Elections

SLO County releases new election results — about 34,000 more votes still to be counted

SLO County Clerk-Recorder shows what it’s like to count thousands of ballots

San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong talks about the process of counting ballots on June 6, 2018, the day after the California Primary. Thousands of ballots remain after Election Day in SLO County.
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San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong talks about the process of counting ballots on June 6, 2018, the day after the California Primary. Thousands of ballots remain after Election Day in SLO County.

San Luis Obispo County is inching closer to a finalized vote tally.

County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong released updated numbers Friday evening that showed most local races staying the same from election night counts.

Here are the latest numbers for some of those close races:

  • Arroyo Grande: Councilwoman Caren Ray still leads Mayor Jim Hill, with 52.8 percent of the 5,057 votes cast. The two are separated by 391 votes.
  • Morro Bay: Mayoral candidate John Headding slightly widened his lead over John Weiss; as of the latest count, he was ahead by 188 votes. Jeff Heller led Betty Winholtz in the race for City Council by only 42 votes. Council candidate Dawn Addis had the highest percentage of the vote, with 29.6 percent as of Friday.

  • Cambria: For Community Services District Director, Donn Howell and Aaron Wharton were separated by only 99 votes on Friday for one of two seats on the board. Cindy Steidel was the highest vote getter with 31.6 percent of the vote.
  • San Miguel: Only 20 votes separate Hector Palafox and Cesar Hernandez for the second of two seats of the CSD board, with Palafox leading. Ashley Sangster is the highest vote getter for that race with 36.9 percent of the 681 votes cast.
  • San Luis Coastal Unified School District: Marilyn Rodger is the top vote getter for the school board, with 30.1 percent of the vote, but Jim Quesenberry and Evelyn Frame were running neck-and-neck for the second seat on the board, with 27.5 percent and 27.1 percent of the vote, respectively. That’s a difference of 187 votes.

Gong on Wednesday estimated there were roughly 50,000 uncounted ballots following election night. The wait for a final tally is largely due to the influx of vote-by-mail ballots, some of which were still arriving at the Clerk-Recorder’s office on Friday.

Friday’s totals show a remaining 34,244 ballots left to be counted, with thousands left that could determine some of the closest races.

Gong’s next vote count is expected to take place Tuesday.

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie

SLO County voters headed to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. The ballot included city races, Congress and Assembly as well as Measure G, the vote to ban fracking and new oil drilling here.

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