FAIRBANKS — Democrat Kathryn Dodge has appealed the results of the House District 1 recount to the Alaska Supreme Court.
Dodge, who filed the appeal Wednesday afternoon, trailed Republican Bart LeBon by a single vote after the Division of Elections certified the results of the recount on Friday.
"After careful consideration and consultation with my legal team, I have decided to appeal the recount results based on decisions concerning several ballots made by the Division of Elections with which we did not agree," Dodge said in a statement Wednesday.
The final result by the Alaska Division of Elections has LeBon with 2,263 votes and Dodge with 2,262 in the contest to represent central Fairbanks in the state House.
The results of the recount were certified Friday by election officials in Juneau, but several ballots were left uncounted because of questionable voting methods, casting methods or both.
“My commitment is to do all I can to ensure that every legally cast vote is counted correctly," Dodge said. "Ultimately, it's about determining and honoring the voters' intent — whatever that may be."
This race has gone back and forth between the two candidates with a tie on election night, Dodge pulling ahead by one vote in a hand audit, and LeBon pulling ahead by a single vote during the official recount.
"I believe that it is important to follow the process through so that absolutely no doubt remains about this incredibly close result," Dodge said. "My team and I feel optimistic moving ahead and look forward to making sure the tally is correct, down to the last vote."
LeBon said the possibility of appealing results opens up a can of worms, referring to a possible appeal as "the battle of challenged ballots."
"They had ballots they were challenging, we had ballots we were challenging that weren't counted," LeBon said Wednesday afternoon.
LeBon noted that if one candidate goes "down that road, it's a two way street."
"The Division of Elections has made their determination, so now can you put forth the compelling argument that the court would reverse the Division of Elections? And if you reverse on a ballot," he said, "then how do you treat the other half a dozen and where do you draw the line?"
LeBon also noted what a possible reversal of the results could look like for the Division of Elections.
"I'm sure they would be a little concerned that their judgment would be called into question," he said. "So, we're entering interesting waters, to say the least."
LeBon's victory, if it holds following appeal, gives House Republicans a 21-19 majority over Democrats, cementing Republican control of the House, the Senate and the governor's office for the upcoming legislative session that begins Jan. 15.
Whoever wins will be replacing Democratic Rep. Scott Kawasaki, who won a Senate seat by defeating Republican Sen. Pete Kelly.
Contact staff writer Erin McGroarty at 459-7544. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/FDNMPolitics.