Primary — Election results finalized, groups considering Position 3 recount declines to file

In the past two Yamhill County commissioner elections, there has been a recount. Although there was a group considering asking for a recount of the Position 3 ballots in this year’s May primary, Yamhill County Clerk Brian Van Bergen said the group has decided against moving forward with the request.

“Because as the ballots were counted, the margins weren’t shrinking,” Van Bergen said. “That doesn’t mean some other party couldn’t ask for a recount, but they would have to foot the bill for the whole thing.”

The Position 3 race was between candidates Mary Starrett, Debra Bridges and Marc Shelton. Preliminary results placed Starrett in the lead with 51 percent of the vote to Bridges’ 37.24 percent. Shelton finished a distant third with 11.59 percent of the vote.

Van Bergen said as of June 4, the votes were finalized. There wasn’t much change from the preliminary results, resulting in 50.99 percent of votes for Starrett, and a miniscule bump of .01 percent for both Bridges and Shelton, 37.25 and 11.6 percent, respectively.

Anyone wishing to request a recount would do so with the Secretary of State’s office. Van Bergen said the cost could total between $2,000 and $2,500.

“Basically all it is is people’s wages. We have to hire some temporary people to come in and physically count all those ballots,” he said. “It’s not unheard of but not something you want either.”

Four years ago there was a recount for Position 3 when it was Starrett versus Mary Stern, and the election prior to that in 2006 when Kathy George faced Cassie Sollars for Position 1.

Van Bergen said recounts have to be requested within 40 days of the election, and while the requesting party could face the bill, if the outcome changes, Yamhill County would be liable for payment.

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