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Coghill Will Ask for Recount

Rynnieva Moss

North Pole state Senator John Coghill says he will ask the Division of Elections for a recount of the Republican primary race for Senate District B. Coghill has lost the race to  Robert Myers  by 14 votes.

Another primary race for the Democrats in House District 1 may also face a recount.

According to Alaska law (AS 15.20.450) if the difference between candidates is 20 votes or less, (or was less than .5 percent of the total number of votes cast for the two candidates for the contested office,) the state will pay for a recount.

On Friday, the Division of Elections finished counting absentee and questioned ballots and that decided some races with very close numbers.

In Senate District B, only 14 votes separate Robert Myers, the apparent victor, from John Coghill. Because that is within the margin of error described in the law, the state will recount the ballots, if one of the candidates asks. Coghill says he will.

“I’m gonna definitely call for a recount; when it’s this close, you just need to double-check everything.”

Reviewers will be working today (Monday) on the last of the August 18th primary election. Tiffany Montemayor (MAHN-ta MEYE-or) of the Alaska Division of Elections says the ballots will get one more review today before the election is Certified.

“They are going to go through our State Review Board. Our target deadline to have everything Certified is August 30th.”

As soon as that is done, Coghill’s request for a recount should be formally received.

“I’ve already sent in an email saying, ‘once the Certification comes out, if it remains the number that you gave me on Saturday, I would like this notice that I would like a recount.”

State law says the recount must be held within five days of the Elections Director receiving the request.

And in House District 1, Christopher Quist has won the Democrat primary over Bennie Colbert by a mere 8 votes. That, too, is within the statutory limit for a state-funded recount, if one of the candidates, or 10 interested voters, make the formal request.

Colbert says he is being encouraged by supporters to request a recount, but as of Sunday night, he had not made up his mind.