Election review shrinks Anchorage house race margin to 13 votes

A man in a mask and a baseball hat stands in front of a plastic shield. On the other side, a man in a mask sits at a table
Voters sign for their ballots at the Auke Bay precinct on Tuesday, Nov. 3, in Juneau. The election results were certified and became official on Monday. (Rashah McChesney/KTOO)

Alaska’s election results became official on Monday. A state review board certified the results after reviewing the accuracy of the vote count. 

Some of the vote totals changed slightly. 

In an East Anchorage House race, Democrat Liz Snyder’s lead over Republican Rep. Lance Pruitt shrank by three votes to 13. Snyder gained one vote while Pruitt gained four. 

Statewide, the total number of ballots counted increased by 716, but the lead didn’t change in any race. 

A state Division of Elections spokesperson said the changes were the result of a combination of uncounted ballots from precincts, absentee and questioned ballots. They included ballots that had been mailed to the division director’s office rather than to a regional office. Ballots in regional offices were counted earlier. 

Candidates or voters have five days to ask for a recount in any race. The Snyder-Pruitt race is the only one that’s close enough that the state would be required to pay for the cost of a recount. 

Recounts have changed the winners of legislative general elections four times in Alaska history. Three of those changes broke ties, including in a Fairbanks House race two years ago when Republican Bart LeBon won over Democrat Kathryn Dodge by one vote. The only time a lead changed after a recount was in a 1978 state Senate race. 

But Snyder’s lead is larger than the leads were in any of those races.  

In addition to any recount, Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer has requested an audit for the results of Ballot Measure 2. The measure, which passed by 3,781 votes, will overhaul Alaska’s election system. The audit will be similar to a recount. 

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Andrew Kitchenman is the state government and politics reporter for Alaska Public Media and KTOO in Juneau. Reach him at akitchenman@alaskapublic.org.