Elections

One-vote margin triggers recount in one Pierce County city council race

The Pierce County Auditor’s Office certified the results of the Nov. 7 general election on Tuesday (Nov. 28).
The Pierce County Auditor’s Office certified the results of the Nov. 7 general election on Tuesday (Nov. 28).

You’ve heard it often from election cajolers and shamers: Every vote counts.

For evidence, look no farther than this year’s race for Buckley City Council, Position 3.

One vote separated Luke Wilbanks from Chuck Helmer after the Nov. 7 general election results were certified Tuesday (Nov. 28).

Of the 1,021 ballots cast in that race, 455 went to Wilbanks and 454 to Helmer. There also were four write-in votes, and 108 people left their ballots blank.

That narrowest of margins triggered a mandatory recount, which is set to take place Dec. 4-6, according to Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson. All 1,021 ballots will be recounted manually, she said.

“We may not need all three days,” Anderson said. “As you know, the most time-consuming element of a recount is retrieving the physical ballots from the archives.”

A manual recount also is coming in the race for Lakewood Water Commissioner, Position 3, where John S. Korsmo Jr., was leading Gary Barton, 3,925 to 3,906.

Those two jurisdictions will bear the costs of the recounts. The costs had not been determined Tuesday, Anderson said.

Dozens of other races across Pierce County were settled with Tuesday’s certification, including in the race for Tacoma mayor, where Victoria Woodards defeated Jim Merritt with just more than 54 percent of the vote.

Turnout countywide was 28.56 percent.

Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644, @TNTAdam

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