Hand-count goes on in supe’s race: no change | TheUnion.com

Hand-count goes on in supe’s race: no change

Bedwell maintained his 19 vote lead in the race for Nevada County’s District 3 supervisor’s seat following Thursday’s random hand count.

A manual tally of Precinct 66, chosen at random, was carried out by the county Elections Office to verify the accuracy of computerized ballots scanners.

A team of four Elections Office staffers shuffled through stacks of ballots and hand counted each vote while observers from both the Bedwell and Bruce Conklin camps looked over their shoulders.

“The third supe district matches,” said assistant clerk-recorder Joy Massey after comparing the hand count tallies with those registered by computerized ballot scanners.

“Nothing’s changed,” said Donna Kingwell, who observed Thursday’s hand count in Bedwell’s stead. “Drew is still 19 ahead.”

The only thing left, she said, is a full recount.

“There’s no ifs, ands, or buts; there’s nothing left to look at,” said Kingwell, a consultant for Supervisor-elect Robin Sutherland. “The only thing left is to go back to the beginning and recount every ballot in the third district, and the question becomes does (Conklin) believe he can make up that 19?”

It’s time to consider a recount, but its too soon to commit to one, said Conklin’s campaign manager, Paul Matson, following Thursday’s hand count.

“The particular precinct that (the Elections Office) counted was small, and it was a precinct that heavily favored Bedwell,” Matson said. “So, I think we’ll have to talk to our troops and see how they feel.”

When a recount would be called depends on the Elections Office timetable for certification, Matson said. “They have to certify, then we have five days from that to call for a recount,” he said.

Massey said the Elections Office expects to finish the 1 percent hand count sometime next week and then certify the election by the Dec. 3 deadline, maybe sooner.

“It’s just such an arbitrary thing,” Massey said. “We just don’t know.”

California law allows for an official 28-day canvass, beginning the second day after an election.

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