Benton, Stonier maintain slight leads in legislative races

Benton has 105-vote lead over Probst, Stonier has 75-vote lead over Olson

By Stevie Mathieu, Columbian assistant metro editor

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Democrat Tim Probst trailed Republican incumbent Don Benton by 105 votes in the too-close-to-call 17th District Senate race, according to updated election results released today.

Meanwhile, 17th District House candidate Monica Stonier led Republican Julie Olson by just 75 votes.

Both 17th District legislative races could be headed for a manual recount, because election officials are required to recount ballots in races that are closer than 2,000 votes and also closer than one half of a percentage point.

Benton has 50.01 percent of the vote while Probst has 49.81 percent of the vote. Stonier has 50.02 percent while Olson has 49.88 percent.

The Clark County Elections Department still has more than 4,000 ballots from across the county to count. Also, a couple hundred more military or overseas ballots could be on their way in the mail, election officials estimated.

A total of 1,665 ballots were counted today at the Clark County Elections Office. Of those, 434 were from the 17th Legislative District.

If recounts are necessary, they would likely begin during the first week of December. Election results aren’t certified until 21 days after an election, and the 17th District ballots must be separated from the rest of the county’s ballots.

Clark County Elections Supervisor Tim Likness said he did not know how long each recount would take.

Election officials received 52 additional ballots in the mail today.

County election officials have received 194,164 ballots so far, meaning voter turnout is at 79.9 percent.

The next report from the Clark County Elections Department is expected to be released Friday afternoon.