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September 09, 2008

Young appears victorious in GOP primary

Barring a recount, ethically-embattled Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) looks like he will prevail by the narrowest of margins against his Republican primary rival, lieutenant governor Sean Parnell.

After the vast majority of absentee ballots were counted, Young has extended his lead over Parnell to 239 votes. The winner will be challenging former state Rep. Ethan Berkowitz, the Democratic nominee.

From the Anchorage Daily News:

There are fewer overseas absentee ballots to be counted than the gap in votes between challengers in the hotly contested Republican primary for the state's lone congressional seat, the Division of Elections said Monday.

As election workers finished counting absentee and questioned ballots over the weekend, U.S. Rep. Don Young widened his slim lead over Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell to 239 votes -- up from 151 votes after the Aug. 26 primary election.

State Division of Elections director Gail Fenumiai said Monday her office could receive at most 237 overseas absentee ballots, the last of the race to be counted. She knows because overseas absentee voters were previously sent special advance ballots, on which voters recorded their preferences and were returned early. The absentee voters were then sent an official ballot.

"If that official ballot does not come back and their special advance ballot is in our office, we then review and count those special advance ballots," she said. "That's it. ... 237 is the maximum number of absentee overseas ballots that we're going to see."