The Alaska Supreme Court has ruled against a Democratic candidate's request to consider materials in a Fairbanks race which could sway control of the state House to a GOP majority.

Tom Amodio, an attorney for Democrat Kathryn Dodge, said the five-justice court refused Dodge’s request in a brief emergency order at about 5 p.m. Wednesday.

“It was basically denied,” Amodio said. “It was not an elaborate order.”

Both the apparent victor in the House District 1 race by a single vote, Republican Barton LeBon, and Dodge had asked the state Supreme Court to reach a decision on allowing affidavits regarding challenged ballots in the case by noon Thursday.

Earlier this month, Dodge said in an appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court that the Division of Elections made mistakes with four ballots during a recount that gave Republican Bart LeBon a one-vote victory in the Fairbanks House race.

At one point Dodge took a short-lived lead before certified results had the two candidates tied. A recount reversed that lead in LeBon’s favor by one vote. Dodge subsequently appealed the case on an expedited basis.                                                                                        

 

In a Tuesday filing, Dodge asked the state’s highest court to “correct or supplement the record” with materials held by the state Division of Elections regarding three of the challenged votes. Those materials include affidavits in which one voter confirms that he resides in House District 1 and a second says he does not.

“The Division currently has in its possession affidavits by two of three voters in question, but the Division has failed to include these affidavits in the record,” Dodge’s attorneys wrote.

Responding filings Wednesday from both the Division of Elections and attorneys for LeBon, however, ask the court’s five justices to reject Dodge’s request because the election was certified Nov. 30 and the materials Dodge seeks were generated on Dec. 5.

“The division never contemplated including these documents because they are not part of the ‘record of the recount taken,’” state attorneys wrote in their filing.

Wednesday’s ruling, Amodio said, leaves Dodge’s legal team free to present materials before the special master in the case, Superior Court Judge Aaron Aarseth.

“Essentially, they said it will not be part of the record on appeal,” Amodio said. “It does not restrict us from presenting materials at the evidentiary hearing next Thursday.”

A request for comment from LeBon’s legal team was awaiting a response Thursday afternoon.

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