Uncounted ballot investigated in tied Alaska House race

JUNEAU — State election officials said Monday they are trying to determine whether a ballot apparently marked for Democrat Kathryn Dodge in a tied state House race should be counted.

The race between Dodge and Republican Bart LeBon was certified as a tie Monday. But Josie Bahnke, the director of the Division of Elections, told reporters the ballot could still be counted, based on an investigation into its origin.

She said the ballot appears to have been marked for Dodge.

It was in a bin with so-called questioned ballots though it was determined that the ballot itself was not a questioned ballot, she said.

Voters in certain situations are asked to vote a questioned ballot, including if their name is not on the precinct register. They must fill out an envelope, which their voted ballot is placed into. Information provided on the envelope is used to determine the voter’s eligibility.

A recount is scheduled for Friday.

Dodge and LeBon are vying to replace Fairbanks Democratic Rep. Scott Kawasaki, who won a state Senate seat. The outcome of the House race will be critical in deciding control of the chamber.

LeBon said he has questions about how the ballot was handled. Questions about other ballots also could be raised during the recount, he said.

He expects the results of the recount, should one of the two lose, to be challenged, he said.

Bahnke said officials asked the precinct chair Monday for a written response to some questions and hope to speak with precinct workers about any recollections they have about the ballot.

More in News

Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion 
                                The entrance to the Kenai Peninsula Borough building in Soldotna is seen here on June 1.
Application period for borough relief funds begins Monday

Borough residents can apply for these grants July 13 through July 24.

Homer Farmers Market: Farmers offer stability in times of uncertainty

In a time of uncertainty, it certainly is nice to know where… Continue reading

Hospital adds new COVID-19 rooms

An increase last month in positive COVID-19 cases on the lower Kenai… Continue reading

Peonies cover a table, ready to receive people at a field to vase dinner tour hosted by Certified American Grown Flowers on Saturday, July 29, 2017 at Scenic Place Peonies in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Homer Peony Celebration begins this week

With many large or indoor events canceled this year due to the… Continue reading

COVID-19. (Image courtesy the CDC)
9 new COVID-19 cases on the Kenai Peninsula

The central Kenai Peninsula saw growth in the number of new COVID-19… Continue reading

The Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion file photo)
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly overrides mayoral veto of hybrid election system ordinance

Members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough assembly voted to override a mayoral… Continue reading

Independence Day parade organized after official event gets canceled

The continued spread of COVID-19 across Alaska prompted many official organizations and… Continue reading

A young volunteer chases three piglets named Mary Hamkins, Petunia and Sir Oinks-a-lot through a race during the pig races at the Kenai Peninsula Fair on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Kenai Peninsula Fair canceled this year

Cotton candy, carnival rides and racing pigs will have to wait for… Continue reading

Members of the Homer City Council interview candidate Rob Dumouchel for the job of city manager on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 via Zoom in Homer, Alaska. Top row from left to right: Council member Joey Evensen, Mayor Ken Castner, Council member Heath Smith. Middle row from left to right: Council members Donna Aderhold, Rachel Lord and Storm Hansen-Cavasos. Bottom row from left to right: Candidate Rob Dumouchel and Council member Caroline Venuti.
Council offers city manager job to California candidate

The Homer City Council voted last week to offer the job of… Continue reading

Most Read