Bush is official District 1 winner

Johnson says she won't seek recount

Posted: Wednesday, October 13, 2004

After a week of uncertainty, former School Board President Jeff Bush is the official winner in the Assembly District 1 election.

An election board reviewed all precinct results and certified the election Tuesday afternoon.

In the review, Bush defeated his opponent, Assembly member Jeannie Johnson, by 52 votes. On election night Oct. 5, Bush led by 167 votes. Last Friday's count of absentee and questioned ballots had narrowed the margin to 42.

"I am pleased with the result and now it's time to work," Bush said.

Johnson said she will not seek a recount.

The city will not conduct a recount unless a defeated candidate or 10 qualified voters request it. Because the vote difference between Johnson and Bush is more than 10 votes and 0.5 percent of all the votes cast for the two candidates, anyone requesting a recount would have to pay for it.

"I don't believe a recount will alter the outcome," Johnson said. "Two members of my campaign committee observed the review because I couldn't be there today. I believe the city clerk's office and election workers did a professional and thorough job."

Johnson said she would spend more time with her family and on her career as real estate broker.

City Clerk Laurie Sica said the election board corrected a count error that occurred last Friday. When the board reviewed all absentee and questioned ballots then, it found a difference between the board's count of questioned ballots and a ballot reading machine's. The board counted 524 valid questioned ballots needing further review, while the machine counted 535.

"What happened was that when the machine told us it was jammed and asked us to reinsert the ballots, we shouldn't have reinserted the ballots because the machine would count the same ballot again," Sica said.

The competition between Johnson and Bush wasn't the closest in recent Juneau elections. Last year, School Board candidate Alan Schorr originally beat Bill Peters by one vote. A recount found Schorr won by four votes.

• I-Chun Che can be reached at ichun.che@juneauempire.com.

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