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Councilman wins seat by 1 ballot because opponent didn’t vote

Jillian Cain/Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Washington state councilman Ryan Roth won his “wild” election by a single ballot after his opponent failed to vote.

It took nearly a month for election officials to figure out who won the Nov. 7 election in Rainier, Washington. But when the votes were officially tallied, Roth, who mailed in his ballot, was declared the victor by a count of 247 to 246.

“I had no idea what was going to happen,” the landfill manager told NPR. “This is my first time running, you know? So I had no idea what would happen if we tied, or if it was by one, so just not knowing was an intense deal.”

Roth said his opponent, Damion Green, conceded.

“He called me after the day of the recount to congratulate me, saying he didn’t vote and maybe he should have,” Roth, 33, said.

According to Roth, Green is a “solid guy” with whom he agrees on a lot of issues. The father of four said his busy schedule prevented him from mailing his ballot until the last minute, but he’s glad he got it in under the wire after campaigning to serve the roughly 2,500 person logging town.

“I mean, every vote does count no matter whatever your belief may be,” Roth told NPR.

Green told The Washington Post he didn’t feel right about casting a vote for himself.