A tally of uncounted ballots from the Nov. 6 General Election conducted Friday by the Clatsop County Elections Division resulted in a wider margin between the two candidates in the close race for Gearhart mayor.
The new totals, following the count, are now 356 votes for Dianne Widdop and 350 for Bob Shortman.
But the complete tally will not be finalized until after Nov. 16, the deadline to resolve some uncounted ballots.
On Friday the elections division tallied 48 ballots that remained uncounted after Nov. 6. They included replacement ballots, provisional ballots given to voters whose registration status was unclear, ballots of Clatsop County voters that were dropped off in other counties, and ballots in which the voter signature on the ballot envelope did not match the voter's registration card.
In the case of ballots withheld due to discrepancies in signatures, state law directs county elections officials to notify those voters whose ballots have been set aside and allow them to come to the elections office to verify their ballot signatures. Those voters have 10 days, or until Nov. 16, to respond.
If the Gearhart race ends in a margin of one or two votes between the candidates, an automatic hand-recount will conducted, under state election law requiring recounts for margins of less than one-fifth of 1 percent. If the margin is larger, one of the candidates could request a hand recount of ballots in the race, but would have to pay the cost of the recount.
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