ANCHORAGE — Rep. Don Young's lead over Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell in the Republican primary for Alaska's seat in the U.S. House swelled to 239 votes early this morning with the count of absentee and questioned ballots from the last three House districts, all in Anchorage.
Altogether, elections workers reviewed and counted about 25,000 questioned and absentee ballots on Friday. The first batch of returns posted on the division of elections Web site about 5:15 p.m. showed Young's 151-vote lead shrinking to about 129 votes. But as the night wore on, his margin expanded to 172 votes, and the last returns posted about 12:30 a.m. had Young with 48,006 votes to Parnell's 47,767 -- the 239 vote margin.
A third Republican in the race, state Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, had 9,856.
Still to be counted are an unknown number of absentee votes cast and mailed by voters from overseas. Those will be accepted until Wednesday. Division of elections director Gail Fenumiai said an estimate of the number of such ballots already received may not be available until Monday.
About 250 sample ballots from Petersburg and Wrangell -- cast when precinct workers there ran out of the regular Republican candidate ballots -- were included in Friday's tally, Fenumiai said.
A recount is possible.
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