Hand recount for election ballots likely for Grays Harbor

A mandatory hand recount of election ballots is likely based on recent General Election results.

On Thursday the Grays Harbor County Elections Office updated the total ballot count, and multiple races are so thinly spread that a manual recount is currently required for the election.

Two races have fallen below the threshold to trigger the second look at ballots.

In Ocean Shores, the Mayor race is now down to a 4 vote difference with Mayor Crystal Dingler currently leading. Dingler holds a 49.64% majority to challenger Susan Conniry’s 49.52%.

In Oakville, Position 4 on the City Council now shows even results as Julie Zehe and Allen Werth each hold 60 votes. Werth had held an approximate 10 vote lead in the early result counts.

For the Cosmopolis Municipal Building bond, an additional 111 votes were added within the city and the bond request now holds a 60.19% majority. In order to be approved, the new bond requires a 60% majority. The measure had not hit that 60% until the Thursday count.

In other close races, Aberdeen City Council candidate Nathan Kennedy has regained his lead over David Gakin. Kennedy led on Election night by 5 votes, trailed by 6 votes on the second count, and now holds a 51.21% majority with a 10 vote difference between the men.

In Elma, Current City Councilman Jim Taylor lost his lead and now trails challenger Josh Collette by 13 votes. Collete had trailed following the first two ballot counts.

Grays Harbor Public Hospital District #2 Commissioner Melanie Sturgeon continues to trail challenger Scott Dilley by 155 votes, despite over 1600 votes being added in the race. Sturgeon led that race on Election night.

Under Washington State law, a machine recount is required when the difference between candidates is less than one half of one percent and also less than 2,000 votes.

A hand recount is triggered if a race shows a difference less than 150 votes and one quarter of one percent.

In the 2018 Primary election, a hand recount was required after candidates Chris Thomas and Jasmine Dickhoff saw only 16 votes and .1% seperate them for the second position in the Grays Harbor County Auditor race. No results within the county changed following that recount.



In total, 20,627 total ballots have been counted in the 2019 General Election, representing 45.85% of voters. 


The next ballot count report is scheduled for November 26 when the election is certified.