Jerry Farmer gained two votes in a recount for the Port of Olympia District 3 commission race, but it was not enough to overtake opponent Elizabeth “E.J.” Zita, Thurston County Auditor Mary Hall announced on Friday morning.
Zita won the election with 26,443 votes, or 50.22 percent of the votes, according to election results that were certified Friday. Farmer received 26,218 votes.
“The recount demonstrates the trust we have in our processes, the hard work of elections staff and the confidence we have in our ballot tabulators,” Hall said in a news release. “The difference in this race was only a couple hundred votes. Clearly, every vote matters, and we hope more than the 37 percent of voters who turned out in November will turn out in 2016 elections.”
The recount process required sorting more than 60,000 ballots by precinct order, and recounting them by machine. The two votes that Farmer gained were due to ballots marked with light pencil that had not been recognized by tabulators, a news release stated.
Zita was sworn into office Nov. 25 to participate in that evening’s port commission meeting, according to Hall’s office. She is filling an unexpired term for former Port Commissioner Sue Gunn, who resigned last spring.