Ten days after the general election, the race for Thurston County Superior Court Judge Position 1 remains close, with Chris Lanese maintaining a slight lead.
Lanese had 50.59 percent, or 54,806 votes, and Laura Murphy had 49.41 percent, or 53,533 votes, according to the vote count released Thursday evening by the Thurston County Auditor’s Office. The winner will take the seat occupied by Judge Chris Wickham.
“I have to say, whatever comes of this election, it is clear the voters in Thurston County have confidence in both Mr. Lanese and myself as their next Superior Court judge,” Murphy posted on her campaign’s Facebook page this week.
“I am proud of the positive campaign we both chose to run, and thankful for the support I have received. With just 1.2 percent between our ballot count, it has been a lesson in patience. Whichever way the election results turn, Thurston County will receive a highly capable judge.”
As of Thursday evening, election workers had counted 132,070 ballots, with nearly 3,500 ballots left to process.
Election workers are scheduled to work Saturday, Auditor Mary Hall said. They also worked on Veterans Day, which was a county holiday, and last weekend.
“What we’re trying to avoid is having to work next weekend,” Hall said of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
She said her staff won’t have to work on Thanksgiving, but if there are uncounted ballots Friday, which is a county holiday, they’ll have to work so that the county can meet its deadlines for the election’s Nov. 29 certification.
The county’s Canvassing Board met Wednesday to go through its first batch of questionable ballots, including 80 that were from city of Olympia voters who attempted to weigh in on Initiative 1 — but mistakenly used a lookalike ballot that was part of a supplemental voters pamphlet.
“Folks voted on the pamphlet and not the ballot, so they’re having to duplicate those (votes onto real ballots),” Hall said.
The Canvassing Board is scheduled to meet again Tuesday.