Alaska Legislature

Pruitt trails Snyder by 17 votes in East Anchorage House race as Alaska’s vote-counting enters the final stretch

Anchorage Republican Rep. Lance Pruitt is now trailing Democratic opponent Liz Snyder by 17 votes, according to Sunday results from the Alaska Division of Elections.

Election workers have counted 353,159 ballots, and unofficial estimates indicate about 7,000 remain to be counted. The number of remaining votes has fluctuated in recent days as officials receive new absentee ballots and reject those that fail to meet legal rules.

Estimates indicate as many as 114 ballots remain to be counted in the Anchorage district where Pruitt and Snyder have been competing for votes. Ballot-counting across the state will continue until Nov. 18, with new results Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. After Wednesday, officials expect to conduct a week of double-checking before certifying the results Nov. 25.

The Pruitt-Snyder race was one of four state House races that remained unresolved entering Sunday. In South Anchorage, Republican James Kaufman has defeated Democratic-nominated independent Suzanne LaFrance in one of the other tossup races.

Results Sunday afternoon showed Kaufman leading LaFrance 50%-46%, or by 453 votes. Only 93 votes were believed to remain uncounted on Sunday afternoon.

Two other tossup races are unresolved. In House District 15, Republican David Nelson is seeking to replace Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, whom he defeated in this fall’s Republican primary. Nelson leads Democratic candidate Lyn Franks by 91 votes with an estimated 141 to be counted.

In House District 40, which covers the North Slope and Northwest Arctic Borough, independent Josiah Patkotak leads Democratic candidate Elizabeth Ferguson 52%-48%, or by 148 votes. Estimates indicate there are 679 to be counted.

Among statewide races, only Ballot Measure 2 remains undecided. If approved, that measure would merge the state’s two primary election ballots into one, and the top four vote-getters in that primary would advance to a general election where the winner is chosen by ranked-choice voting. The measure also requires more disclosure for some campaign donations.

In Sunday’s results, “yes” led “no” by just under 1%, or 3,216 votes.