Conklin calls for election recount
Incumbent Bruce Conklin Monday morning filed papers and wrote checks for a manual recount of ballots in Nevada County’s tight District 3 supervisorial race.
Conklin – who trails challenger Drew Bedwell by a slim 19 votes, according to final election results – said he’s hopeful that the deficit can be made up.
While Conklin’s confident the Elections Office conducted a thorough and accurate canvass, he said computerized ballots scanners leave room for a “certain margin of error.”
“We think this small number of votes is within that margin,” he said.
Conklin wrote three checks, each in the amount of $1,038, enough to pay estimated staffing costs for three days of manual vote counting, should three days be needed.
Election code allows seven days for the Elections Office to prepare for the recount.
Clerk-recorder Lorraine Jewett-Burdick said the public manual recount will begin Monday at 9 a.m.
“We welcome the opportunity to verify the accuracy of Nevada County’s computerized ballot scanners with a manual recount, above and beyond the one-precinct-per-contest hand-count completed during the canvass as required by law,” Jewett-Burdick said. “Voters have already seen that every vote counts; now they’ll see that every vote is counted.”
Jewett-Burdick said the first day’s cost – which includes salaries for a four-member recount board and a supervisor, plus preparation time – will be $1,036.
The clerk-recorder said the second and ensuing days will only cost approximately $485.
The recount will take the Elections Office three or four days, Jewett-Burdick said, if the manual inspection of ballots continues through all 24 precincts of the 3rd Supervisorial District.
The precincts will be hand-counted in the order that Conklin requests, said Assistant Clerk-recorder Judy Bromley.
Conklin said he can call off the recount at any time.
“We might count six precincts and they may say that’s all they want to do,” Bromley said.
If Conklin calls off the recount after one day, for instance, a prorated portion of his advance payment will be refunded.
If the recount reverses the results, Conklin gets all his money back.
Final election results certified by the Elections Office Dec. 3 will stand as official unless overturned by the recount.
Bedwell said he wasn’t surprised that his political opponent called for a recount.
“I don’t think the RQC (Rural Quality Coalition) would leave him any other choice,” Bedwell said. “Without malice, I don’t think the RQC would expect anything less than a recount.”
The supervisor-elect said he’s confident, however, that his 19-vote lead will stand the scrutiny of a recount.
“I’m not going to worry about it anymore, which also means I’m awfully confident,” Bedwell said.
the Story so far
Nov. 6 – Bedwell ahead by 24 votes, almost 2,100 absentee ballots need counting. Tally is Bedwell 3,314, Conklin 3.290.
Nov. 13 – Nevada County Elections Office says Conklin picks up eight votes and cuts Bedwell1s lead to 16 with absentee ballot count. The count is Bedwell 3,431, Conklin 3,415.
Nov. 18 – Bedwell picks up three votes and is declared unofficial winner after check of provisional and damaged ballots. The count moves to 3,463 Bedwell, 3,444 Conklin.
Dec. 3 – With canvass complete, Bedwell is declared official winner, pending possible recount.
Dec. 9 – Conklin files for an official election recount.
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