FARMINGTON -- After an official canvass Tuesday of the Nov. 5 municipal election by the two respective city councils, the counts in the Kaysville City Council and Farmington City Council contest only got tighter.
But despite the races tightening up, one candidate -- who finished just seven votes shy of her opponent -- will not be eligible for a ballot recount. Meanwhile, the other candidate, who is eligible for a recount after finishing 14 votes back, has dismissed the notion of even requesting one.
In Farmington, candidate Kristen Harbertson fell seven votes shy of opponent Doug R. Anderson for a two-year seat on the council.
Harbertson, who was initially behind by 12 votes following the Nov. 5 unofficial count, was hoping with the number of absentee ballots still to be counted that she might be able to overtake her opponent, because she encouraged many of her supporters to vote by mail.
But Harbertson finished two votes shy of what she needed to be eligible for a recount, according to Brian McKenzie, Davis County Election Manager.
"(Harbertson) does not qualify for a recount," McKenzie said.
For a losing candidate to be eligible for a recount they need to be within 0.25 percent of the total number of ballots cast in that specific contest, McKenzie said. Using that formula, Harbertson needed to be within five votes of Anderson to be eligible for a recount.
While Harbertson fell just short, Kaysville City Councilman Gil A. Miller in his unsuccessful bid to capture a third consecutive four-year term in office, is eligible for a recount. He narrowed the vote margin between he and Councilman Jared Taylor from 22 votes to 14 votes during the canvass, according to officials.
Miller and Taylor were competing for the second open seat on the council, Kaysville City Recorder Linda Ross said.
The Tuesday canvass showed challenger Susan Lee still as the top vote-getter in the council race, nearly 300 votes ahead of her closest opponent, Ross said.
"(Miller) is within the recount threshold," McKenzie said based on the large number of ballots cast.
However, the losing candidate does have to request Davis County to perform the recount, he said.
But that, based on a Nov. 7 email Miller sent to the Standard-Examiner, is unlikely.
"I will never ask for a recount under any circumstances," Miller said.
"If when the final vote totals are determined by the county next (Tues. Nov. 12) I should lose by one vote, so be it," Miller said. "This country has had enough 'hanging chad' issues. Jared Taylor is a great city councilman and will serve the city well."
McKenzie said it is great to see contests that attract the participation from the public.
"I hope people will see and recognize that every vote does count," McKenzie said. "In these (two) races a dozen votes made the difference."
Clinton city, after canvassing its municipal election votes on Tuesday, also had a close call with a ballot recount.
Council candidate Barbara J. Patterson lost to Michael Ray Petersen by eight votes for the second open seat on the council, according to Dennis Cluff, Clinton City Manager.
To be eligible for a ballot recount, Patterson would have had to be within four votes of Petersen, Cluff said, based on the new state election formula.
Just more than 19 percent of all of Clinton city's registered voters cast a ballot in the Nov. 5 election, Cluff said.
In Weber County, the Riverdale City Council on Tuesday conducted a final canvass of its Nov. 5 municipal election, with council candidate Gary E. Griffiths narrowly defeating Steve Hilton by 18 votes for the second open seat on the council. Nearly 48 percent of the city's registered voters cast ballots in the election.
Other previously announced winners in Riverdale, Norm Searle for mayor, and Brent Ellis for council, did not change.
Contact reporter Bryon Saxton at 801-625-4244 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter at @BryonSaxton.