Election deniers are getting closer to winning offices in swing states. So how is Kentucky faring?
Despite an onslaught of frivolous requests gumming up the works for Kentucky county clerks in recent weeks, the state’s top election official is sounding more upbeat as the midterms approach — and he's encouraged to see election deniers not gaining a foothold in the commonwealth's election system.
Kentucky’s Secretary of State Michael Adams – a Republican – found himself called out by name last month by My Pillow CEO and prominent election denier Mike Lindell, who urged his followers to “bombard” Adams’ office with requests.
It was only the latest headache for election officials, who have dealt with an increasing number of baseless accusations and flimsy recount demands. This year, the state has lost nine county clerks to the mounting stress. And to put that in perspective, in 2020 – hardly an easygoing year either – the state lost only two.
But while Adams calls that a "warning shot," there has been better-than-expected retention of clerks running for reelection, he says. And compared to just a month ago, Adams says he’s feeling much better now about the state’s odds for a fairly calm election come November.
"The requests are dying down. The lawsuits are dying down," Adams reports. "And we can just do our real job and focus on making this election smooth."
One piece of news that should have the state's voters breathing a little easier: Adams says Kentucky has yet to see 2020 election deniers inching closer to positions of power in the election system.
"We, unlike a lot of states, did not have a large number of election deniers running to be election officials."Secretary of State Michael Adams
"We only had one county that I know of where there was a primary challenge and the guy ran on this stuff, and he lost by a pretty convincing margin, over 3-to-1, so I take a lot of solace in that," the secretary adds.
Still, while less competitive races may be tamping down the intensity in the home stretch of this year's midterms, Adams is more concerned about the 2023 governor’s race — which could reignite political passions and send blood pressure skyward again in county clerks offices.