SLO County releases new election results, and some races are still too close to call

Some races in San Luis Obispo County remain too close to call a week after Election Day, even after tens of thousands additional ballots were counted.

County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong released updated numbers Tuesday afternoon that showed 119,063 ballots have been counted, up from 81,663 the morning after Election Day. That raises the county’s total voter turnout to 69 percent.

The delay in counting ballots and returning final results is due to a large influx of mail-in ballots, which take longer to process.

Here are the latest results for some of the close races:

  • Arroyo Grande: Councilwoman Caren Ray widened her lead over incumbent Jim Hill in the race for mayor, with 53.1 percent of the 8,635 votes counted. She now leads by 541 votes, up from 391 in the last count on Friday.
  • Morro Bay: The mayoral race between John Headding and John Weiss remains close, with Headding leading by 207 votes, at 51.98 percent. Council candidate Dawn Addis has maintained the lead with 30.1 percent as of Tuesday. The race to fill the second open seat on the council is down to less than a 50-vote margin, with Jeff Heller leading and Betty Winholtz close behind.
  • Cambria: Cindy Steidel remained the leading candidate in the race among four candidates for two seats on the Community Services District Board. Donn Howell is inching closer to taking the second seat, with a 166-vote lead over Aaron Wharton.
  • San Miguel: Ashley Sangster retained his lead over two other candidates vying for two seats on the Community Services District Board. Hector Palafox is leading Cesar Hernandez by 30 votes for the second seat.
  • San Luis Coastal Unified School District: Marilyn Rodger continues to lead in the four-candidate race for two seats on the school board, while Evelyn Frame is in second with 376 more votes than Jim Quesenberry out of a total of 51,694 ballots counted so far.
  • Templeton Unified School District: Matt Vierra has a healthy lead in the four-candidate race for two seats on the school board, followed by Jan Nimick with a mere 77 more votes than Katrina V. Merson out of 7,290 votes counted.

There are 3,736 ballots left to count and 6,661 more provisional and conditional voter ballots that may be counted.

The next update is expected Friday.

Monica Vaughan: 805-781-7930; @MonicaLVaughan
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