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December 13, 2019 | 6:07pm
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Difference of 1 vote may decide City Council election

Ferndale has seen several similarly close races for City Council before and even a tie.

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FERNDALE, Wash. — Providing absolute evidence that every vote really does count, the race between incumbent Teresa Taylor and challenger Paul Shuey for Position 4 on the Ferndale City Council has come down to a difference of 1 vote.

Vote tally as of November 25, 2019 at 5pm. Source: Whatcom County Auditor, Election Division
Vote tally as of November 25, 2019 at 5pm. Source: Whatcom County Auditor, Election Division

While other 2019 General Election Whatcom County political races are expected to be certified tomorrow, November 27th, the Ferndale City Council Position 4 race will be heading to a mandatory recount.

The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 29A.62.021 says if the difference in the number of votes between 2 candidates “is less than two thousand votes and also less than one-half of one percent of the total number of votes cast for both candidates, the county canvassing board shall conduct a recount of all votes cast on that position.” It also mandates that if the difference is “less than one hundred fifty votes and also less than one-fourth of one percent of the total number of votes cast for both candidates, the votes shall be recounted manually …”

In the case of the Taylor-Shuey race, there is a difference of 1 vote and that difference is 0.03% of the combined number of votes cast for both candidates.

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Whatcom County Chief Deputy Auditor Diana Bradrick said in an email today the certification of the recount is expected to happen on Wednesday, December 4th. If the recount provides a difference of 1 or more votes in favor of either candidate, that will satisfy the requirements for declaring a winner.

In the event the recount results in a tie, Bradrick said the outcome will be decided by a coin toss.

Ferndale has seen several similarly close races for City Council before and even a tie. It was 1997 and incumbent Yvonne Goldsmith was being challenged by Lloyd Zimmerman. After 2 recounts, the result was a tie. The candidates gathered in the Auditor’s office where a flip of a silver dollar decided Goldsmith, who had called tails, was the winner.


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