SLO County Clerk-Recorder shows what it’s like to count thousands of ballots
Lynn Compton widened her lead over Jimmy Paulding in the latest release of ballot totals in the San Luis Obispo County District 4 supervisor race.
Compton is now in front by 81 votes out of 17,515 counted, according a new tally released by the county clerk on Monday afternoon. She now has 50.23 percent of the vote to Paulding's 49.77 percent.
The incumbent supervisor led by 83 votes at the end of election night before Paulding closed the gap to 31 on Friday.
The full count is not yet complete, but Paulding's margin for a comeback is dwindling.
The county still has several hundred remaining ballots to tally in the District 4 race, including 379 vote-by-mail ballots, 424 provisional ballots, 189 ballots turned in under conditional voter registrations, as well as 15 damaged ballots that couldn't be processed on election night, and possibly more.
Despite her lead, Compton isn't celebrating yet and simply said it's not over till it's over.
Paulding, meanwhile, said he is still optimistic.
"My fear is that it would come down to the line and it seems that is certainly the case. It is a waiting game," he said.
The next count update will be released Friday, according to Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong.
Until then, workers in the election office will be processing the remaining ballots, by checking to see if the voter was eligible to vote and hasn't voted elsewhere, among other tasks.
District 4 includes Arroyo Grande, Oceano, Nipomo, portions of Edna Valley and stretches east along Highway 166.
The race is critical countywide because it will determine whether the Board of Supervisors maintains its 3-2 conservative majority or shifts to a more liberal-leaning board.
Supervisor Debbie Arnold, who supports Compton and contributed to her campaign, has been watching closely for results along with thousands of other residents.
"I hope people see that really, this is another example of every vote counts," Arnold said.
This story has been updated to include new information about ballots remaining.