2023 General Election: recounts likely in closest races

Recounts seem to be coming to a number of local races.

Following what appears to be the final large count of ballots in the General Election, many local races are still separated by only a handful of votes.

The Grays Harbor County Elections Office released their latest count of ballots from the November 7 election on Wednesday, and only a small amount of ballots remain to be counted.

Doug Orr still leads in the Aberdeen Mayor race, although his lead has not grown beyond an 8 vote advantage. Only .34% separates him and Debi Ann Pieraccini for the Mayor seat.

For Aberdeen City Council, Scott Prato leads by 10 votes over Norman Klein.

In Cosmopolis, the race between Mark Collett and Sue Darcy tightened, with Collett now holding a 3 vote lead.

In an Elma City Council race, Jacob Borden retains his lead over Ron Woodman, although the race has tightened to 11 votes.

Susan Conniry has lost her lead for an Ocean Shores City Council seat after leading by a small margin in the first counts. Following the latest ballots added, Conniry now trails Lisa Griebel by 14 votes.

PJ Faria led the race for an Ocean Shores Council seat on election night, although in the following vote counts has trailed Richard WIlls. Wills holds a 6 vote lead currently.

For the Ocean Shores Mayor race, incumbent Mayor Jon Martin has conceded to Frank Elduen.

Elduen continues to lead with a 57% majority over the sitting Mayor. Because Martin was appointed to fill the seat by the City Council and not elected, Elduen will automatically take the role when the election is certified.

Many of the races could come to a mandatory recount if they remain as close as they have been. The Washington Secretary of State notes that a mandatory recount is triggered if the difference between the candidates is less than one half of one percent and also less than 2,000 votes.

A manual recount will be required if the difference between the candidates is less than 150 votes and one quarter of one percent.

With the latest results, 15,717 ballots have been counted in Grays Harbor, equating to a 32.19% turnout. Pacific County shows a 42.19% turnout with their next count scheduled for Friday.

The election is set to be certified on November 28, 2023.

Elsewhere in elections around the state, former Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers will take on a new role after he was elected as a new Kittitas County Fire District Fire Commissioner. Myers was elected by an over 74% majority.