By Natalie Johnson / firstname.lastname@example.org
With candidate Scott Tinney leading Carla Shannon with less than half of 1 percent of the vote, the Lewis County clerk race is headed to a machine recount.
The Lewis County Auditor’s Office announced the recount Tuesday after the Lewis County Canvassing Board certified the November election.
According to the Washington Office of the Secretary of State, in non-statewide races, a machine recount is required when the difference between the top two candidates is less than 2,000 votes and less than half of 1 percent of the total number of votes cast.
“The difference between the two candidates is 38 votes, 0.0026 percent, causing the recount to be by machine,” a press release from the Auditor’s Office states.
The recount is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Auditor’s Office in the Lewis County Courthouse at 351 NW North St. in Chehalis in the ballot processing office in room 128.
Tinney said he expects the numbers won’t change after next Tuesday’s recount.
“From my understanding, a recount doesn’t generally affect the numbers,” he said. “I don’t expect there to be any significant change if any in the results.”
Shannon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
When the first vote count was released on election night, Shannon led Tinney by 255 votes, but the incumbent clerk caught up as late votes were tallied.
“I was far enough behind after that first count that most people with knowledge on the subject were telling me those votes couldn’t be made up,” Tinney said. “To come back and take the lead and win it is pretty humbling actually … I’d just like to thank everyone who supported me.”
Tinney has served as Lewis County clerk since he was appointed to the position by the Lewis County Board of Commissioners in November 2016 after former clerk Kathy Brack retired before the end of her term.
A committee of Lewis County Republicans picked Shannon, a deputy clerk, as their top choice to replace retiring clerk Brack last year; however, Tinney was the committee’s third choice, and was ultimately appointed to the position by the county commission.