3 Wash­ing­ton leg­isla­tive races head­ing for man­ual re­counts

Tri-City Herald (Sunday) - - News - BY RACHEL LA CORTE

Three leg­isla­tive races in Wash­ing­ton are head­ing to a hand re­count af­ter elec­tion re­sults are cer­ti­fied next week.

In What­com County’s 42nd District, Re­pub­li­can Sen. Doug Erick­sen led Demo­cratic chal­lenger Pinky Var­gas by just 45 votes. And Erick­sen’s seat­mate in the House, Re­pub­li­can Rep. Luanne Van Wer­ven, led Demo­crat Justin Boneau by 80 votes.

For the open Se­nate seat in the 26th District, Demo­crat Emily Ran­dall is lead­ing by 99 votes as of Fri­day over Re­pub­li­can Marty McClen­don. The two are vy­ing to re­place Re­pub­li­can Sen. Jan An­gel, who is re­tir­ing.

Coun­ties will cer­tify elec­tion re­sults Tues­day. But for those three races, a re­count will fol­low.

State law re­quires a ma­chine re­count when the dif­fer­ence be­tween the top two can­di­dates is less than 2,000 votes and also less than 0.50 per­cent of the to­tal num­ber of votes cast for both can­di­dates. A man­ual re­count is re­quired when the dif­fer­ence is less than 150 votes and also less than 0.25 per­cent of the to­tal votes cast in the race.

The 26th District spans Pierce and Kit­sap coun­ties.

Pierce County’s re­count is ex­pected to start the week of Dec. 4, when more than 37,000 bal­lots cast in the race will be hand-checked. County elec­tion of­fi­cials say they plan to cer­tify the re­sults of the re­count on Dec. 7.

Nearly 35,000 bal­lots from Kit­sap County also will be re­counted in the com­ing weeks.

What­com County Au­di­tor Deb­bie Adel­stein said a can­vass­ing board will meet Mon­day to re­view chal­lenged bal­lots. Re­counts for both 42nd District House and Se­nate races to be­gin next Thurs­day. More than 72,000 bal­lots were cast in each race.

Democrats ex­panded their hold on both cham­bers in this month’s elec­tion, and if Fri­day’s re­sults don’t change af­ter the re­counts, they will have picked up three seats in the Se­nate and seven in the House pre­vi­ously held by Repub­li­cans. That will mean a 28-21 Demo­cratic ma­jor­ity in the Se­nate and a 57-41 edge in the House.

The Leg­is­la­ture starts its 105-day ses­sion on Jan. 14.

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