Three City Council races in Yakima County will head to mandatory manual recounts in December.
Certified election results, posted online Tuesday afternoon, put candidates in three council races for the cities of Union Gap, Sunnyside and Wapato within a few votes.
David Hansen is leading by two votes for Union Gap’s City Council Position 5, with results showing 308 votes to incumbent David Matson’s 306.
In Wapato, Frances Ayres pulled ahead of opponent Tony Guzman by a single vote, with Ayres receiving 163 votes to Guzman’s 162. The position has been held by Irasema Gonzalez Cantu.
Sunnyside’s race for Council Position 5 is equally close, with Mike Farmer leading by a single vote over incumbent Julia Hart, with Farmer receiving 539 votes to Hart’s 538.
Candidates in the Sunnyside and Wapato races were tied going into Tuesday.
Between the Nov. 5 mail-in deadline and Tuesday’s result, county election staff added in 50 contested ballots resolved by the voters signing cure forms. They also added another three ballots after the county’s canvassing board approved the ballot envelope signatures, which have to match signatures on the voters’ voter registration forms.
Under state law, a recount using electronic scanners is mandatory if the margin between the candidates is less than 2,000 votes and less than a half-percent. A manual recount, where workers inspect the ballots, happens when the margin is less than 150 votes and less than a quarter of a percent. A coin toss determines winners in the event of a tie.
Yakima County Elections Manager Kathy Fisher said the elections division has set aside Dec. 5 and 6 for the required recounts. The results for the close council races for Sunnyside, Wapato, and Union Gap will go through manual recounts, she said.