A tiny difference between the third and fourth runners-up in the unofficial results for the Republican Natrona County Commission primary requires a recount.

Of every ballot.

Which made County Clerk Renea Vitto sigh, deeply, at the end of a long primary race day with a low voter turnout.

"The commissioners' race was so close, it was point-three percent difference between Steve Schlager and Todd Murphy," Vitto said.

That was a point spread of 78 votes, out of a total of all 25,979 votes cast for the nine GOP commission candidates including 84 write-in votes in the Republican primary. The top three candidates Robert Hendry, John Lawson, and Schlager or Murphy will face Democrats Terry WIngerter and Mike Gilmore in the Nov. 4 general election.

The countywide elected offices -- assessor, clerk, clerk of courts, coroner, district attorney, sheriff and treasurer -- on the Republican ballot were uncontested races.

The two contested Senate and five contested House races proved the staying power of incumbency, although some of those were close.

The write-in votes need to be counted, too, but that's a small job compared to what the clerk's office must do, Vitto said.

"We have to count every ballot that was cast in Natrona County," she said.

That's all of the 13,211 ballots cast, because they weren't separated by party.

The close Republican primary had 10,850 ballots, the clerk's office also needs to count the Democratic Primary ballots, the nonpartisan ballots, and five -- for whatever reason -- blank ballots.

The clerk's office needs to count those before Friday, when the party-recommended and clerk-appointed three-member canvass board meets to certify the final count, Vitto said.

To do that, the county Road and Bridge Department needs to retrieve the ballots at the precincts. The paper ballots are counted at the precincts, but the results are stored on flash drives and sent to the clerk's office, she said.