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One race flips, others are definite

Counting Absentee and Questioned Ballots has settled elections for Fairbanks City Council, Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly, and FNSB Board of Education. Election results are attached to this story.

Candidates and their supporters gathered in the Borough Assembly Chambers to watch the final counting of 976 Absentee and 421 Questioned ballots. After carefully reviewing each envelope and all the signatures, the ballots were scanned by a board of citizen volunteers.

In the room, everyone was impatient for final results of the races, and borough staff members were trying to print them for the observers. Borough Clerk April Trickey explained the delay.

“We'll get the results loaded up into the, um, into the software and we'll get a complete summary and we'll get it out there. But I'm so -- just bear with me as we hook up the printer.”

While waiting for the printout, election volunteer Leah Berman-Williams read the counts of Absentee ballots out loud.

“Fairbank City Mayor Pruhs 133 Therrien 148, write-in, two. Total, 283.”

That City Mayor’s race remains unchanged from election night. Even though Valerie Therrien had more Absentee votes than David Pruhs, those combined with the questioned ballots were not enough to overcome Pruhs’ election-night lead. He stayed ahead of Therrien by 432 votes, and he will be sworn in as Fairbanks’s new mayor October 24.

After hearing the calculations, Pruhs walked over to Therrien, his long-time colleague on the city council, and gave her a hug.

In the closest race of the municipal election, Fairbanks Cit

y Council incumbent Aaron Gibson came out of election day just 14 votes ahead of Crystal Tidwell. But after Absentee ballots were counted yesterday…

“Fairbanks City Council, Seat D, Gibson 114, Tidwell 155. Write-in three. Total, 272.”

And added to the questioned ballots, Crystal Tidwell leads by just 11 votes.

No other races changed with the count. The very close School Board Seat C race had only 20 votes between the candidates after election night, but with Absentee and Questioned ballots, Brandy Harty expanded that lead to 309 votes ahead of Les Nichols. New school board members will be sworn in on October 31.

The FNSB municipal election results will be certified at a Borough Assembly meeting on October 27.

Robyne began her career in public media news at KUAC, coiling cables in the TV studio and loading reel-to-reel tape machines for the radio station.