FERNDALE, Wash. — Providing absolute evidence that every vote really does count, the race between incumbent Teresa Taylor and challenger Paul Shuey for Position 4 on the Ferndale City Council has come down to a difference of 1 vote.
While other 2019 General Election Whatcom County political races are expected to be certified tomorrow, November 27th, the Ferndale City Council Position 4 race will be heading to a mandatory recount.
The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 29A.62.021 says if the difference in the number of votes between 2 candidates “is less than two thousand votes and also less than one-half of one percent of the total number of votes cast for both candidates, the county canvassing board shall conduct a recount of all votes cast on that position.” It also mandates that if the difference is “less than one hundred fifty votes and also less than one-fourth of one percent of the total number of votes cast for both candidates, the votes shall be recounted manually …”
In the case of the Taylor-Shuey race, there is a difference of 1 vote and that difference is 0.03% of the combined number of votes cast for both candidates.
Whatcom County Chief Deputy Auditor Diana Bradrick said in an email today the certification of the recount is expected to happen on Wednesday, December 4th. If the recount provides a difference of 1 or more votes in favor of either candidate, that will satisfy the requirements for declaring a winner.
In the event the recount results in a tie, Bradrick said the outcome will be decided by a coin toss.
Ferndale has seen several similarly close races for City Council before and even a tie. It was 1997 and incumbent Yvonne Goldsmith was being challenged by Lloyd Zimmerman. After 2 recounts, the result was a tie. The candidates gathered in the Auditor’s office where a flip of a silver dollar decided Goldsmith, who had called tails, was the winner.