The outcome of the tight Legislative 47th District Senate primary race between Kent Democrats Claudia Kauffman and Satwinder Kaur is headed to a mandatory machine recount.
The winner of the race will clash with Kent Republican Bill Boyce on the Nov. 8 general election ballot. Boyce won the Aug. 2 primary with 13,734 votes (45.54%).
Kauffman leads Kaur by just 65 votes, according to the final King County Elections results released Aug. 16. Kauffman has 8,222 votes (27.26%). Kaur has 8,157 votes (27.05%). There were 47 write-in votes (0.15%) for others besides Boyce, Kauffman and Kaur.
“Washington state law requires a machine recount when there is a difference of less than 2,000 votes AND also less than 0.50% of the total number of votes for both candidates,” according to an Aug. 16 King County Elections news release.
Elections staff said recount activities for the race will begin at 9 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 19. The recount will be certified by the King County Canvassing Board at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 31. The certification meeting will be livestreamed on King County Elections’ Facebook page.
Boyce is president of the Kent City Council. Kaur also is a Kent City Council member. Kauffman held the 47th District Senate seat from 2007 to 2010 before losing to Joe Fain, R-Auburn. Sen. Mona Das, D-Kent, currently holds the seat, but decided not to seek a second four-year term. She narrowly defeated Fain in 2018.
This will be the second time in 10 years for a District 47 recount.
In the 2010 general election, a recount upheld State Rep. Mark Hargrove, R-Covington, and his victory over Kent Democratic challenger Bud Sizemore for the House District 47 Position 1 seat.
The recount resulted in one more vote for Hargrove. One other ballot originally counted as blank was visually reviewed and determined to have a write-in vote that was not attributable to either candidate, according to King County Elections.
The race went to a recount after Hargrove led Sizemore by 157 votes through the final tally on Nov. 27. Before the recount Hargrove had 50.08 percent (27,101 votes) while Sizemore has 49.79 percent (26,944 votes). There were 71 write-in votes for .13 percent.
Another 4,583 ballots were left blank when voters had a chance to choose between the two candidates or write in a name.
In machine recounts, the tabulating equipment is programmed to examine votes for the specific race being recounted. Some ballots are identified for closer inspection by Elections staff to confirm that the original results were correct.
King County Elections certified the overall 2022 primary election on Aug. 16. Just under 550,000 voters returned their ballots, marking a countywide turnout of 39%.
A total of 47.6% of ballots were returned by mail and 52.1% were returned to one of King County Election’s 76 secure drop boxes located across the county. Just 0.3% were returned by overseas and services voters via email or fax.
The results were certified during the Aug. 16 Canvassing Board meeting with no discrepancies in reconciliation. Board members Julie Wise, Stephanie Cirkovich and Susan Slonecker presided over the election’s certification. The meeting can be viewed on YouTube or Facebook.