If this was a fast-moving sporting event, rather than a slow-motion counting of all the votes, the contest between Dynee Medlock and Deanna Gywn to become the next Salem City Councilor in Ward 4 (a seat currently held by Jackie Leung, who didn't seek re-election) would have fans on the edge of their seats, waiting to see who ends up on top when time runs out.
Here's how the contest stands as of today. Yesterday Gwyn led Medlock by two votes. Now Medlock leads Gwyn by two votes.
We're not done yet with the May 17 election. A Salem Reporter story about the Ward 4 race said:
Election results must be certified by June 13. All ballots returned in Marion County have been counted, but voters whose signature didn’t match the signature on file with their voter registration, or who forgot to sign their ballot envelope, have until June 7 to correct the issue.
Burgess said there are 74 ballots outstanding in ward 4 with signature issues. Whether voters correct those could determine the outcome of the race.
All voters with a signature issue have been mailed a letter to the address on file with their voter registration.
In order to win outright, either Medlock or Gwyn would need to get 50% of the vote plus one more vote. With the current number of total votes, 5,100, this means 2,550 plus one, or 2,551 votes, which neither candidate has.
The twelve write-in votes are making it a distinct possibility that Medlock and Gwyn will have to redo their contest in the November election, assuming neither is able to win outright in the May election. Without those twelve votes, there would be 5,088 total votes. Then 2,544 votes plus one more vote would produce a winner, which happens to be the exact number of votes Medlock has now, 2,545.
Yeah, it's a cliche, but a true one: every vote counts. It isn't possible to tell when an election will come down to just a handful of votes, or even a single vote, as could happen in this race. So the simple lesson is... vote!