State races go to a hand recount

By Stefanie Donahue

With the results too close to call, the races for state senate and state representative, position 1 in the 42nd Legislative District are headed for hand recounts.

According to a statement from the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office, the county canvassing board voted on November 27 to direct election division staff to begin hand recounts at 8 a.m. on Thursday, November 29.

The recount is open to the public and will be held on the fifth floor of the Whatcom County Courthouse at 311 Grand Avenue in Bellingham in conference room 513.

According to the latest ballot count on November 26, the day prior to general election certification, two-term state senator Doug Ericksen (R) was in the lead with 46 votes over opponent Pinky Vargas (D). Fellow Republican incumbent running for state representative, position 1, Luanne Van Werven (R) was in the lead with 80 votes over her opponent Justin Boneau (D).

“There may be slight variations,” said Whatcom County Auditor Debbie Adelstein about the outcome of the recount. However, “the expectation is that they’re going to come out the same,” she said.

Adelstein said she hoped the recount would be complete by late next week, but said the process may take longer.

The final results will be certified by the county canvassing board once the recount is concluded. The date and time of certification will be posted online at

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