Thursday’s recount in the nonpartisan race for Yellowstone County District Court Judge, Department 8, has confirmed the victory of Judge-elect Ashley Harada, who beat former county prosecutor Juli Pierce by an original margin of 119 votes and added a half dozen votes to her tally after the manual recount was completed. The Gazette reports the change comes from votes that were interpreted differently by the machines than they were by elections staff reviewing individual ballots and applying rules for valid votes from the Secretary of State’s Office. The recount process cost an estimated $20,000. A recount is available to losing candidates, and if they lose by a margin of 0.25 percent or less, Montana law requires the county to fund the recount. Pierce lost by 0.2 percent. The Gazette Editorial Board endorsed Pierce in October. Read more at;

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