Thomas seeks recount
State Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Haines, filed a recount request for the House District 34 election Tuesday.
Democrat Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins of Sitka was declared the official winner of the race Friday when the Division of Elections certified the results. Kreiss-Tomkins won by 34 votes.
The recount will begin at 9 a.m. Monday and will be conducted by machine, Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai said. It should take three to four hours to complete.
“The reason I did it is because some of the communities hand-count and they may have allowed something to go in not allowed by the Division of Elections,” Thomas said.
“It works and sometimes it doesn’t work. I owe it to the people that supported me to do it,” he added.
Thomas said he waited until the last minute to request the recount because he didn’t want it to interfere with funeral arrangements for his friend David Stone, who passed away last week.
Tomkins said he recently went on a “rabid research spree” to investigate how recounts have affected past Alaska races. He said he isn’t concerned the recount will change the election results.
“Speaking with history as a reference, I feel the margin is very secure,” Tomkins said.
Fenumiai said she doesn’t think she has ever conducted a recount with such a high vote spread. She said recount totals tend to change results only by a handful of votes.
Tomkins will travel to Juneau with several campaign volunteers to observe the recount.
“I don’t blame Bill one bit for requesting the recount. I think it’s a fair thing to do for your supporters. This is all part of the public process,” he said.
Though Tomkins will not officially take office until Jan. 15 if the election results stand, he is already interviewing potential staff, meeting with the directors of various agencies, and networking with constituents to lay the groundwork for his time in office.
Fenumiai expects to post the results of the recount on the Division of Elections website by Monday afternoon.