Benton City, WA
A candidate for Benton City Council who lost by 13 votes will pay for a recount out of his own pocket.
While Alexander Webera local businessman, lagging behind the incumbent David Sandretto by less than 20 votes, it was not enough to trigger an automatic recount paid for by the county, said Amanda Hatfield, Benton County Elections Officer.
An automatic recount is triggered when two candidates are separated by less than 2,000 votes and this number corresponds to 0.5% of the votes they received.
In this case, those 13 votes represented a distribution of more than 2% between the candidates.
Sandretto led his opponent with 50.7% of more than 600 votes against 48.6% for Weber.
The tight race came as voters ousted an outgoing city council member and elected a newcomer to another location. And this followed an unsuccessful attempt to adopt a municipal management system of government.
Both candidates said they were looking for change in the small town of about 3,300 people west of West Richland.
The county canvassing board, which oversees and certifies elections, is expected to approve the recount at its meeting on Thursday.
Although automatic recounts are not common, they do occur from time to time.
Last year, a close primary race between Benton County Commissioner Jim Beaver and challenger Joe Lusignan sparked a recount. In 17 years, it was the first time Hatfield had seen a candidate request a recount.
In this case, Weber, who owns a financial advisory firm, has put down a $150 deposit and will have to cover the county’s costs for the recount. We don’t know what the total will be.
Yet it is unusual for a recount to change the outcome of an election.
County election officials expect the recount to begin at 9 a.m. Monday, Dec. 6 at the polling center located at 2610 N. Columbia Center Blvd. in Richmond.
The process is open to the public. For more information on this, call the Elections Department at 509-736-3085.