Gresham Mayor-elect Travis Stovall is 13 votes ahead of his closest opponent, Eddy Morales, in the final tally of the Nov. 3 election. That means a recount is mandatory under state law.
At 5 pm on Nov. 19, the total number of votes counted in the mayor's race was 45,351, with Stovall getting 16,648 votes to Morales' 16,635. Final results will be certified after the recount. Multnomah County Elections says it's unlikely the results will change.
"Following the post-election audit, Elections will begin preparing for a full hand recount of all ballots cast in the Gresham mayoral contest," the press release reads. "Every ballot cast in this contest will be counted by hand and the results of the recount will replace the machine-counted totals, if there is any difference between the two counts."
Stovall celebrated his win, while noting the recount was still pending.
"I am honored to be your next mayor and look forward to helping Gresham be a stronger, more vibrant and equitable city," Stovall said in a statement. "With the $13-plus million budget shortfall, as well as helping Gresham businesses and workers get back to work to recover from the impact of COVID, I'm ready to work with the community to address these issues."
Morales released a statement today emphasizing the importance of each vote.
"This race has made clear this fundamental democratic truth: Every single vote matters," Morales wrote. "If we lose the mayor's race by 13 votes or win by two, one thing is certain: Our community is victorious. We showed up in record numbers, elected a new council majority who will be transparent and inclusive of our community that will join me in council when they take office in January."
State law requires a recount of ballots by hand if the winning candidate finishes ahead of the second-place candidate by less than one-fifth of 1% (0.2%) of the total votes for both candidates. (Stovall leads Morales by less than 0.04%, or four one-hundredths of 1%.) The recount will be conducted during the first week of December and each candidate will be notified once it's completed.
"We have the utmost faith and appreciation in the Multnomah County Elections Division," Morales says. "We thank the election workers who will carry out this recount, and we trust the process to run its course—no matter the outcome."
Meanwhile, another close race—this one for the Oregon Legislature—finished outside the margin that would have triggered a recount. State Rep. Anna Williams (D-Hood River) appears to have maintained her seat by 90 votes over Republican former state Rep. Jeff Helfrich.