Schmidlin loses narrow lead in recall election

Washington County released the results of additional ballots Thursday morning, a day earlier than previously announced, and Banks Fire District Board Chair Mark Schmidlin’s narrow lead has slipped away in the new totals, leaving him facing the prospect of losing his seat.

As of Thursday, 798 voters chose to recall Schmidlin, while 774 voted to keep him in his seat. 

Board member Ed Ewing has a more comfortable margin in his favor, with 701 voters calling for his removal, while 783 voters thus far voted against his recall.

Results can be viewed on the county’s website.

The first round of results posted by the Washington County Elections Division  the night of the election showed Schmidlin clinging to his seat with just five votes keeping him in office in initial results, which did not include ballots that may have been mailed but not received yet by the county.

A new law in effect this year allows mail-in ballots to be counted up to seven days after Election Day as long as they are in the mail and postmarked by 8:00 p.m. the day of the election.

Board member Ed Ewing has a slightly more comfortable margin in his favor, with 46.81% of the initial votes calling for his removal, while 53.19% of voters thus far voted against his recall.

So far, the election turnout sits at 34.62% of the 4,598 registered voters residing in the Banks Fire District’s bounds.

This newspaper does not call election results on limited data.

Additional results will be counted and posted every Friday, with a final report expected to be issued early in May, a county elections employee told the Banks Post in a phone call. With today’s surprise totals posted, it’s not clear if more results will be posted Friday, April 15.

Read more about what led to the recall here.

This story originally listed a date as February that should have read April and has been updated.

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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