Recount differs by 1 vote

Island County completed a manual recount for one race last week in response to a request from an Oak Harbor mayoral candidate.

Pat Harman, who finished with one fewer vote after the finally tally, said he didn’t expect a change in the result when he requested the count, but rather wanted to test the integrity of the ballot reading software. His opponent, incumbent Oak Harbor mayor Bob Severns, ended with a net zero change after election workers and county staff found that one lightly inked “X” was incorrectly marked as an undervote and another ballot marked neither box but had been counted as a vote for Severns.

Harman decided to request a recount after it was reported that the precinct-level election results had displayed incorrectly for a number of races, in some cases making it appear as if the candidate vote totals were incorrect.

The secretary of state’s office worked with county officials to fix the display issue and said the vote totals were correct. The by-hand recount occurred after results were certified on Nov. 26 and took about two days to complete.

In the final count, Craig Cyr finished with 509 votes, which is approximately 77 percent. Langley’s proposed bonds to pay for a series of water, sewer and storm water infrastructure improvements and replacements also sailed to approval, with 527 “yes” votes, which is nearly 80 percent. The measure needed a 60 percent supermajority to pass.

The South Whidbey School Board contest, which was the first race to be identified as having inconsistencies in its precinct-level results display, ended with a wide margin between Brook Willeford and incumbent Linda Racicot. Willeford received 4,329 ballots cast in his favor, which is 61 percent. Racicot had 2,738 votes.

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