buying in Breathitt County.

Pike County Clerk Rhonda Taylor did not immediately return our calls for additional questions.

The Attorney General Beshear's spokesman told Raw Story in an email, "The office, by law, cannot provide details regarding specific complaints or possible pending investigations, but we take each complaint seriously."

Jones explained that anything that is a violation of election law is considered "voter fraud." Whether it's keeping someone from voting, a misplaced yard sign or even electronic voting machines not working, all of them could be considered "voter fraud" under the law. Thus, any complaint is filed under "allegations of voter fraud."

The Floyd County clerk's office acknowledged via phone that there was a case reported of electioneering in their county, where someone placed campaign materials too close to a polling location, but it was hardly a case of  someone not saying who they say they are or voting machines stealing votes. A similar case was also reported in Jefferson County by someone who called the Attorney General's election hotline.

Only 20 percent of Kentucky's registered voters showed up to the polls last night and Beshear's office confirmed 76 total calls to the hotline from 31 counties.

In a press release sent last week, Beshear even inspired the calls. "I want to encourage voters to be our eyes and ears in the polling places and report any election irregularities to our hotline."

They clearly were. According to the release from the Beshear's office, this was the full list of complaints:

  • Anderson County: Procedural question
  • Barren County: Procedural question
  • Bath County: Procedural question
  • Boone County: Voter identification
  • Bourbon County: Voter assistance
  • Boyd County: Voting machine
  • Boyle County: Procedural question
  • Breathitt County: (five calls) four vote buying/selling, and one procedural question
  • Calloway County: (two calls) Procedural questions
  • Campbell County: Procedural question
  • Clark County: Procedural question
  • Daviess County: Voter assistance
  • Fayette County: (nine calls) Seven procedural questions, one residency and one voter assistance
  • Floyd County: (two calls) Special or absentee ballot and one electioneering within 100 feet of polls
  • Franklin County: Procedural question
  • Hardin County: (two calls) Procedural questions
  • Harrison County: Election official
  • Jefferson County: (25 calls): 10 procedural questions, four legal questions, three voting machine, two election official, two electioneering within 100 feet of polls, two vote buying/selling, one voter assistance and one disrupting polls
  • Jessamine County: (two calls) Procedural question and voter assistance
  • Johnson County: Procedural question
  • Laurel County: Legal question
  • Lincoln County: Procedural question
  • Madison County: (three calls) Electioneering within 100 feet of polls and two procedural questions
  • Morgan County: Legal question
  • Oldham County: (two calls) Procedural question and election official
  • Pike County: Election official
  • Powell County: Voting machine
  • Pulaski County: Procedural question
  • Rockcastle County: Electioneering within 100 feet of polls
  • Rowan County: (two calls) Election official and procedural question
  • Shelby County: Procedural question
  • One person calling from an unknown location: Legal question