Article by Erik Smith. Published on Friday, November 10, 2010 EST.
House Ways and Means Chairwoman Makes Big Gains in Late Ballot Counts – May Not be Over Yet
State Rep. Kelli Linville, D-Bellingham.
UPDATE, 7:30 a.m. Nov. 8 — Keeps getting closer. A new ballot count Saturday put Linville just 315 votes behind. At least 12,000 ballots remain to be counted county-wide. More ballots to be counted today.
UPDATE, 5:19 p.m. Nov. 5 — Looks like it’s down to the wire. More ballots were counted Friday in Whatcom County and Linville narrowed the gap. She is now behind by 545 votes. At least 17,000 ballots remain to be counted in Whatcom County.
By Erik Smith
Staff writer/ Washington State Wire
OLYMPIA, Nov. 5.—House Ways and Means Chairwoman Kelli Linville may not be done after all – and it looks like it’s going to come down to the last few ballots in Whatcom County.
Linville, D-Bellingham, appeared to go down decisively on election night, losing to Republican Vincent Buys 54-46.
But the last two days of ballot counting in the 42nd Legislative District have narrowed that margin considerably, and the trend appears to be in her favor. As by-mail ballots trickled in to the county auditor’s office, her percentage improved to 48.5 percent on Wednesday and 49 percent on Thursday.Today the longtime lawmaker stands just 900 votes behind her Republican opponent. And the secretary of state’s website in Olympia indicates that there are 24,000 ballots on hand at the elections office in Whatcom County. Not all of those are in the 42nd Legislative District, of course – a portion of Whatcom County is in the 40th. But it indicates that there are many votes left to count in the race, and a reversal is a possibility. The next count is scheduled to be released at 5:30 on Friday.