Election workers sorting ballots in recount - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Election workers sorting ballots in recount

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PROSSER, Wash. --  First step in deciding a winner in the Benton County District Court Judge race is underway.

Election workers are sorting ballots from 190 precincts in Benton County. The recount will decide if Dan Kathren or Erik Ekstrom is the next district court judge.

County auditor Brenda Chilton explains why a recount can't begin automatically, "All of the recounts that I've experienced in the past were with punch card ballots so we kind of know the timeline to those types of ballots and they were pre-sorted ballots, in this case, they were not pre-sorted ahead of time, so the process of sorting has to occur first."

Chilton adds that over 64,000 ballots from the precincts will have to be counted. That could take all week according to the Benton County Auditor.

After the ballots are sorted, the actual recount begins which Chilton says should start by next Monday.