Absentee ballots key to District 3 | TheUnion.com

Absentee ballots key to District 3

Nevada County voters will have to wait to see who emerges as winner in a District 3 supervisor race that is still too close to call.

In a contest that could shift the balance of power on the county Board of Supervisors, challenger Drew Bedwell held a slim 24-vote lead over incumbent Bruce Conklin after a tally of the district’s 24 precincts.

Still to be counted, however, are approximately 2,095 ballots, according to Clerk-Recorder Lorraine Jewett-Burdick.

The lot includes approximately 1,745 absentee ballots dropped off at polling places after noon Tuesday, 285 provisional ballots, and 65 ballots that were damaged by ballot scanners.

Jewett-Burdick didn’t specify how many of the remaining ballots were cast in the District 3 race.

Bedwell said he was told by the Elections Office Wednesday that counting of the remaining ballots would begin today3.

“We’ll be there at 8 a.m. to watch what’s going on,” he said. “We’re looking at the possible contamination of the outcome.”

The counting of the remaining ballots, Bedwell said, will determine the outcome.

“I have no sense of closure. We’re still in a state of flux,” he said. “Now we’re concerned about protecting our 24-vote lead” and ensuring the integrity of processing the uncounted votes.

California law provides for an official 28-day canvass, beginning the second day after the election. By law, the canvass must be completed by Dec. 3.

The Elections Office expects to have the absentee ballots counted by Nov. 15, according to Jewett-Burdick. The provisional and damaged ballots will take approximately three days to verify and count.

Once the Elections Office officially certifies the results, any voter or candidate has five days to request a recount, according to Jewett-Burdick.

“Whomever requests the recount pays for it. A recount is public; anyone may view the procedures at the Elections Office,” according to an e-mail from Jewett-Burdick.

Conklin didn’t return phone calls Wednesday.

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