Monday, November 29, 2021
Nov. 29, 2021

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Harless keeps narrow lead in Vancouver City Council race

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

Clark County Elections released updated results for the Nov. 2 general election Monday. While hundreds of additional ballots were added to the totals, outcomes for the various races changed little.

Vancouver City Council candidate Kim D. Harless held on to her narrow lead over challenger John Blom, although that lead dropped from 45 votes last week to 41 votes, a difference of only 0.12 percentage points.

While Auditor Greg Kimsey couldn’t say a recount is guaranteed until the election results are certified next week, there are around 200 ballots with unresolved signature issues left to be counted, making the recounts a near certainty.

As of Monday, Elections officials had counted 16,790 votes for Harless and 16,749 for Blom, or 50.06 percent to 49.94 percent. Election night results had Blom ahead by 449 votes but that lead dwindled throughout the following days.

The other race headed for a recount is the District 1 position on the Hockinson School District Board of Directors. Teresa VanNatta has a 15-vote lead over Tim Hawkins, or 50.24 percent to 49.76 percent. VanNatta has seen her lead narrow from 200 votes on election night to its current number as late-arriving ballots came into the Elections department.

To date, the county has tallied 113,238 ballots, a turnout of 34.9 percent of eligible voters. Election results will be certified on Nov. 23 although the recounts, which will begin on Nov. 29, could take as long as two weeks to complete.

Elections staff and temporary workers will first manually sort through the 113,000-plus ballots by hand to separate out those with either of the two races on them.

With 338 voting precincts, 108 of those in the city of Vancouver, it requires a lot of people to complete the work.

“They’re tabulated in batches of 75 ballots, and those batches contain ballots from multiple precincts,” Kimsey said. “It’s a very, very labor-intensive process. It’s also really important that it be done very accurately.”

Once the ballots are sorted, the counting begins which likely will start Dec. 6. Kimsey said his office hopes to have the recounts completed by Dec. 10.

“If the sorting takes longer than we anticipate, it could push the counting to a later start date and a later completion date,” Kimsey said.

There is still time to correct ballots with missing or challenged signatures and have them counted in the election results. Contact the Elections office at 564-397-2345 or go online to https://clark.wa.gov/elections for more information. The deadline to correct or verify signatures is 5 p.m. Nov. 22.

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