Only 61 votes separate the two candidates for the county executive race, according to preliminary results of the November 5 general election released shortly after 8 p.m. on election day.
As of November 5 at 8:08 p.m., Tony Larson received 24,125 votes (50 percent), narrowly leading Satpal Sidhu, who received 24,064 votes (49.87 percent).
Results for the Whatcom County Council district 5 seat, which represents Blaine and Birch Bay, were much more clear cut, with Ben Elenbaas receiving 5,674 votes (59.44 percent) compared to Natalie McClendon’s 3,857 votes (40.4 percent).
According to the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office, 49,286 ballots were initially counted with an estimated 13,000 ballots currently in the auditor’s office left to count. With 146,704 registered voters in this election, voter turnout stood at 33.6 percent.
Here are the results of other competitive county and local races:
• Whatcom County Council At-Large Position B: Carol Frazey received 27,824 votes (60.36 percent), leading David Ramirez, who received 18,186 votes (39.45 percent).
• Whatcom County assessor: John Romaker received 22,522 votes (50.71 percent), leading Rebecca Xczar, who received 21,793 votes (49.07 percent).
• Whatcom County sheriff: Bill Elfo received 33,456 votes (70.93 percent), leading Joy Gilfilen, who received 13,635 votes (28.91 percent).
• Port of Bellingham commissioner district 3: Bobby Briscoe received 28,977 votes (67.05 percent), leading Anthony Distefano, who received 14,108 votes (32.65 percent).
• Blaine City Council ward 1, position 1: Richard May received 828 votes (75.14 percent), leading Randy Roose, who received 272 votes (24.68 percent).
• Blaine City Council ward 2, position 3: Garth Baldwin received 885 votes (79.09 percent), leading Steven Tojek, who received 230 votes (20.55 percent).
• Blaine school district director district 2: Dougal Thomas received 1,831 votes (54.19 percent), leading Todd Berge, who received 1,537 votes (45.49 percent).
• Blaine school district director district 4: Charles Gibson received 1,828 votes (54.02 percent), leading Tana Perkins Reneau, who received 1,536 votes (45.39 percent).
• Fire Protection District 21 commissioner position 3: Scott Fischer received 3,924 votes (62.91 percent), leading Kathy Berg, who received 2,285 votes (36.64 percent).
• Birch Bay Water and Sewer District commissioner position 3: Fred Reid received 1,271 votes (67.97 percent), leading Patrick Alesse, who received 591 votes (31.6 percent).
The final results of the election will not be available until Tuesday, November 26, when the Whatcom County Canvassing Board is expected to certify the results of the election.
The preliminary results released on the evening of November 5 reflect ballots that were processed and scanned by the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office prior to election day, said chief deputy auditor Diana Bradrick. “What’s in the count tonight is everything we’ve been able to get opened, signature-verified and scanned in,” she said.
The initial results did not include ballots that were mailed with valid postmarks, deposited in drop boxes or hand-delivered on election day, said Bradrick. The next ballot count was scheduled for the following day, November 6, at 8 p.m. and results could be updated as often as daily prior to certification, she said.
The results released on November 5 are subject to change. For the most up-to-date tallies, visit co.whatcom.wa.us/1732/current-election.