A slim 28-vote lead that Sandra Linde was clinging to on election night this past Tuesday against her opponent, Leroy Werkhoven, has been shaved to just 19 votes.
The two local candidates are vying for the soon-to-be vacated Sunnyside School Board seat currently held by Steve Carpenter.
In the county's on-line election posting as of 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon, Linde had garnered 1,051 votes from the 2,192 ballots that had been counted. Werkhoven's vote count was at 1,032.
Of the 2,192 ballots that have already been scrutinized by county officials, 16 of the voters opted to submit other candidate names as write-ins. Another 93 Sunnyside School District patrons when sending in their ballots opted not to cast a vote in the Linde-Werkhoven race.
Mail-in ballots are still trickling in to the county courthouse, although at a much slower pace than earlier this week, which means Linde isn't yet out of the woods in terms of claiming victory.
Complicating the issue, perhaps, is that in all regional or local races where votes are hand counted, if the difference in the number of votes cast is less than 150 votes and less than one-fourth of 1 percent, an automatic manual recount is conducted. If votes are counted electronically, by machine, a recount is required if the difference in the votes cast is less than one-half of 1 percent.
In those cases, the cost of doing the recounts is bore by the county, not the candidates.
Presently, Linde has a nine-tenths of 1 percent lead over Werkhoven in the voting tabulations.