DORI MONSON

Dori: In a tight race, Congressional candidate Kent’s own ballot almost didn’t count

Aug 9, 2022, 5:15 PM | Updated: Oct 20, 2022, 3:22 pm

(Photo courtesy of Joe Kent's Twitter @joekent16jan19)...

(Photo courtesy of Joe Kent's Twitter @joekent16jan19)

(Photo courtesy of Joe Kent's Twitter @joekent16jan19)

In a 3rd Congressional District race that has eyes all over the country watching for final results, Southwest Washington Republican Joe Kent told The Dori Monson Show he’s happy he tracked his own ballot – because it almost didn’t get counted.

Kent – who, as of Aug. 8, holds a narrow 960-vote lead over six-term incumbent Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Battle Ground) – told Dori’s listeners that he was following his ballot status online when he learned that his vote had not initially been tallied.

“I was watching the Voter Portal site, which is where people should go to see if their ballot has been accepted, challenged, or rejected,” Kent said. “The key word is ‘accepted.’”

Kent discovered his submitted and received ballot had not been accepted. What happened? Dori asked.

“They had a problem with my signature,” Kent said. Like other voters, the candidate explained, he was allowed to file a new “official signature” at the Clark County Auditor’s office. “That’s what I did. They had a problem with my signature and we got it cleared up.

“They did call me because they recognized that I was a candidate,” Kent explained. Other voters can learn of their own ballot issues or abnormalities by using the same website Voter Portal before Aug. 15, he added. “This just makes the case we need to stop voting this way (and) go back to voting in person to make it a more transparent process.”

Meanwhile, another ballot tally is expected Tuesday evening in Kent’s race against Herrera-Beutler. Media pundits have cast their primary campaign as one of Trump-backed Kent, a former Green Beret, against Herrera-Beutler, who voted in favor of the former president’s impeachment. The incumbent led by 257 votes last Friday, but dropped behind Kent by 960 votes on Monday when new ballots were tallied in Clark, Cowlitz, and Thurston counties.

Both candidates are waiting for the final count to determine who will face business owner Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-Washougal) in November.

Though the final primary outcome should be certified by Aug. 19, it’s possible it could face a mandatory recount before November’s general election. If the separation between the second and third candidates is less than half of 1 percent and less than 2,000 voters, it requires a machine recount. If Kent and Herrera-Beutler are closer than one quarter of 1 percent and 150 votes, a hand recount will be needed.

Listen to Dori Monson weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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