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Supremes: Mistakes happen, Westlake wins



Today the Alaska Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s ruling and awarded the House District 40 win to challenger Dean Westlake. Both Westlake and Rep. Ben Nageak are Democrats. The winner of the Aug. 16 primary is the presumed winner of the General Election on Nov. 8, as there are no Republicans or other candidates on the ballot.

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The court decided that the double voting in Shungnak, resulting in 100 ballots cast, was merely an election worker error, not election malconduct, and that in Kivalina it was voter error. But the decision was not explained by the court.

The 50 voters who cast ballots in Shungnak were told to vote two ballots, rather than one.

The decision was published by the Court, but the thinking behind the decision was not given.

Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

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