New Ballot Count Called by Thomas

     There will be a recount in the race for House District 34 between Sitka Democrat Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins and Haines Republican Bill Thomas.
    Thomas filed his request for a recount around 2 p.m. today, said Gail Fenumiai, director of the state Division of Elections.
    “I just filed to see what would happen,” Thomas said. “I can, and it don’t cost me any money, and people wanted me to do it. So I figured, ‘Why not?’”
    The eight-year House incumbent fell 34 votes short of the 23-year-old Kreiss-Tomkins, 4,125 to 4,091 in the results certified last Friday.
    The official recount is slated to take place 9 a.m. Monday Dec. 3, at the division of elections office in Juneau, Fenumiai said.
    “I’ll be there,” said Kreiss-Tomkins, who has been present at the absentee and questioned ballot counts that have been held so far. He said he plans to be in Juneau anyway, to start preparing for the upcoming legislative session in January.
    Kreiss-Tomkins said he is looking forward to seeing the conclusion of the process.
    “It’s the final step in a lengthy election saga,” Kreiss-Tomkins said. “It’s great to see the end in sight.”
    Thomas said he will not go to Juneau to witness the recount. He said he will be taking his wife to visit family.
    Thomas added that he has no expectations one way or the other for the recount but that he’s specifically interested in the recounted results from some of the smaller villages where ballots are hand counted. Thomas said in his first election, for instance, the initial vote tallies were off by 60 votes.
    Fenumiai, who has worked in the division of elections for 16 years, told the Sentinel Tuesday she had never seen a double-digit change resulting from an official recount.

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