Beaton extends lead in the Franklin County Auditor race - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Beaton extends lead in the Franklin County Auditor race

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PASCO, Wash. -- Republican Matt Beaton has extended his lead against Democratic incumbent Zona Lenhart in the Franklin County Auditor race.

The lead extends Beaton's margin from just a slim 4 votes after ballots were counted on Friday.  

After Friday's count,  Beaton expressed optimism over his chances of winning, "As a political newcomer and a virtual unknown five months ago, I ran a race on choice, change, and accountability against a local candidate that has been in government for 36 years and it's close, so I'm real happy."

KNDU made calls and visited Zona Lenhart's office for comment on the ballot counting process and whether she feels she can make a comeback in this race, however her office said she was not available and she did not return any calls.

Now, 110 "question" ballots will go to a three member canvassing board to be counted on November 22nd. These ballots contain questionable markings that make it uncertain who the voter intended to vote for or were filled out improperly.

After the 110 "question" ballots are counted, if the difference between the candidates falls within one half of one percentage points, a mandatory machine recount will take place. A winner won't be officially certified until November 23rd.