Elections are all about the vote count even with all the posturing and name calling, it is still about the vote count. In the June Primary election the vote count just changed and the slate for candidates facing a run-off election in November changed also.
The vote count itself did not change, but the tally of counted votes has been updated with new totals. The counting process is near the end, but it is still continuing at this time. The votes are counted and reported in three primary groups: the Mail-in ballots delivered days before the election; Election Day votes; Mail-in ballots delivered just days before the election and on Election day, and also the Provisional ballots.
The first two of these results come out fast but the third takes days or weeks and can come out in agonizing dribs and drabs, drawing out tight races and making campaign teams, supporters, and candidates crazy.
No election results are released before the election closes, but the early Mail-in ballots are counted in secret prior to the election. These are cut off days before the election, signatures verified, and tabulated. As soon as the Polling places close and the election ends, the results of these early Mail-in ballots are released. Due to the high percentage of Mail-in (VBM) ballots in El Dorado County, the early results winners will remain the winners in the end except for the closes races.
These early results also give an indication of how the voters felt early in the month-long voting period.
About 2-6 hours after the polls close, the numbers of the "Day of" voting are released. This brings the vote total to 75%-80% of the total vote. These votes indicate how the voters felt on the last day of voting. Trends can often be identified by looking at the change in voters patterns from the early Mail-in ballots and the "Day of" ballots cast. Almost all races are determined by this time even though these are "preliminary" results and are not certified.
The races that are close (the margin is less then the number of outstanding ballots) can change as more of the remaining ballots are counted. These ballots must be verified before counting and this takes days, or weeks, to complete. On Friday, the Elections department released an update to the count that changed one race.
Three races were close enough to change. The race for Auditor-Controller narrowed but there are not enough remaining ballots to count to change the outcome. Owen closed the gap between him and the incumbent to under 10% supporting a trend that Owen was gaining ground on the incumbent but the race ended before he caught Harn.
A race that could have easily changed has remained the same with Judge-elect Vicki Ashworth maintaining a majority of 51.47%, allowing her to take the office without a run-off election. If her lead had dropped to 50% or less, she would have had to compete with second-place contestant David Combellack in a run-off election in November. By keeping the majority win status, Ashworth wins the seat outright.
A race that has changed, and may change again, is the race for Supervisor seat for District 5. Sue Novasel has held first place in that race but no one candidate won a majority so it will be a run-off election with the top two vote getters going on to compete in the November General Election. On Election night Kevin Brown had taken second place and would go on to fight Novasel for the office. But the gap for the second, third, and forth place finisher was very close. As of Friday's update, Kevin Brown is no longer in second place but has dropped to forth place behind two other Tahoe area candidates.
Currently the vote count for Supervisor District 5 is:
SUE NOVASEL has 1556 votes or 28.51%
KENNY CURTZWILER has 973 votes or 17.83%
ANGELA SWANSON has 965 votes or 17.68%
KEVIN BROWN has 961 votes or 17.61%
"GERRI" GREGO has 681 votes or 12.48%
TERESA PIPER has 308 votes or 5.64%
With more ballots to count and just 8 votes determining who Places and who just Showed.