PORT ANGELES — Navarra Carr maintained her lead against Nina Napiontek for Position 6 on the Port Angeles City Council after a count of 46 ballots on Thursday in a general election race so close that it could trigger a mandatory manual recount.
Carr’s newest tally is 2,523 votes, or 49.87 percent, while Napiontek’s is 2,516 votes, or 49.73 percent, a difference of seven votes and 0.14 percent.
State law requires a manual recount when the difference between the two candidates is less than 150 votes and also less than one-fourth of 1 percent of the total votes cast for both candidates.
Napiontek, 38, led by two votes after Tuesday’s count and had been slightly ahead for most of the counts of ballots from the Nov. 5 election until Wednesday’s count, when Carr, 27, edged into the lead.
“I’m really excited,” Carr said as she stood in the election office on Thursday awaiting results of the counting of the final ballots on hand.
“It’s been a roller coaster of emotions. It feels good to have been in the lead for a couple of days now.”
The 180 or so challenged ballots could change the results if voters fix them before the election is certified Nov. 26, according to Auditor Shoona Riggs. It is unknown if the challenged ballots contain votes for Port Angeles City Council seats.
Carr said she has enjoyed getting to know Napiontek during the campaign.
“It’s the kind of race and the kind of opponent I would have hoped for,” Carr said.
Napiontek agreed it had been a great race.
“We genuinely like each other,” Napiontek said. “I’m happy for her… . we had great discussions. She was a great person to have to run against.
“We both really love Port Angeles.”
The voter turnout in Clallam County is 51.98 percent, with 28,009 ballots cast out of the 53,887 provided registered voters.
In another close race, Greg Bellamy Sr. has pulled ahead of appointee Karin Ashton in the race for a seat on the Clallam Bay Fire District commission, despite her adding one vote to her tally in Thursday’s count.
Bellamy has 125 votes to Ashton’s 122 votes. He is now is ahead by three votes, with the percentages being 50.20 and 49, not within the state mandated recount range.
Outcomes in other races in Clallam County, and those shared by voters in Clallam and Jefferson counties, remained the same after Thursday’s count.
State law requires daily counts of ballots in counties with populations of more than 75,000, a number Clallam County surpassed last year.
Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at [email protected].