Officials are refuting online claims that a gas leak at one polling place in Kentucky’s largest county was election rigging that helped Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear win reelection.
The claims amassed thousands of shares on social media Tuesday after reports of a gas leak at Highland Baptist Church in Louisville caused polls there to close for about 30 minutes while Louisville Gas & Electric investigated the issue. The delay prompted a judge to extend voting at the church until 6:30 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. EST.
Social media users questioned whether the gas leak was real and insinuated that extended voting hours in a Democratic county gave Beshear the votes he needed to win.
The delay was prompted by a legitimate report of gas emitting from a stove in the church, said Chris Whelan, a spokesperson for Louisville Gas & Electric. Gas was detected, but not at hazardous levels, she said. The stove was turned off and it dissipated.
“This was a legitimate instance of a gas leak so any claims otherwise, we just think are patently absurd,” Erran Huber of the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office said.
Huber added that only one voter came to cast a ballot between 6 and 6:30 p.m. at either of the two polling places in the county where a judge extended voting hours. The other polling place, an elementary school, was temporarily shut down Tuesday morning because of a police pursuit.
This was a legitimate instance of a gas leak so any claims otherwise, we just think are patently absurd.