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Vlieger edges ahead in Sunnyside City Council election race

Never let it be said that a single vote does not matter.

As of last Friday morning, Sunnyside Deputy Mayor Don Vlieger took a one-vote lead in the Sunnyside City Council District 3 primary race with challenger Spencer Martin a single vote behind and challenger Victor Ochoa two votes behind.

The county mailed out 888 ballots to registered voters in District 3. Only 169 ballots have been properly returned. Another ballot arrived at the elections office unsigned.

“We’ve notified the voter,” Fisher said.

That single vote could change the race. The voter has until Monday, Aug. 19, to fix the problem.

Despite the close race, Election Manager Kathy Fisher said there will be no automatic recount.

“The percentage is greater than the threshold for a recount,” she said. “The recount would be between just the second and third place finishers, and the percentage between those two is 0.9 percent.”

An automatic hand recount requires a 0.25 percent or less margin of difference.

Any of the candidates could request, and pay for, a recount. The cost is 25 cents per ballot.

“Unfortunately, in low voter turnout elections, this is what happens,” said Fisher. “That’s where the importance of single votes comes into play.”

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