Thousands of Yakima County ballots counted Wednesday showed a Union Gap City Council race stayed tight while the field widened in two other races that were too close to call Tuesday night.
Only five votes separate Union Gap City Council Position 2 incumbent Mark Carney and challenger James Murr.
Murr leads Carney with 50 percent of the votes, or 225 to 220.
Wapato City Council Position 1 candidate Tony Guzman maintained his lead over Jasmine Perez with 52.7 percent of the votes, or 193 to 165.
Fire Protection District No. 4 Position 1 candidate Ben St. Mary took the lead from incumbent Dan McNulty. St. Mary has nearly 51 percent of votes, or 1,117 to 1,062.
Elections officials will have more ballots to count through at least Friday.
Some 31,680 ballots have been counted — about 28 percent of the nearly 115,000 issued. Yakima County Auditor Charles Ross predicted turnout would be around 30 percent.
Before the election can be certified Nov. 28, the county will have two canvassing board meetings — Nov. 20 and 27 — to review challenged ballots.
The second meeting was scheduled after elections officials received dozens of Wapato ballots with signatures that didn’t match those on file.
Elections workers check the ballot signatures against others on file to determine a ballot’s validity. If a signature looks markedly different, the office will mail the voter a notification explaining that their signature is being challenged and a form to confirm their signature. Voters have until Nov. 27 to return the form.
Should the signature still not match, the canvassing board decides whether to reject it. Typically, ballots with non-matching signatures are rejected.
It’s unclear at this time if any of the signature discrepancies were resolved after officials sent the notification.