Sunnyside election could come down to 1 vote

SUNNYSIDE, Wash. -- An election that's been too close to call looks like it could come down to one vote. The race is for Sunnyside City Council. That power is in the hands of a man who turned in his ballot without his signature.

One vote that could make the difference. It belongs to Frank Gallardo.

"I lost my letter," said Frank. "I don't know where it is you know. I lost my little paper to vote."

Frank wasn't aware the Sunnyside City Council District Three primary results could ride on his choice. Right now, the three candidates are separated by a total of two votes top to bottom. Frank voted, but it wasn't counted because he didn't sign his ballot. Election officials sent him a notice saying they need his signature.

Yakima County elections officials said the ballot will only count if the signature is received by Monday. It's one vote with real implications.

"You haven't contacted anyone to let them know you lost it?" KIMA asked.
"No," said Frank.
"How come?" KIMA asked.
"Because I didn't know it was so important," said Frank.

After ten minutes of digging through his old mail, Frank found his unsigned ballot.

"I didn't do it right. I have to sign this," said Frank.
"Yes that's what you have to sign," KIMA said.

Signed and now ready to be sent. Don Vlieger leads the race with 57 votes ahead of Spencer Martin's 56 and Victor Ochoa's 55. Only the top two advance. Yakima County election officials tell Action News they haven't decided how to break a possible tie for second.

"I think this is a wonderful lesson for students and members of the public to recognize just how important it is to participate in the process," said Sunnyside City Council member Jason Raines.

"Did you know one vote could make a difference?" KIMA asked.
"Now I know one vote could make a lot of difference," said Frank.

Yakima County elections officials said they'll decide Wednesday how to break a possible tie. The vote count won't be updated until the end of the week.