February 5, 2019 Blog, Media, Press Release

13th House District Recount Report Confirms Election Interference

Daviess County Clerk Says Voter Did not Intend to Cast Vote and Felt Pressured by Johnson’s Lawyers: “I don’t think that’s what the intention was,” County Clerk and elections board member Leslie McCarty said Saturday, “but based on what they’re saying, we have to count it.”

Frankfort, KY— On Tuesday, the Daviess County Board of Elections released the “2019 Report of 13th Legislative District Recount.” The report confirms that Lawyers for DJ Johnson interfered with the recount process in violation of the law.

Lawyers for DJ Johnson told the Associated Press on Monday that they had “merely advised” the local county attorney. The description from the Daviess County Board of Elections report contradicts that claim.

The ballot in question appeared to have about a third of the Straight-Party Republican box colored in, and then a solid line crossing out the entire box and the words “Republican Party.” According to the report filed by the Daviess County Board of Elections, their decision was unanimous to reject the ballot:“The Board came together and had a discussion on the ballot. In the final vote, the Board took a vote away from DJ Johnson saying that the intent the voter was not to vote straight-party but to make individual selections. The argument was that the voter appeared to start to cast a straight-party vote and changed their mind; thus making the other selections. In the end, the Board was unanimous.”

The report makes clear that Johnson’s lawyers directly intervened:

“After showing the media, public, and the representative of the candidates, a detailed explanation was given. The Associated Press Reporter, Adam Beam, tweeted the image and story out. The representatives from DJ Johnson then questioned the move and asked for clarification based on 31 KAR 6:030 Section 5.”

And:

“At the end of the night, DJ Johnson and his attorney petitioned the Board to appeal its earlier Ruling.”

Reporting from the Messenger-Inquirer appears to confirm the interference, and again, directly contradicts the story told by lawyers for Johnson:

“In the presence of the board of elections, Shull, speaking with County Attorney Claud Porter, cited an elections regulation that says a horizontal line in a box on a ballot counts as a vote. After Shull spoke, Johnson requested the board confirm they were rejecting the ballot.”

Most shocking is that the Messenger-Inquirer reports that in the discussion during the Saturday recount County Clerk, and elections board member, Leslie McCarty openly expressed that she did not believe the ballot in question was a vote for DJ Johnson but felt pressure to change the decision from DJ Johnson’s lawyers:

“I don’t think that’s what the intention was,” County Clerk and elections board member Leslie McCarty said Saturday, “but based on what they’re saying, we have to count it.”

“The report directly refutes the story told by the lawyers for Johnson, and it’s a serious violation of law,” said Marisa McNee spokeswoman for the Kentucky Democratic Party. “DJ Johnson asked for a recount, and he got it. But when it looked like he was going to lose the recount by the same 1 vote margin his lawyers pressured the Board into manufacturing a vote out of thin air. It’s unconscionable.”