Fairbanks House race tied 2 weeks after Election Day

Published: Nov. 21, 2018 at 2:55 PM AKST
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A Fairbanks-area House seat is still unsettled more than two weeks after election day, as the Division of Elections says the two candidates are tied. A recount and potentially a coin toss lay ahead for the race, which sets the stage for which party gains the majority.

House District 1 candidates Bart LeBon, a Republican, and Kathryn Dodge, a Democrat, have 2,661 votes each, a release from the Division says. Wednesday, Nov. 21 was the deadline for overseas ballots to be received.

The state will continue to audit the absentee ballots received before certification of the election, expected on Monday, Nov. 26. Ballots could be disqualified, or ballots that the machine missed may be added in that audit. If the tie still stands, a recount will take place on Friday, Nov. 30.

If more overseas ballots are received after Wednesday’s 15-day deadline, they may be counted in the recount if they were properly cast.

If the tie holds through the recount and any additional overseas ballots – the division said none were delivered in Wednesday’s mail for that district – “the prevailing candidate will be determined under state law,” the Division release said.

Elections spokesperson Samantha Miller said the law calls for a tied race to be determined “by lot,” which includes an object that randomly picks a winner by chance.

In the 2006 Primary, House Speaker Bryce Edgmon won the Democratic primary by a coin toss, then facing a Republican in the general election.

A coin toss is not the only way a winner could be determined, Miller said.