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The Latest: Alaska appeals decision in disputed race

October 06, 2016 - 5:32 PM

JUNEAU, Alaska - The Latest on the House District 40 race in Alaska (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

The state is appealing a judge's decision that overturned the results a northern Alaska legislative election and awarded the race to Rep. Benjamin Nageak.

Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott oversees elections for the state. In a statement, he expressed disappointment with the court decision released Thursday. He says the state has already appealed the ruling to the Alaska Supreme Court and wants "absolute clarity" on the issues involved.

He says the state will follow whatever steps the high court deems appropriate to ensure a fair election for Nageak and Dean Westlake, the two candidates featured in the disputed House District 40 race.

Election results had shown Nageak lost his primary by eight votes to Westlake. But Superior Court Judge Andrew Guidi found errors in how the election was conducted and deducted 12 votes from Westlake and two from Nageak.

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1:45 p.m.

A state court judge has overturned the results of a northern Alaska legislative election, awarding the race to Rep. Benjamin Nageak.

The ruling by Superior Court Judge Andrew Guidi can be appealed to the Alaska Supreme Court.

Election results that showed Nageak lost his primary by eight votes to fellow Democrat Dean Westlake. But Guidi, in finding errors in how the election was conducted, deducted 12 votes from Westlake and two from Nageak.

Nageak, of Barrow, had challenged the outcome of the House District 40 race.

Nageak's attorneys pointed out several concerns, including that all voters in the village of Shungnak received both the Republican ballot and the ballot for other parties, including Democrats. State law dictates that a voter only gets one ballot.

An attorney for the state conceded errors were made but argued they didn't meet the threshold to successfully challenge the election result.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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