KENTUCKY | 2015 | Governor


Wide polling discrepancies, statistical evidence, down-ballot anomalies, and deficient voting machines warrant further investigation.


  • Suspicious Results: Voting machine results contradicted the preelection polls by a wide margin.
  • Statistical Evidence: An election integrity researcher found a linear upward trend for the Republican candidate in large precincts.
  • Down-Ballot Anomalies: Democratic candidates for lesser offices posted higher totals than the gubernatorial candidate.
  • No Accountability: The existing paper trail is insufficiently audited to detect or deter election fraud.
  • Shady History: Kentucky has a record of local election fraud, corrupt officials, and voting machine manipulation.
  • Election Defense: A low turnout rate further erodes confidence that the election result reflects the will of Kentucky citizens.

Investigative journalist and election defense expert Brad Friedman discusses the perfect storm of suspicious factors in the 2015 Kentucky governor's race with radio host Thom Hartmann.


Despite running 3–5 percent behind in the polls, voting machines showed Tea Party candidate Matt Bevin defeating Democrat Jack Conway by 8.7 points. This “stunning” flip deserves scrutiny as there are warning signs of a corrupted vote.



Election integrity watchdog Richard Charnin found a pattern of Republican vote share trending upward in large precincts—something that is unlikely in urban areas that tend to vote Democrat.

Charnin’s graph for Jefferson County (Louisville) shows a distinct linear trend that could indicate electronic fraud starting after 50,000 cumulative votes, with votes flipping from Conway to Bevin:

Jefferson County


Much of Kentucky votes without a verifiable paper trail, and where there is a paper trail it has yet to be examined.

Despite security flaws and vulnerability to hacking—demonstrated again and again by major government labs and research universities—Kentucky has failed to replace its deficient electronic voting machines with a transparent system that can be verified by the public.



Typically the race at the top of the ballot attracts more voters than the races for lesser offices further down the page (around 15 percent of voters fail to vote on down-ballot races).

But in Kentucky several down-ballot Democrats received more votes than the Democratic candidate for governor. The secretary of state, attorney general, and state auditor all received tens of thousands more votes.


Matt Bevin: 511,771
Jack Conway: 426,944 (D)

Secretary of State

Alison Grimes: 493,600 (D)
Steve Knipper: 471,239

Attorney General

Andy Beshear: 479,924 (D)
Whitney Westerfield: 477,734

State Auditor

Adam Edelen: 450,316 (D)
Mike Harmon: 486,651



Kentucky has a history of election fraud. Eight officials were sentenced in 2011 on charges of vote buying, falsifying election result reports, and voting machine manipulation—spanning decades of elections. Given this history, investigators should be sensitive to potential fraud.



Finally, turnout was less than 31 percent of registered voters. With such low participation there can be only minimal confidence that the election outcome reflects the will of Kentucky citizens.

Only a hand-counted audit of the paper ballots, where they exist, will give the Bluegrass State confidence that it put a legitimate winner in the governor’s mansion.