YAKIMA COUNTY — Although the 2019 Washington State General Election results were certified Tuesday, Nov. 26, by the Yakima County Election officials, their work is not finished. What remains are three local council races which are still too close to call. Each vote sent in, is especially precious in this election cycle.
Sunnyside former mayor Mike Farmer who challenged Julia Hart, incumbent council woman, Position 5, and serving as the city’s first woman mayor, has a one vote advantage: 539 for Farmer and 538 for Hart.
Other races needing mandatory hand recounts are the Wapato council race of Tony Guzman, who garnered 162 votes and Frances Ayres, 163; David Matson trails David Hanson, 306-308- a two-vote margin in Union Gap.
Following the Nov. 25, Canvassing Board meeting to consider irregular ballots, just three ballots of the 51 ballots were approved as acceptable; the balance fell into assorted categories of unacceptable. Another 50 plus votes with issues, were resolved and counted prior to the canvassing board meeting.
During the board’s meeting, state-of-the-art software compared signatures received on each voter’s ballot to their voting office signature of record, and with the voter’s prior election ballot signatures.
All five Sunnyside ballots which were recommended ‘to be rejected’ were ultimately rejected. A handful of the earlier ballots needing resolve prior to the meeting, were approved adding a vote or so for most all Yakima County races, including the races headed for the hand recount.
Primary reasons for ballot rejection included no signature, signatures which did not match, ballots received too late.
If the hand recounts do not change the certified totals, counts above one-half of one percent, a coin toss will decide the victor of the races.
Final Sunnyside ballot totals, as certified on noon, Tuesday, Nov. 26, are:
Total number of registered voters: 119,198
Total number of ballots counted: 40,678
Total number of estimated ballots remaining to be counted: 0
Total voter turnout: 34.13%
Sunnyside City Council, Pos. 5
Mike Farmer 539
Julia Hart 538
Sunnyside City Council, Pos. 6
James Restucci 822
Sunnyside City Council, Pos. 7
Betty Lynn Garza 458
Craig Hicks 596
Sunnyside School District, No. 201, Director, Dist. 1
Rocky Simmons 1,678
Sunnyside School District, No. 201, Director, Dist. 4
Sandra Linde 1,610
Sunnyside School District No. 201, Director, Dist. 5
Dylan Gardner 1,650