Incumbent gains ground in recount |

Incumbent gains ground in recount

Incumbent Bruce Conklin appears to have gained ground in the race for Nevada County’s District 3 Supervisor seat following Monday’s manual recount.

Five votes changed in Conklin’s favor while challenger Drew Bedwell picked up a couple, according to unofficial tallies kept by observers from the two camps.

County Clerk-Recorder Lorraine Jewett-Burdick stressed that while observers can keep their own tallies, only final numbers released by her are official.

Whether Conklin can make up a 19-vote deficit in light of Monday’s gains depends on which camp you talk to.

“There was a drift in Conklin’s direction,” said the incumbent’s campaign manager Paul Matson following the recount’s first day…. “(We’re) very encouraged.”

Matson said the shift easily could have gone Bedwell’s way.

“It looks like Conklin’s position has improved since the results were certified,” Matson said.

Even if Conklin picks up three votes, Bedwell is still up 16 with two-thirds of the ballots in District 3 left to be counted, said Ben Davidian, an attorney observing the recount on Bedwell’s behalf.

“That’s our look at it,” said Davidian, who served as chairman of the Fair Political Practices Commission from 1991 to 1995. “We not concerned about it. We feel good about it.”

Per election law, no results or running tallies can be released by the Elections Office to observers or the media during the recount.

Final election results certified by the Elections Office Dec. 3 will stand as official unless overturned by the recount.

The recount will take three or four days if the manual inspection of ballots continues through all 24 precincts in the 3rd Supervisor District.

Conklin, however, can call the recall off at any time.

“It’s my feeling, as we speak, that we should go the whole distance,” Matson said Monday.

The purpose of the manual recount is to verify the accuracy of computerized ballots scanners by viewing each ballot, determining the voter’s intent and manually tallying those votes.

Ballots may be challenged by spokespersons from either camp if the voter’s intent cannot be ascertained or for other defects, such as erasures or when more than one oval is mistakenly filled in.

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