Trailing by 14 votes, Coghill asks for recount

Sen. John Coghill, R-North Pole, responds to Gov. Bill Walker’s annual State of the State Address during a Senate Majority press conference, Jan. 21, 2016. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

North Pole state Sen. John Coghill says he will ask the Division of Elections for a recount in his Republican primary race. Coghill lost the race for Senate District B to Robert Myers by 14 votes, according to unofficial results from the Division of Elections.

According to Alaska law, the state will pay for a recount if the difference between candidates is 20 votes or fewer or less than 0.5% of the total number of votes cast for the contested office.

On Friday, the Division of Elections finished counting absentee and questioned ballots.

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

Monday, reviewers will be working through the last of the August 18 primary election results.

Tiffany Montemayor of the Alaska Division of Elections says the ballots will get one more review today before the election is certified.

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.

In House District 1, Christopher Quist won the Democratic primary over Bennie Colbert by a mere eight votes, according to the unofficial results. That, too, is within the statutory limit for a state-funded recount if requested by one of the candidates or 10 interested voters.

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

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