Canvassing Board to review rules for recount

The race for Port of Walla Walla commissioner may require an automatic recount, or one of the candidates could request and pay for a recount.

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WALLA WALLA - The Walla Walla County Canvassing Board, already scheduled to meet the Monday after Thanksgiving, has added to its agenda.

Besides work to sort out the remaining uncounted ballots in the Port of Walla Walla commission race between incumbent Michael Fredrickson and Barlow Corkrum, the board will review rules and procedures in anticipation of a possible recount, according to a news release.

That meeting will be Nov. 28 at 8 a.m. The next day, at 9 a.m., the remaining accepted ballots will be machine counted and the results announced.

At that point, county Auditor Karen Martin said Friday, the Canvassing Board will reconvene to certify the election.

Should an automatic recount be warranted - which appears certain - the date for the recount will be set by the board. If an automatic recount is not required, either candidate will have a three-day window in which to request another count, either by machine or hand.

An automatic recount would not cost either candidate, but in the case of a requested recount, the candidate would need to pay a deposit of 15 cents per ballot for a machine recount or 25 cents a ballot of a hand recount.

Fredrickson currently leads Corkrum, 6,800 to 6,751. Overall, 15,960 ballots were cast and up to 300 more could be counted Nov. 29.

Given those numbers, if the margin is 81 votes or below, a recount would be triggered automatically. In the case of a requested recount, the deposit would be roughly $2,400 for a machine count or $4,100 for a hand count.

If a requested recount resulted in the outcome falling in favor of the requesting candidate, the deposit would be refunded. Otherwise, the candidate would be on the hook for the full cost of the recount.

For the Nov. 28 and 29 Canvassing Board meetings, observers are welcome. A minimum of one from each political party is requested to observe all processes, according to the news release.

Certification by the county is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Nov. 29, and the state is set to certify this year's general election Dec. 8.

Alasdair Stewart can be reached at alasdairstewart@wwub.com or 526-8311.

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