Goen wins fire district seat by 3 votes

The Island County Election Canvassing Board finalized the Nov. 3 election result for the North Whidbey Fire District Commissioner seat on Wednesday afternoon at the Auditor’s office in Coupeville.

All other election results were approved Nov. 24, but the Fire District 2 race required a recount because of a scant four-vote difference.

Hand recounts are required by law if there’s a difference of fewer than 150 votes and a margin of less than one-quarter of 1 percent.

The hand recount spanned almost two full days.

“It took a longer time to sort them all than it did to recount them,” said Michelle Reagan, deputy auditor, of the nearly 28,000 ballots.

Both candidates, incumbent Larry Morse and political newcomer Jerry Goen, were present at the end of the count on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m., she said.

The hand recount found that Goen was ahead by three votes. There was an additional vote that the canvassing board ruled on during its meeting this week.

The board decided that the questionable vote was considered an “overvote” because the voter marked a write-in candidate in addition to another candidate.

Goen ultimately received 2,200 votes, Morse 2,197 and there were 1,380 “other” votes, which include under-votes, over-votes and write-ins, Reagan said.

The last hand recount occurred last year during the Island County commissioner race between incumbent Mac McDowell and Angie Homola, which Homola ultimately won by 62 votes.

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