Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Recount, snow delaying election certification

There will be a recount in a 6th Legislative District House race. That district is in Spokane. And apparently there were some logistical difficulties with certifying the election in a couple of western Washington counties due to the bad weather. From The Spokesman-Review (subscription required:)
Spokane County elections officials ordered a recount in one close race Tuesday after a meeting that certified all the results for the Nov. 7 general election.

The recount in the 6th Legislative District race between Democrat Don Barlow and incumbent Rep. John Serben was expected, so the certification, which is required by law, went off without any surprises.

That wasn't the case in some Western Washington counties, where a winter storm made some roads impassable and closed some government offices. Skagit and San Juan counties, which were among the hardest hit, struggled to find a way to bring together the three county officials – one person each from the county auditor and county prosecutor offices and a county commissioner – that the law requires.

At the end of the business day, it was uncertain whether they'd found a way to meet or at least certify their election results through a teleconference, Nick Handy, elections director for the secretary of state's office, said.

There's no provision in state law to extend the certification deadline, but Handy said county officials were told that if results did not get certified and reported by Tuesday, they would be accepted today.

"Who would've thought we'd have a once-in-100-year rainstorm on election day … and a severe snowstorm on the day for the certification deadline?" Handy said.

The Barlow-Serben race, in which Barlow leads by 266 votes out of some 52,000 cast, apparently is one of only two in the state that requires a recount, Handy said. The other is a Wahkiakum County commissioner's race, where independent Mark Linquist leads Democrat Blair Brady by one vote, 890 to 889.
Wow, 266 votes in the Spokane race. Should be entertaining. And there are at least 1,779 people in Wahkiakum County, which is also interesting.

(Just kidding, Wahkiakum - I used to live in Cowlitz County, it's lovely country there in Wahkiakum, or as Al Gore once called it at a rally in Southwest Washington, "Whacky-akum.")

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