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Recounts reaffirm Giessel, McKay as winners in Alaska races

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A recount of an Anchorage-area state Senate race reaffirmed Republican Cathy Giessel as the winner, while a recount of an Anchorage House race reaffirmed Republican Rep. Tom McKay as the winner.

The Senate recount was conducted by the state Division of Elections Wednesday at the request of Democrat Roselynn Cacy, who was the first of the three candidates in the Senate District E race to be eliminated in the Nov. 8 ranked vote contest. The other candidate in the race was Republican Sen. Roger Holland. The results were released late Wednesday night.

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Cacy had said she had questions about the recording of votes and that transparency around the process was important to her. In her recount application, she cited a 14-vote difference between her and Holland after a round that took into account such things as the distribution of second choices on ballots that ranked write-ins first.

During the recount, both Cacy and Holland gained two votes in that round compared to certified results and a 14-vote difference remained, according to results released by the division.

Giessel is a former state Senate president. She was defeated in her 2020 Republican primary by Holland.

Democrat Denny Wells requested the recount in the House race; that recount was held Thursday. Results certified last week showed McKay with a seven-vote edge over Wells. The recount showed him with a nine-vote advantage at the end of the ranked vote election.

Alaska elections this year were held under a new voter-approved system that instituted open primaries and ranked vote general elections.