One Stanwood City Council race has apparently remained close enough to trigger an automatic hand recount after the latest ballot update.

As of Monday's vote count update, one contest was just five votes apart and another was now 14 votes apart, but just outside the threshold for an automatic recount.

Snohomish County election officials now estimate there are no ballots left to count. 

In Position 1, challenger Dani Gaumond currently holds a 14-vote lead over incumbent Rob Johnson 880 to 866 — or 50.09%-49.29%, a 0.8 percentage-point difference.

In the race for the Position 7 seat, challenger Tim Schmitt has a five-vote lead over incumbent Judy Williams 826 to 821 — or 47.15%-46.86%, a 0.29 percentage-point difference.

Candidates with less than 0.5 percentage-point separating them are subject to a mandatory recount. Races less than 0.5 percentage-point difference but greater than 0.25 percentage-point will be recounted by machine. Races with less than 0.25 percentage-point difference will be recounted by hand. 

Machine recounts involve reviewing and reprocessing the ballots in the vote-counting system, paying specific attention to ballots where the voter has voted for more than one candidate or not voted in the race, county Auditor Garth Fell said.

The Snohomish County Canvassing Board manages any recounts, which historically are completed by mid-December, Fell said. Candidates will be notified so they can observe the activities, he said.

Candidates can also request a recount if the race is out of mandatory recount range or if a recount has already been conducted. 

In this situation the candidate requesting the recount will need to provide a deposit and pay for the total cost of the recount, Fell said. If the outcome of the race were to change, the county would return the deposit and absorb the cost of the recount.

Costs can range from a couple thousand dollars for a small recount to tens of thousands of dollars for a countywide recount. 

The few additional ballots that trickled in from the mail last week did not appear to impact the other local races. 

In the bid for Position 2, Marcus Metz leads Andreena Bergman 919-835. 

In the Position 3 race, incumbent Council member Darren Robb is receiving about 70% of the vote against former council member Larry Sather. 

Stanwood and Camano voters appear to have retained the two incumbents: Al Schreiber and Charlotte Murry each hold comfortable leads.

Each county will certify election results on Nov. 23.

Contact reporter Evan Caldwell at ecaldwell@scnews.com and follow him on Twitter @Evan_SCN for updates throughout the week and on Instagram @evancaldwell.scn for more photos.

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