Two Clark County races hinge on less than a hundred votes in late results
Published on on November 12, 2012 at 11:23 AM
By Kari Bray
The Oregonian/Murrow News Service
The more ballots counted, the closer Clark County’s two tightest legislative races become.
Nearly a week after the Nov. 6 general election, a couple Southwest Washington races for the state Senate and House of Representatives have flipped – again.
Vancouver Republican Don Benton and Vancouver Democrat Tim Probst are now 16 votes apart out of 55,989 ballots counted in their district. After losing a narrow lead to Benton late last week, Probst is now ahead with 49.94 percent of the vote compared to Benton’s 49.91 percent.
The two are competing for the 17th district Senate seat currently held by Benton.
In another variable Vancouver race, Democrat Monica Stonier has regained her own lost lead over Republican Julie Olson. Olson held a 207-vote lead through Friday afternoon, but Friday evening’s updated results show her falling 81 votes behind Stonier.
Stonier and Olson are competing for a 17th district seat in the Washington House of Representatives.
In order to require a recount, a race must be within 150 votes and half a percentage point. Both the Benton-Probst and Stonier-Olson races would qualify for a recount at this point. However, with thousands more ballots left to count, the results could reach more decisive numbers.
Clark County elections officials have tallied 183,876 ballots. About 9,000 remain to be counted out of more than 192,000 received as of the end of last week.
Fewer ballots are trickling in daily, having dropped from more than 8,000 the day following the election to less than 1,000 on Thursday and a little more than 200 on Friday, according to the Clark County Elections Department. However, more ballots may continue to arrive.
Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey said Friday that there will be hundreds more ballots that reach the department but cannot be counted for various reasons, mostly because they are postmarked after election day or the voter neglected to sign his or her ballot.
Check back with OregonLive for more updates on Clark County elections.