Today’s ballot drop subtly changed things up in the District 1 (West Seattle) city council race. Over the last few days, the votes have been trending in favor of Lisa Herbold—lefty council member Nick Licata’s longtime legislative aide. Surging from an election night deficit of 733 votes, Herbold pulled to a mere six ballots behind her opponent Shannon Braddock, former aide to King County council member Joe McDermott, this week.
Reversing Herbold's trend this afternoon, Braddock took a slim majority of the latest 982 batch of ballots, increasing her slight lead over Herbold to an 18-vote margin.
Here’s the specific breakdown: Herbold brought in 485 votes (49.39 percent of the batch) while Braddock brought in 497 (50.61 percent of the batch), putting their current cumulative totals at 49.64 percent for Herbold and 49.72 percent for Braddock. On election night, Braddock led Herbold by much larger spread—52.92 percent to 46.48 percent.
Meanwhile, in the District 2 (Southeast Seattle) race between incumbent Bruce Harrell and food justice activist Tammy Morales, incumbent Harrell—despite a Morales surge last week and Harrell's slight dip today—remained ahead by 424 votes. It was enough for KING5 to call the race for Harrell, who's winning 51.06 to 48.71. (For the record: Morales got 50.7 percent of today's 710-vote batch to Harrell's 49.2 percent.)
Given how close West Seattle's District One race is, it’s likely a recount will be called once the estimated 1,000 remaining ballots are counted. King County Elections rules require a recount if the margin between the candidates' is at .5 (for a machine recount) or .25 percent (requiring a recount by hand) of the total votes cast within a race. Using the latter percentage, that would be about a 100 vote margin in the already ridiculously close Braddock/Herbold contest, according to King County Elections.