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UPDATE: Clear winners emerge in Morro Bay mayor, council races

UPDATE 5:15 p.m. Friday: Morro Bay’s local election has been decided — unofficially that is.

A count of about 500 mail-in ballots and 12 non-processed ballots over the past couple of days shows that mayoral candidate Jamie Irons has shored up more than 50 percent of the vote, which he needed to avoid a November runoff with runner-up Carla Borchard.

Irons came in at about 52 percent of the vote with 2,062 ballots cast in his name.

City Council candidates Noah Smukler and Christine Johnson received 64 percent and 55 percent of the vote in their respective races, confirming their seats against runner-ups Joan Solu and James Hayes.

Smukler received 2,527 votes and Johnson took 2,167 votes.

About 55 provisional ballots still must be counted, but those won’t affect the races.

San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder Julie Rodewald said that the votes still must be certified, which likely will take place in a couple of weeks.

UPDATE 6 p.m. Thursday: Thursday’s counting of outstanding vote-by-mail and other ballots have affirmed winners in Morro Bay’s mayoral and City Council races and ruled out the possibility of a November runoff, according to the latest tally by the San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder’s Office.

Votes on the 103 Morro Bay ballots outstanding as of Thursday afternoon — 36 vote-by-mail, 55 provisional and 12 “non-processed” ballots — would not mathematically produce a different outcome.

Jamie Irons beat City Councilwoman Carla Borchard and incumbent Bill Yates in the mayoral race, garnering 53.3 percent of the vote, a slightly higher lead than results from Tuesday night’s final count.

Borchard trailed with just over 21 percent of the vote, with Yates in third at just over 20 percent.

City Councilman Noah Smuckler had already been mathematically guaranteed re-election before Thursday’s counting, but also widened his lead slightly to garner votes on 63.7 percent of ballots cast.

Christine Johnson also widened her lead from Tuesday night’s final count and emerged as the other winner in the council race. Thursday’s count had her receiving votes on nearly 55 percent of ballots cast.

She will replace Borchard, whose term ends in December.

Original story: In Morro Bay, 567 ballots remain to be counted after Tuesday’s election. But the race’s voting trends would need to change greatly for the expected outcome to be different.

The San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder’s Office website reports that 500 mail-in votes, 55 provisional ballots and 12 non-processed ballots still need to be counted.

Jamie Irons won nearly 53 percent of the vote for mayor, but would need 221 votes of the remaining ballots to maintain his majority hold.

That number represents about 39 percent of the uncounted ballots.

City Councilwoman Carla Borchard trails Irons with just over 21 percent of the vote. Mayor Bill Yates placed third, receiving 20.4percent of the vote.

Under Measure S, approved by Morro Bay voters in November 2006, candidates must receive votes in a majority of ballots cast in the June primary in order to win a mayoral or City Council seat.

Otherwise, the top vote getters advance to a November runoff.

The San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder’s Office so far has counted 3,439 ballots from Morro Bay. Adding the 567 ballots remaining, 2,004 votes are needed by a candidate to achieve a simple majority of the 4,006 potential total ballots.

In the council race, Christine Johnson would need about 145 votes of the remaining ballots to secure her City Council seat againstrunner-up Joan Solu.

That number represents 25.6 percent of the uncounted votes. Johnson received votes on 54.1 percent of ballots cast as of final unofficial results from Tuesday night.

City Councilman Noah Smukler garnered votes on 63.3 percent of ballots cast, mathematically ensuring he is re-elected.

James Hayes has been mathematically eliminated of winning a council seat after Tuesday's election, according to City Attorney Rob Schultz.

Mail-in votes were be counted Thursday afternoon and possibly into today, provisional ballots will be tallied next week and thencertification is expected the following week, according to San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder Julie Rodewald.

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