Stonier wins House race by 140 votes

Before the recount, Stonier had a 139-vote lead over Olson

By Stevie Mathieu, Columbian assistant metro editor

Published:

 
photoMonica Stonier

Democrat Monica Stonier has won her bid for election to the state House by just 140 votes, according to the outcome of a hand recount announced Friday by the Clark County Elections Department.

On election night, Stonier’s Republican challenger, Julie Olson, had a 78-vote lead. As ballots continued to be counted after Election Day, Stonier captured a lead. Heading into the recount, Stonier had a 139-vote lead over Olson.

According to the unofficial recount results, 27,450 ballots in the 17th District had votes for Stonier while 27,310 ballots had votes for Olson.

A recount is required for races in which fewer than 2,000 votes and less than half a percentage point separate the candidates. That recount must be done by hand if fewer than 150 votes and less than a quarter of a percentage point separate the candidates.

A little more than one-quarter of a percentage point separated Stonier and Olson prior to the recount. Elections officials decided to hand recount because their equipment prohibits them from feeding the ballots through a second time.

The Stonier-Olson recount was the second recount the county’s elections officials tackled in the 2012 general election. Elections officials finished a recount in the 17th District Senate race between Republican Don Benton and Democrat Tim Probst on Wednesday. Benton won by just 78 votes, according to unofficial results.

Elections officials will certify the recount results this afternoon. There are 18 ballots that need to be examined more closely by elections officials, but those ballots cannot possibly change the outcome of either race.

Rather than seek re-election to the House, Probst decided to run against Benton, and Stonier and Olson ran to replace Probst. Stonier will be sworn in next month as the next legislative session begins.

This story will be updated.