MONTESANO — It still isn’t official, but Ocean Shores Mayor Crystal Dingler appears to have been re-elected by a three-vote margin after ballots were hand counted at the Grays Harbor Auditor’s office Tuesday.
As of Tuesday afternoon it was still unofficial because one apparent write-in ballot was unaccounted for, but even if the ballot actually went to one of the candidates, it wouldn’t swing the result.
Dingler and her challenger, Susan Conniry, were at the Courthouse for most of the day as ballots were counted.
After the hand recount, the total for the candidates was the same as it was after last week’s final count, Dingler winning 1,607 to 1,604.
The count was delayed when after the hand recount was done, election workers discovered that the total votes for the two candidates added up to 47 fewer than the total in last week’s count.
Election workers discovered that when the Ocean Shores ballots were sorted out Monday, some were mixed into boxes that held the non-Ocean Shores ballots. The workers had to go through each one looking for the Ocean Shores ballots. By mid-afternoon, they had been found. One write-in ballot had not been located so Auditor Joe MacLean delayed calling the race official until it was found.
Conniry congratulated Dingler on the victory before leaving the Courthouse.