SUNNYSIDE — Yakima County Elections Office staff have, with the exception of a handful of challenged ballots, completed their count for the 2019 General Election.
Current Sunnyside Mayor, Julia Hart, who holds City Council Position 5, in her first term, rebounded from a 30 plus vote deficit over the last several weeks, to tie opponent Mike Farmer, a former Sunnyside Mayor, with a 537 to 537 votes each.
According to Yakima County Auditor, Charles Ross, whose office oversees elections, there are 11 “challenged ballots” in the Farmer-Hart race. Those ballots either lack signatures or the signatures do not match the signatures on file. The elections office will be working towards “ballot reconciliation” Ross said.
The results of the reconciliation efforts will be discussed at the Nov. 25, Canvassing Board meeting, held one day prior to certification of the General Election in Washington State.
Washington State Election law requires an automatic recount when 2,000 or more total election ballots are cast, and the ballot count results have a difference of one-half of one percent. The Hart-Farmer dead heat falls within these guidelines.
If the reconciled ballots give either of the candidates more than six votes, the race could be determined by vote count. If the race stays tied or within the one-half of one percent range, a recount will occur. If the recount total matches the original total, the winner of the council seat could be determined by a coin toss, according to Ross.
Ballot update for Tuesday, Nov. 19, is as follows:
Total number of registered voters: 119,184
Total number of ballots counted: 40,612
Total number of estimated ballots remaining to be counted: 0
Voter Turnout: 34.08%
Legislative District 13, Representative, Pos. 2
Alex Ybarra 791
Steve Verhey 185
Sunnyside City Council Position 5
Mike Farmer 537
Julia Hart 537
Sunnyside City Council Position 6
James Restucci 819
Sunnyside City Council Position 7
Betty Lynn Garza 457
Craig Hicks 594
Sunnyside School District 201 Director, District 1
Rocky Simmons 1,674
Sunnyside School District 201 Director, District 4
Sandra Linde 1,608
Sunnyside School District 201 Director, District 5
Dylan Gardner 1,646
Port of Sunnyside Commissioner, District 1
Arnold Lee Martin 1,783
To review the complete listing of current General Election races, go to: https://results.vote.wa.gov/results/current/yakima/