John Black, the candidate who requested a recount in the race for the District Court II judge seat, addresses the Clallam County Canvassing Board on Monday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

John Black, the candidate who requested a recount in the race for the District Court II judge seat, addresses the Clallam County Canvassing Board on Monday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Clallam Canvassing Board approves recount in District Court II judge race

Auditor’s Office will count manually on Wednesday, Thursday

PORT ANGELES — The Clallam County Auditor’s Office will recount by hand ballots for the race for District Court II judge.

The Clallam County Canvassing Board authorized the recount Monday at the request of John Black, the candidate for District Court II judge who was trailing Clallam County Superior Court Judge Erik Rohrer by 28 votes.

The Clallam County Auditor’s Office will conduct a manual recount Wednesday and Thursday.

Black, a Forks attorney, requested the manual recount of the 3,041 votes cast in the Nov. 6 election.

The results from the election showed Rohrer leading with 1,431 votes to Black’s 1,403 votes, or 50.49 percent to 49.51 percent.

Members of the canvassing board are Clallam County Commissioner Mark Ozias; Chief Civil Deputy Prosecuting Attorney David Alvaraz, designee of county Prosecuting Attorney Mark Nichols; and Clallam County Auditor Shoona Riggs.

Ballots are stored in containers. Using computer software, staff can tell which boxes contain ballots relevant to the race. Ballots will then be split up by precinct and counted.

Once the ballots are counted, the canvassing board will hold another meeting, tentatively set for 8:15 a.m. Friday.

Black, the only candidate to attend the Canvasing Board’s meeting Monday, told the board he was concerned because the county used new tabulation software this year.

He said he has talked to people in Forks who said their ballots were dropped from the election due to signature issues.

“These people were 70 years old and had been voting since voting has happened out here,” he said. “Will we know how many of those ballots came in that were questioned for signatures?”

Black declined to comment to the Peninsula Daily News. Rohrer did not attend the meeting.

Riggs said the signature issue is separate from the tabulation software and that there is a process to determine whether to challenge a signature.

If there is a question as to whether the signature is good, the Auditor’s Office sends notice to the voter. If the Auditor’s Office doesn’t hear back, then they call the voter.

The Canvassing Board decides if votes will be rejected from the election.

The recount is of the votes that were counted and do not count the ballots that were never opened.

Of the more than 600 challenged ballots from voters across the county, 208 ballots were rejected.

Meetings of the canvassing board and the recount are open public meetings.

For more information about the recount, contact the Clallam County Auditor’s Office at [email protected] or 360-417-2217.

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected] dailynews.com.