With fewer than 2,500 ballots left to count in San Luis Obispo County, the results of some close races in the Nov. 4 election are becoming clearer — but they’re still not final.
In Arroyo Grande, Mayor Tony Ferrara trails the total number of votes for a write-in candidate, 49 percent to 51 percent, though county elections staff still has to verify that all the ballots cast for a write-in candidate will go to challenger Jim Hill.
Ferrara is behind by 121 votes, with only 32 ballots left to count.
In Pismo Beach, Mayor Shelly Higginbotham is currently hanging onto her seat by one vote against challenger Kevin Kreowski. There are eight votes left to count.
The race for Pismo Beach council seats appears decided, however: Newcomer Sheila Blake has secured a seat, and incumbent Mary Ann Reiss has finished second, only 16 votes ahead of newcomer Marcia Guthrie.
Incumbent Kris Vardas finished fourth.
In the Paso Robles race for two council seats, Councilman John Hamon still leads with 22 percent of the vote. He’s followed by Jim Reed with 19.9 percent, Mayor Duane Picanco, who is running for a council seat, with 19.82 percent, and Pam Avila, with 19.76 percent.
Reed and Picanco are separated by 14 votes; and Picanco and Avila are separated by eight votes.
There are 38 ballots left to count in that race.
And in Grover Beach, the $48 million bond measure for street rehabilitation is passing with 68 percent of voters in support. It needed a two-thirds vote, or 66.7 percent, to pass. There are 11 ballots left to count in that city.
When asked when race results could be considered final, county Clerk-Recorder Julie Rodewald said her staff is still working through a lengthy process to ensure that elections results are accurate.
“It’s not over until we finish the whole process,” she said. “What if we find out there are ballots to be corrected? There’s a lot of work left to be done.”
Her office has until Dec. 2 to certify the election results but hopes to finish before Thanksgiving.
There are still 2,469 ballots left to count countywide, including 1,758 provisional ballots, which take a longer time to process. The total votes counted so far have also pushed overall turnout in San Luis Obispo County up to 57 percent of registered voters.