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Gresham mayoral race yet to be called, 700-plus 'challenge ballots' could make a difference

Just 104 votes separate the two top vote-getters.

GRESHAM, Ore. — Though most Multnomah County and Oregon elections were called last week, several remain too close to call nearly a week after Election Day.

One of those is the race for Gresham's next mayor, with just 104 votes separating Travis Stovall and Eddy Morales as of Monday, Nov. 9 at 5 p.m.

Those 104 votes turn out to be less than a quarter of a percentage point, and still more ballots to be counted. For an automatic recount to be triggered, the race as to be within .2%. If Morales were to lose under a margin above .2% he could still ask for a recount and pay for it personally.

But the race may not be decided by ballots that are already in-house at Multnomah County Elections. The Gresham Outlook paper reported this week it could come down to 704 challenge ballots. 

If a ballot is missing a signature or the signature doesn't match the one on file, those ballots are designated "challenge ballots." Voters who are affected got a letter in the mail, and have been asked to either send a registration card with an updated signature or sign an attestation form by Nov. 17.

According to Tim Scott with Multnomah County Elections, the race will not be certified before Nov. 23. As of last Friday, there were several thousand ballots left to count, but it's unknown what number of those specifically included Gresham votes. 

If he doesn't win, Morales will return to his work on the Gresham City Council. 

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