By Bill Sheets Herald Writer
Some tight city council races around Snohomish County only got tighter in the ballot count posted Thursday.
For example, Arlington City Councilman Chris Raezer and his challenger, Shery Christianson, were in a dead heat — 1,206 votes to 1,206.
In the other close Arlington race, Councilman Steve Baker trailed challenger Jesica Stickles by 11 votes — 1,235 to 1,246.
About 70 percent of the ballots received countywide have been tabulated, said Garth Fell, elections manager for the county. In some areas it may be less because ballots are sorted by geographical area, he said.
“It is pretty typical that it takes us through the end of the week to catch up on the ballots that are received on Election Day,” Fell said. Ballots have to be opened, the signatures checked and inspected for any needed corrections, he said.
Fell expects the vast majority of received ballots to be counted by Saturday. Updated results are scheduled to be posted at 5 p.m. today and Saturday.
Another update is likely Tuesday. After that, counts will be done intermittently as needed until the election is scheduled to be certified Nov. 26, he said.
About 40 percent of the 419,311 ballots sent out countywide had been returned as of Thursday morning, according to the elections department website.
In other tight races, in Mukilteo, Ted Wheeler led Terry Preshaw by 31 votes — 1,689 to 1,657 — in the race for an open position on the City Council.
Wheeler is chairman of the city’s Parks and Arts Commission. Two years ago, Preshaw, a city activist, lost her council bid to Emily Vanderwielen by 19 votes.
In Snohomish, just 99 votes separate two candidates in the race for City Council Position 5, and one of them did not actively campaign.
As of Thursday’s count, City Councilman Derrick Burke had 626 votes, Michael Whitney 527. On election night, Burke led by only 42.
Whitney, who is not the writer for The Snohomish County Tribune with the same name, said in an email to The Herald Sept. 26 that he had decided not to run for personal reasons, but missed a deadline to withdraw from the council race. His name remained on the ballot.
Burke, who owns Puget Sound Woodworking, was appointed to the council in 2010.
In Monroe, City Councilman Kevin Hanford trailed challenger Brad Waddell by 43 votes after Thursday’s count. Waddell had 771 votes to Hanford’s 728.
Mountlake Terrace City Councilman Doug McCardle led his challenger Stephen Barnes by 129 votes, 1,531 to 1,402.
In Mill Creek, former councilwoman Pam Pruitt led councilwoman Kathy Nielsen 1,773 to 1,588, a difference of 185 votes.
Reporter Julie Muhlstein contributed to this report.
Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org.