By Jami Makan
In a dramatic switch in lead, 933 votes out of a total 63,654 now separate the two candidates for the county executive race, according to the latest count in the November 5 general election.
As of November 7 at 5 p.m., Satpal Sidhu tallied 38,565 votes (50.5%), narrowly leading Tony Larson who received 37,632 votes (49.3%). On election night, Larson had been leading Sidhu by 61 votes.
Results for the Whatcom County Council district 5 seat, which represents Point Roberts, Blaine and Birch Bay, were much more clear cut, with Ben Elenbaas receiving 9,007 votes (58.9%) compared to Natalie McClendon’s 6,259 votes (40.9%).
In the only contested race in Point Roberts, incumbent park commissioner Bennett Blaustein is running slightly ahead of challenger Hugh Wilson. Blaustein has received 152 votes (51.5%) while Wilson received 142 votes (48.1%) as of 5 p.m. November 7.
According to the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office, 49,286 ballots were initially counted on Tuesday night at 8:08 p.m. By Thurssday, 78,022 ballots had been counted. With 146,750 registered voters in this election, voter turnout stood at 53.2%.
Here are the results of other competitive county and local races:
- Whatcom County Council at large position B: Carol Frazey received 43,899 votes (60.5%), leading David Ramirez, who received 28,490 votes (39.3%).
- Whatcom County assessor: John Romaker received 34,219 votes (49.4%), slightly behind Rebecca Xczar, who received 34,939 votes (40.4%).
- Whatcom County sheriff: Bill Elfo received 51,571 votes (69.5%), leading Joy Gilfilen, who received 22,507 votes (30.3%).
- Port of Bellingham commissioner district 3: Bobby Briscoe received 44,245 votes (65.5%), leading Anthony Distefano, who received 23,141 votes (34.5%).
- Blaine school district director district 2: Dougal Thomas received 3,067 votes (56.5%), leading incumbent Todd Berge, who received 2,352 votes (43.3%).
- Blaine school district director district 4: Charles Gibson received 2,824 votes (51.9%), leading Tana Perkins Reneau, who received 2,591 votes (47.6%).
The final results of the election will not be available until Tuesday, November 26, when the Whatcom County Canvassing Board is expected to certify the results of the election.
The preliminary results released on the evening of November 5 reflected ballots that were processed and scanned by the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office prior to election day, said chief deputy auditor Diana Bradrick. “What’s in the count tonight is everything we’ve been able to get opened, signature-verified and scanned in,” she said.
The initial results did not include ballots that were mailed with valid postmarks, deposited in drop boxes or hand-delivered on election day, said Bradrick. The next ballot count was scheduled for the following day and results could be updated as often as daily prior to certification, she said. The next scheduled count will be held Friday at 5 p.m. There are 2,800 ballots left to count as of Thursday evening.
For the most up-to-date tallies, visit the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office website at co.whatcom.wa.us/1732/current-election.