Yakima County District 15 election results in a mandatory hand r - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima County District 15 election results in a mandatory hand recount

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YAKIMA, WA - A close race between two Yakima County candidates for a seat on District 15 resulted in a mandatory hand recount this Wednesday morning.

The recount began the morning of August 17 and is expected to be done by Thursday or Friday at the latest.

A.J. Cooper, a Democrat from Selah, has an 8-point lead over Republican Dave Kearby, also from Selah. Both are currently running for the Legislative District 15 position.

A mandatory hand recount is done when candidates are separated by less than 150 votes and less than one-fourth of 1%. There are 4 teams of 2 who inspect a stack of ballots. Those ballots are then checked again by the election manager before they are accounted for. There are nearly 100 precincts that have to be recounted.

"We are just double-checking the results visually compared to what the computer and the automatic scanners read," said Yakima County Auditor Charles Ross. "Usually there are no changes."

Ross adds that what could trigger a change is if someone marked something in pencil and the scanner didn't pick it up.

If the recount were to result in a tie, the outcome would be decided by the flip of a coin. The last time this was done in Yakima County was in 2013 in Sunnyside.

With only 8 votes separating the candidates, Ross said that this is a perfect example of how important voting really is.