New ballot totals due Weds. afternoon

Several races remain close

By Craig Brown, Columbian Metro Editor

Published:

 

At least 30,000 more ballots from Tuesday’s general election have arrived at the elections office Wednesday for processing. They could affect the outcome of some too-close-to-call races in Clark County.

First returns Tuesday night included 78,336 ballots, or about 35 percent of the electorate. But by Wednesday morning, elections officials said they had 108,841 ballots on hand. That suggests more than 30,000 ballots will be counted in the coming days.

A new total is due late this afternoon.

Unlike Oregon, Washington law requires elections officials to tabulate all ballots that are turned in or postmarked by election day, which means many more ballots arrive a few days after the election.

It’s not unheard of for candidates to trail on election night but win once all the votes are counted. County Commissioner Tom Mielke obtained such a victory three years ago.

Among the close local races are the Vancouver City Council race between Bill Turlay and Anne McEnerny-Ogle. Turlay lead by 656 votes, or 2.7 percentage points on election night.

Battle Ground City Council incumbent Phil Haberthur and his opponent, Shane Bowman, were only four votes apart.

Several Washougal city council races were close.

One of the year’s highest profile issues was C-Tran’s request to increase its sales tax collection rate by 0.2 percentage point. That measure was passing with 54.2 percent of the vote on election night. It had a 5,000 vote margin.

Check columbian.com and Thursday’s edition of The Columbian for updated results.