Election 2021: Chen still leads in Tuesday results

Will Chen had a 128-vote lead over opponent Janelle Cass in updated election returns released Tuesday by the Snohomish County Elections Office.

Chen had 7,762 votes, picking up four votes since Monday. Cass received two additional votes in Tuesday’s returns for a total of 7,634

In the other two city council races, Position 1 incumbent Kristiana Johnson maintained her 53%-to-46% advantage over challenger Alicia Crank, Neil Tibbott continued to lead Position 3 imcumbent Adrienne Fraley-Monillas by a 63%-to-37% margin.

County Auditor Garth Fell said that as of Tuesday, “there are less than a handful of ballots left to count in Edmonds. But that can still change before we certify results on Nov. 23. Voters can still resolve certain signature issues and we will still receive a small number of on-time ballots from military and overseas personnel that mailed their ballots on or before Election Day.”

Fell also explained the types of reports that are found on the county’s elections website — the Ballot Return Statistics and the Unofficial Results reports. Those reports are generated from two different systems and most of the time, at different times, Fell said. “This means you can run into problems comparing the two.”

“The Ballot Return Statistics report on the website shows all ballots returned and is generated from the system we use to track the returns and credit voters,” he explained. “The ‘returned ballots’ numbers on this report include ballots that have been accepted and counted as well as ballots that have not been accepted yet and may or may not be counted. These currently unaccepted ballots include ballots where voters failed to sign the outside envelope (17 currently in Edmonds) and voters whose signature they provided on the envelope does not match what we have on file in the voter registration record (130 in Edmonds). It also includes 97 ballots in Edmonds from voters that put their ballot in the mail too late to be counted or delivered their ballot to a drop box after 8 p.m. on Election Day. There are also 18 returned ballot envelopes from voters that have variety of other issues such as signed by a power of attorney or returned an empty envelope.”

Meanwhile, the Unofficial Results report, Fell said, is generated from the county’s tabulation system. “The tabulation system is purposely not connected to the internet or any other system. It reports ballots counted. The registered voter numbers in the tabulation system are manually updated periodically through the election and may not match what is in the Ballot Return Statistics report based on timing of the reports.”

“At the end of the election, we also prepare our Canvassing Board Informational Reports and reconciliation reports,which detail all the ballots we have received and how they were processed,” he continued. “These can be found on our webpage at www.snoco.org/elections in the Past Results section.”

You can see all of Tuesday’s results at this link. The next vote count will be released at 5 p.m. Nov. 12. The votes are scheduled to be certified Nov. 23.

  1. MEN:
    Can you clarify/confirm what the parameters are for triggering a recount, specifically in regard to the Position 2 race, either by hand or by machine?
    Also, if a recount is triggered, when is that determined and could that recount delay the 11/23 certification of results?

      1. Here’s the word from the county auditor: Mandatory recounts occur when then difference between the votes for the top two finishers are less than 0.5% of the total voters for both candidates. If the percent difference is less than 0.5% and greater than or equal to 0.25%, the recount is conducted by machine. If the percent difference is less than 0.25%, the recount is conducted by hand.

        A candidate can request a recount if the results do not meet the requirements for a mandatory recount. They will be required to provide an initial deposit of $0.25 per ballot to be recounted and ultimately be responsible for the entire cost of the recount if the outcome does not change. If the outcome changes (a new winner is determined), the county will refund the deposit. Even small recounts run a couple thousand dollars for staff time and supplies.

        Specifically looking at City of Edmonds Council Position 2, (7762-7634)/(7762+7634)=0.83%, which is currently out of recount range. The race would need to be less than 77 votes apart to trigger a mandatory recount. It is currently sitting at a difference of 128 voters.

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