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Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

Just twelve votes now separate Emily Randall and Marty McClendon in 26th LD Senate race

New elec­tion returns in Wash­ing­ton’s 26th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict are pro­vid­ing fresh proof that each and every vote real­ly does mat­ter.

As of this evening, a mere twelve votes sep­a­rate Demo­c­ra­t­ic con­tender Emi­ly Ran­dall from Repub­li­can Mar­ty McClen­don in Wash­ing­ton’s 26th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict. The win­ner of the con­test will head to the Wash­ing­ton State Sen­ate for a four-year term. The los­ing can­di­date will be rue­ful­ly wish­ing their cam­paign’s get out the vote effort had been at least a smidgeon stronger for a long time to come.

Ran­dall, the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty’s stan­dard-bear­er, is back in the lead fol­low­ing today’s drop after falling behind late last week. She led on Elec­tion Night by a few hun­dred votes and was able to main­tain that lead until Fri­day, when Repub­li­can McClen­don over­took her. Yes­ter­day, Ran­dall cut into his lead. Today, she erased it entire­ly.

Ran­dall and McClen­don are now effec­tive­ly tied. Ran­dall has 34,279 votes, or 50.01%, while McClen­don has 34,267 votes, or 49.99%.

State leg­isla­tive races real­ly don’t get any clos­er than this.

Ran­dall is win­ning the Kit­sap Coun­ty por­tion of the dis­trict, which includes Port Orchard, South­worth, and part of Bre­mer­ton. McClen­don is win­ning the Pierce Coun­ty por­tion, which includes Gig Har­bor, Point Fos­dick, and the Key Penin­su­la.

With the num­ber of bal­lots left to count dwin­dling, it appears this race will go to an auto­mat­ic recount. Cour­tesy of the Sec­re­tary of State, here is a run­down of the pro­ce­dure for auto­mat­ic recounts in non-statewide races like this one:

Manda­to­ry Recounts for non-statewide races:

  • A machine recount is required when the dif­fer­ence between the top two can­di­dates is less than 2,000 votes AND ALSO less than 12 of 1% of the total num­ber of votes cast for both can­di­dates.
  • A man­u­al recount is required when the dif­fer­ence between the top two can­di­dates is less than 150 votes AND ALSO less than 14 of 1% of the total votes cast for both can­di­dates.

Non-Manda­to­ry Recounts: A recount may be request­ed as fol­lows, even if the dif­fer­ence between the top two can­di­dates does not meet the manda­to­ry recount thresh­olds:

  • An appli­ca­tion for a recount of the votes cast must be filed with the elec­tions offi­cer with whom fil­ings are made for the juris­dic­tion. For exam­ple, can­di­dates for offices that encom­pass mul­ti­ple coun­ties file with the Sec­re­tary of State. The appli­ca­tion must be filed with­in three busi­ness days after cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.
  • An offi­cer of a polit­i­cal par­ty or any per­son for whom votes were cast at any elec­tion may file a writ­ten appli­ca­tion for a recount of the votes or a por­tion of the votes cast at that elec­tion for all can­di­dates for elec­tion to that office.
  • Any group of five or more reg­is­tered vot­ers may file a writ­ten appli­ca­tion for a recount of the votes or a por­tion of the votes cast upon any ques­tion or issue.
  • Any qual­i­fied indi­vid­ual or group of reg­is­tered vot­ers request­ing a recount is required to, at the time of sub­mit­ting the appli­ca­tion for a recount, sub­mit a deposit, by cash or cer­ti­fied check, to the coun­ty can­vass­ing board or the Sec­re­tary of State as fol­lows:
    • For a machine recount — fif­teen cents for each bal­lot cast in the juris­dic­tion or por­tion of the juris­dic­tion for which the recount is request­ed.
    • For a man­u­al recount — twen­ty-five cents for each bal­lot cast in the juris­dic­tion or por­tion of the juris­dic­tion for which the recount is request­ed.

This con­test cur­rent­ly qual­i­fies for a man­u­al recount under RCW 29A.64.021. That means elec­tion work­ers in Kit­sap and Pierce coun­ties will have to inspect each bal­lot by hand as opposed to run­ning them through opti­cal scan­ners again.

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