Could Tigard’s light rail measure end up in recount?

City of Tigard announced Measure 34-255 passed

Voters drop off their ballots outside Tigard City Hall, November 8, 2016 (Tigard Times/Adam Wickham)
Voters drop off their ballots outside Tigard City Hall, November 8, 2016 (Tigard Times/Adam Wickham)

TIGARD, Ore. (Tigard Times) — Unofficial results from Tuesday’s election show Tigard voters closely split over whether to authorize their city government to support plans to bring MAX light rail to Tigard.

When the first election returns started coming in at 8 p.m. Tuesday, it was clear Measure 34-255 was a dogfight — “yes” led by just a 619-vote margin. As more ballots were tallied Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, that margin has shrunk to just 119 votes out of 22,357 counted so far.

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Oregon law requires an automatic recount if the margin separating “yes” from “no” on a measure is equal to or less than one-fifth of 1 percent of the total votes cast in the race. That puts Measure 34-255 outside of automatic recount range for now, but it’s close. “Yes” has 50.3 percent support as of Wednesday morning — 50.266 percent, to be more precise.

The city of Tigard sent out a press release Wednesday morning announcing that the measure appears to have passed.

“Tigard voters have allowed us to keep planning for light rail to come to Tigard. We will continue to be at the table to bring Tigard’s voice for what light rail will be for this part of the region,” Mayor John L. Cook, who ran the “yes” campaign, was quoted as saying in the release. “This measure did not do anything financial, but next up is choosing the alignment that will come through the city, and asking for funding for the light rail extension from voters all over the region in 2018.”

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