PORT TOWNSEND — The candidate who will run against Kristina Mayer for a position on the Chimacum School Board remains in doubt after a second count of ballots.
Friday afternoon, while the updated ballot count showed all four candidates in the Chimacum School Board District 3 race gaining votes, the close race between candidates Gary Frogner, 66, and Steve Martin, 47, to join candidate Mayer, 66, on the general election ballot only narrowed.
The seven-vote gap they had after Tuesday’s initial count of primary election ballots closed to a difference of one vote.
With no ballots left to count, the 122 challenged ballots may make the difference.
These ballots were uncounted because they had a questionable signature or lacked one altogether.
Voters who have a challenged ballot have until 4:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19 to resolve the challenge and have their vote count.
Voters can check that their ballot was counted at VoteWa.gov.
Frogner, retired senior director of West Coast operations for Concurrent Technologies Corp., in Pennsylvania, had 422 votes after Tuesday’s count and now has 501 votes.
Martin, the owner of NW Landworks, Inc., of Chimacum, had 415 votes Tuesday night and now has 500 votes.
In Washington state, non-statewide elections must conduct a machine ballot recount in the event of a race having a difference of votes less than 2,000 and which is under 0.5 percent of the overall votes cast for both candidates, according to Secretary of State Kim Wyman.
The two candidates now have 1,001 votes between them, so the one vote difference is approximately 0.1 percent of the total votes for the two of them. That would spark a recount according to state law, if the present gap continues.
No comment was available from the auditor’s office after the results were released Friday.
Tuesday’s primary election results will be certified by 4 p.m. Aug. 20.
The auditor reports that 7,715 ballots have been counted after 22,312 were issued to registered voters, for a voter turnout of 34.58 percent.
Mayer, the owner of KLMayer Consulting Group, LLC, in Chimacum, amassed the most votes in the four-candidate primary, winning 1,355 votes and securing a spot on the general election ballot in November.
Candidates are vying to fill the seat being vacated by board chair Mike Gould, who did not run for reelection.
Candidate Jeremy Perrott, a 21-year-old student, received 193 votes and is eliminated from the election.
There were 2,549 votes cast in the Chimacum primary, with 46 write-ins, 27 over-votes (ballots that were cast with more than one candidate selected) and 207 under-votes (ballots submitted with no candidate chosen).
The Canvassing Board will meet at 12:30 p.m. Aug. 19 for a pre-certification meeting and at 1 p.m. Aug. 20 for final certification.
The other measure on the primary ballot, a proposition asking voters to approve and increase from three to five commissioners for East Jefferson Fire Rescue has won with 69.28 percent when it needed only a simple majority of 50 percent plus one vote to pass.
The count as of Friday is 4,450 yes votes and 1,973 no votes (30.72 percent), with 25 under votes.
The measure allows Port Townsend representation on the fire district board in light of February’s approval of the city being annexed into the district.
Three Chimacum School Board positions will be elected in the Nov. 5 general election, this is the only race that was contested with more than two candidates, and so was included into the primary election to pair the contenders down from four to two.
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5 or at [email protected].