Recounts: Cosmopolis race holds, Aberdeen, Ocean Shores pushed to Thursday

Manual recounts for Aberdeen mayor and Ocean Shores City Council Position 6 to commence at 9 a.m.

After a full day of sorting and counting ballots, a vote recount for a Cosmopolis City Council race did not change the results, and elections officials postponed manual recounts for the Aberdeen mayor’s race and Position 6 on the Ocean Shores City Council until Thursday morning at 9 a.m.

The machine recount for the Cosmopolis City Council race verified Mark Collett’s 287-285 victory over Sue Darcy for Position 4.

Elections employees began at 9 a.m. sorting ballots at the elections building in Montesano. It took them a little less than six hours to sift through the nearly 16,000 ballots cast in Grays Harbor County to pick out ballots from Aberdeen, Ocean Shores and Cosmopolis.

That process concluded at 3 p.m., when elections officials decided to move forward with the Cosmopolis recount, the only machine recount, and wait until Thursday to finish manual tallies for Aberdeen mayor and Ocean Shores City Council. The manual recounts will take several hours, according to Grays Harbor County Auditor Joe Maclean.

On election certification day, Nov. 28, Douglas Orr finished with a four-vote lead over Debi Pieraccini in a race where he never led by more than eight votes. Orr garnered 1,363 votes to Pieraccini’s 1,359 votes, which amounts to 49.55% and 49.4% of the vote, respectively.

Elections officials initially determined the race would undergo a machine recount, but later calculations, when accounting for a ballot that arrived from Hong Kong in the hours leading up to certification, proved a manual recount was necessary.

According to state law, manual recounts are required when the difference in votes between two candidates is less than 0.25%. A machine recount is required for margins slimmer than 0.5%.

In Ocean Shores, Richard Wills finished certification day leading Peggy Jo Faria by a single vote, 1,740 to 1,739. Wills has 49.9% of the vote, and Faria has 49.87%.

Contact reporter Clayton Franke at 406-552-3917 or