CHIMACUM — A vote recount of Chimacum School Board ballots is imminent after the primary election was certified Tuesday.
Steve Martin, 47, now leads over Gary Frogner, 66, in the race for second place on the general election ballot for the District 3 seat now held by board president Mike Gould, who is not running for re-election.
Kristina Mayer, 66, has won a place on the Nov. 5 ballot, having accrued 1,361 votes, or 53.14 percent.
The recount will take place next Wednesday, Aug. 28 and Thursday, Aug. 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with the planned final certification to occur at a 12:30 p.m. meeting on Aug. 30.
Frogner led Martin by seven votes after the initial count of ballots, which diminished to a one-vote lead after another count of ballots in the all-mail election.
Challenged ballots — those that lacked signatures or had some other problem — numbered 122 after the initial count on Aug. 6.
Several were fixed by voters before Tuesday’s certification, leading to Martin now leading by two votes.
Martin — the owner of NW Landworks Inc., of Chimacum — has 504 vote (19.33 percent) and Frogner — retired senior director of West Coast operations for Concurrent Technologies Corp., in Pennsylvania — has 502 votes (19.26 percent).
The state requires ballots to be counted by hand if the difference in votes between two candidates is less than 150 votes and less than one quarter of 1 percent of the total votes cast.
The state requires 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.
A hand recount is mandated at this time, however, a machine count can still be used if both Frogner and Martin agree to it, election coordinator Quinn Grewell said.
Frogner was present at the certification and asked if he could possibly resign from the race instead of having the auditor spend money on a recount, which will eventually be charged to the school district as part of the election charges.
Election Coordinator Betty Johnson said that was one scenario the team had discussed with the Jefferson County prosecuting attorney, but at this point in the election, even if a candidate were to withdraw, the Auditor’s Office still would be required by state law to recount the ballots.
Frogner verbally agreed to allow for a machine recount. Martin’s decision was not known on Tuesday.
The official recount won’t be changed from a hand count unless both candidates submit in writing their approval to do it by machine.
Grewell wrote Martin and Frogner a written notice about the status of the election and to ask their consent for a machine count Tuesday afternoon.
The winner of between these two candidates will join Mayer on the Nov. 5 ballot.
There were 2,842 votes cast in the Chimacum primary, with 46 write-ins, 27 over-votes (ballots that were cast with more than one candidate selected) and 208 under-votes (ballots submitted with no candidate chosen).
Candidate Jeremy Perrott, a 21-year-old student, received 194 votes and is eliminated from the election.
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5 or at [email protected].