New District 3 supervisor may not be known until Dec. 3 |

New District 3 supervisor may not be known until Dec. 3

John HartLorraine Jewett-Burdick, Nevada County's clerk-recorder, talks to District 3 supervisorial candidate Drew Bedwell at the Elections Office Thursday.
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It could be December before the Nevada County Elections Office finally declares a winner in Nevada County’s District 3 supervisorial race.

Challenger Drew Bedwell holds a slim 24-vote lead over incumbent Bruce Conklin in a race that could shift the power on the county Board of Supervisors in favor of conservatives.

But according to county Clerk-Recorder Lorraine Jewett-Burdick, Nevada County voters may have to wait until Dec. 3 before a winner is finally declared.

“California law provides for an official 28-day canvass, beginning the second day after an election … By law, the canvass must be completed by Dec. 3,” Jewett-Burdick wrote in an e-mail to The Union Wednesday.

Jewett-Burdick, who still refuses to speak directly with The Union reporters, did not indicate that the outcome would be decided any sooner than Dec. 3 in an e-mail sent Thursday.

Thursday, the Elections Office began verifying signatures for the approximately 2,095 ballots that remain to be counted. Approximately 1,745 of these are absentee ballots.

“We expect to have these absentee ballots ready for counting by Tuesday afternoon, and we hope to have them counted by Friday… ,” Jewett-Burdick wrote in Thursday’s e-mail.

Once the signatures are verified and the absentee ballots counted, it will take the Elections Office approximately four days to verify ballots cast for certified write-in candidates, according to Jewett-Burdick.

Next, according to Jewett-Burdick, the office conducts a hand count in 1 percent of precincts chosen at random to verify the accuracy of the computerized ballot scanners used on election night.

“This will take approximately 13 working days,” Jewett Burdick wrote. “Then the Elections Office officially certifies the results of the election.”

Once the election is certified, any voter or candidate has five days to request a recount. Whoever requests the recount pays for it, according to Jewett-Burdick.

Monday, the Secretary of State’s Office predicted a near-record-low voter turnout of 58 percent statewide. In Nevada County, 63.42 percent voted Tuesday.

In the District 4 supervisor’s race, challenger Robin Sutherland defeated incumbent Elizabeth Martin by a 55.41-to-42.79 percent margin, according to a semi-official tally of the county’s 24 precincts. Sutherland received 4,564 votes to Martin’s 3,525.

In District 3, Bedwell garnered 50.03 percent of the vote compared to Conklin’s 49.67 percent, according to the semi-official results. Bedwell received 3,314 votes and Conklin’s 3,290.

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