County seat relocation closer to approval

A Benton County measure to relocate the county seat from Prosser to Kennewick inched closer toward approval as 2,077 more ballots were counted Wednesday but still was short of the necessary 60 percent approval.

The county auditor's count showed 1,206 ballots for approval of the move and 871 in opposition.

That showed a 58 percent rate of approval for relocating the county seat among the newly counted ballots. But when added to the totals from Tuesday's count, it barely raised the 56 percent tally.

So far, 22,557 votes have been counted out of 40,181 cast countywide.

Auditor Brenda Chilton has said she expects to process as many as 20,000 additional ballots in coming days as her staff goes through mail postmarked on election day.

The additional votes counted Wednesday had no effect on the tight race for county coroner, with John Hansens retaining a 51.6 percent lead with 17,158 votes over Alberta Redwing's 48.4 percent and 16,652 votes.

The new tallies gave District Court judge position 3 candidate Dan Kathren 51 percent and 16,865 votes to maintain a slim margin over Alex Ekstrom's 49 percent and 16,220 votes.