Yakima County elections officials certified the 2009 general election results yesterday, Nov. 23, but it could be another two weeks before the public knows the outcome of the Sunnyside City Council, District 3 race.
According to the results certified yesterday, challenger Don Vlieger leads incumbent Carol Stone by seven votes, 662 to 655, or 49.63 percent to 49.10.
Stone has filed with the auditor's office for a hand recount of the votes and paid a deposit of $344, or 25 cents per ballot.
By law, a machine recount is mandatory when the margin is one-half of 1 percent or less. Stone missed it by three-one hundredths of a percent.
Stone says she is seeking a recount at the request of her supporters, who helped pay for it.
"A lot of the citizens told me they don't feel it's possible that my opponent got that many votes," she said. "They don't know anyone who voted for him."
Stone says her supporters decided to challenge the outcome as early as election night.
"They said they didn't want a repeat," she said of Vlieger's previous two terms on the city council. "We had that and it's not what we want."
Kathy Fisher is the county's election manager and she said the recount is tentatively scheduled for Monday, Dec. 7, at 8:30 a.m.
She says the date depends on when she can have people available, as the canvassing board has to meet and legal notice has to be sent out. Fisher said Stone will have to pay for the labor involved in the hand recount and half the cost to run a legal notice.
During the same time the Vlieger/Stone results are being hand counted, Fisher said workers will conduct a mandatory recount for a tight Selah City Council race.
Fisher said the 2009 general election was certified, including the Vlieger/Stone results. If there are changes in the contest's outcome, Fisher said it will be re-certified.
Vlieger said he has no problems with the recount.
"It's her right to do that. The sooner it gets resolved the better."