FAIRBANKS, Alaska - A tally of absentee and questioned ballots yesterday at the borough building brought vote counting from last week's municipal election to a close.
But one race was decided by a razor-thin margin.
On Election Day, the race for Borough Assembly Seat H was tight, with front-runner Aaron Lojewski leading Leah Berman Williams by a few hundred votes.
During yesterday's count of absentee and questioned ballots, that margin became minuscule.
At the end of the count, Lojewski was still ahead, but by only five votes - a mere few hundredths of a percent out of more than 21 thousand total ballots cast.
Trailing candidate Williams has the option of calling for a recount.
But because there's no provision in borough code for a recount to be automatic, except in the case of an exact tie, she would be on the hook for the costs if the result doesn't change - and that could add up to thousands of dollars.
Williams says she's decided against asking for a recount, but hopes the tight race will lead to changes in borough code.
Leah Berman Williams; Borough Assembly Candidate>>"I suppose I could say let's recount all of the 21,000 ballots. I have no idea how much that would cost. I estimate that it would take about 30 staff hours, simply to feed them into the machine if they were able to feed them at the rate they were being fed in yesterday. I think it's really too bad that the borough code doesn't have a mechanism other than an exact tie where a recount happens automatically. Because I know I would feel a lot better about it and a lot of people would feel a lot better about it if they were convinced that everyone's votes had been counted without error."