Dare-Ervin race likely headed for recount

"It's the final countdown, literally, for Frank Dare and Wendy Ervin, candidates for the Republican nomination for state House of Representatives position 1 in the 35th Legislative District.As of Monday, only 60 votes separated the two. Dare held a narrow lead, 5,133 to 5,073 for Ervin, almost guaranteeing a state-mandated recount.County Auditor Karen Flynn said 5,500 absentee ballots remain to be counted in Kitsap, but those ballots will be divided among the 35th, 23rd and 26th legislative districts.With a close election like this the results will probably not be known until we certify, and every last ballot is counted, she said.Flynn said Kitsap results will be certified Friday.But even more complicated is, the 35th District results need to be certified at the state level as well as the county, she added.The state will check the county's results, then probably certify on Monday, Flynn said.But she added that when the state certifies the election it will also notify the county to expect a recount.Only the state has the capacity to call for a recount, she said.A recount is mandatory if the difference between candidates' vote totals is a half-percent, or .5, or less. If the difference is less than a quarter percent and 150 votes, the recount must be done by hand, Flynn said.That's because in a huge race such as for U.S. Senate, a quarter of a percent can be hundreds or thousands of votes, she said.Mason County Auditor Allan T. Brotche said as of Monday he had 136 valid absentee ballots left to count. The 35th District includes all of Mason County and parts of Kitsap, Grays Harbor and Thurston counties. But the numbers may change according to the mail straggling in, he added.I don't expect the numbers to change dramatically. The state can certify results from the county as soon as possible, he said.Flynn said if the state calls for a recount, it must take place within three business days after the county is notified.One of the great difficulties of having the primary so close to the general election is that ballots have to be sent out 20 days prior to the general election, Flynn said.She said she took part in a task force this year that suggested an August primary date, but the Legislature didn't do anything with the suggestion.She said according to projections for Kitsap County, 80 percent of the people who voted in the primary voted by absentee ballot. "

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