And it may shift the balance of power in Alaska’s legislature.
The ever vigilant Democrat vote counters of Alaska have made the most important discovery since gold was found near Nome in 1899. The balance of power in the state legislature has come down to the race in House District 1, where Republican Bart LeBon and Democrat Kathryn Dodge are officially tied with 2,661 votes each. TAS readers will be shocked to learn that a single uncounted ballot has been discovered — inevitably cast for the Democrat. AP reports:
Control of Alaska state government, at least for the next two years, could hinge on a mystery ballot that an election worker found on a table in a Fairbanks voting precinct.… The elections office has said the ballot appeared to be marked for Democrat Kathryn Dodge.
The final decision on whether to include the ballot will be made by Josephine Bahnke, director of the Alaska Division of Elections. Bahnke was appointed by Democrat Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallot before he was forced to resign in October for reasons that he cryptically described as “inappropriate comments” he made to “a person whom I respect and revere.” Meanwhile, the Anchorage Daily News explains the advent of the convenient ballot:
That ballot was found in a gray secrecy sleeve on election night and was deposited in a ballot box normally used for absentee and questioned ballots.… Those ballots are normally accompanied by supplementary material that allows elections officials to determine if an absentee voter is legally allowed to cast a ballot. In this case, there was no such material.
The newly discovered Democrat vote will obviously complicate that process wherein a recount was already scheduled for today pursuant to the tie vote. And, as is always the case in every close election, the lawyers are circling like so many vultures, including one who has demanded that Democrat candidate Dodge receive credit for the mystery vote and yet another contested ballot on which some hopelessly confused voter selected both candidates.
If Republican Bart LeBon emerges from this morass representing House District 1, the GOP will control Alaska’s House as well as the state’s Senate and governor’s office. If Kathryn Dodge “wins,” the Alaska House will be controlled by a Democrat-led coalition. The GOP could not have encouraged when elections director Josie Bahnke parroted that familiar Democrat mantra about “counting every vote” when stating her ultimate goal in the process.
Nome, Alaska at Gold Rush height in 1900 (Wikimedia Commons)