The results are in: newcomer Alexis Pickering will be the new Ada County Highway District Commissioner in District 2.
On Friday, the recount in the race between sixteen-year incumbent Commissioner Rebecca Arnold and Pickering concluded after five days of counting with Pickering still the winner by four votes. This is the same final result as November 3 when Pickering came out ahead by two votes.
Pickering thanked Arnold for her service in a Facebook post after the results were certified.
“I am eager to begin serving the people of Ada County as their next ACHD Commissioner: no matter if you voted for me, I want to earn your trust,” she wrote in the post. “I want to make you proud. And I want to spend the next four years delivering on the central promises of this campaign.”
Questions from Arnold about the count
Arnold said she did not have a statement Friday night, but she raised some questions about absentee ballots cast. In a text message to BoiseDev, she asked how 31 absentee ballots “magically appear(ed)” between Nov. 3 and the end of the recount. Arnold said Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane told her 19,540 absentee ballots were cast on election night and 19,571 were cast during the recount.
The number of votes counted on Election Day and during the recount listed on the official election result sheet signed by Ada County Prosecutor Jan Bennetts said an additional 18 votes were counted in the recount than on November 3. It did not break down the votes into categories of absentee or in-person voting.
In response Arnold’s concerns, McGrane said the reason for the difference is still being investigated.
“We still need to review the results in detail,” he said. “Our goal is to ensure every vote is counted and that the results and outcomes are accurate. That’s what the recount was for. We are going to work to better understand the differences that occurred.”
Prior to the start of the recount, a logic and accuracy test confirmed the equipment was functioning properly. The recount began with a hand count of a sampling of 5% of the ballots cast in the race, then a machine recount of the same ballots. The full recount was conducted by a machine scan of ballots, including ballots cast on Election Day in the ACHD race, as well as all absentee and early voting ballots.