The outcome of one of this week’s Oregon elections hangs on a razor thin margin. Cannon Beach ballots asked voters if they want to approve a 5% tax on prepared foods in the coastal city.
As of Friday, the “yes” votes were in the lead, but only by a margin of two votes — with 369 people voting in favor of the tax, and 367 against.
If that tally stays the same, that’s close enough to trigger a recount. But even a small shift in votes could change that, and voters have until Nov. 16 to resolve any ballot challenges that may be raised.
Election recounts are triggered when there’s a vote difference of less than one fifth of one percent of total votes cast. With 1,472 ballots cast, that would be a vote difference of two. If the gap between “yes” and “no” grows to three votes or more, and the total number of ballots cast is unchanged, there will be no recount.
If there is no recount, results will be certified on Nov. 22. If there is a recount of ballots, it will take place on Nov. 30.
If the measure ultimately passes, the sales tax will help fund emergency services and infrastructure, including a new city hall and police department building.
Roughly a hundred miles south of Cannon Beach, voters in another coastal community overwhelmingly rejected a similar sales tax in the Tuesday election, with more than 68% of Newport voters against the tax measure on their ballots.