Recount by Conklin nets one vote so far
The race for Nevada County’s District 3 supervisor’s seat apparently went back to the starting line Tuesday after the second day of a recount requested by incumbent Bruce Conklin.
Challenger Drew Bedwell picked up five votes Tuesday, while Conklin gained three, according to unofficial tallies kept by observers from the two camps. Since Conklin was reported to have gained three on Monday, that would put Bedwell’s lead at 18 – a one-vote difference from the lead of 19 officially certified for him on Dec. 3.
Two-thirds of the 24 precincts in District 3 have been recounted, said Ben Davidian, an attorney observing the recount on Bedwell’s behalf.
“We feel very, very confident,” said Davidian. “It should come out about the same as the official tally.”
Davidian, who served as chairman of the Fair Political Practices Commission from 1991 to 1995, gave the recount process high marks.
“The process seems fair and accurate,” he said. “I think (Clerk-recorder Lorraine Jewett-Burdick) runs a great ship here, and her staff is doing a great job.”
While Conklin’s campaign manager, Paul Matson, acknowledged that the recount has yet to take much of a bite out of Bedwell’s lead, he still remained optimistic Tuesday.
“We’ll be here tomorrow and we’re going to go the duration,” Matson said. “I’m always hopeful. I am ever hopeful.”
The purpose of the hand recount is to check the accuracy of computerized ballot-scanners by viewing each ballot, determining the voter’s intent and manually tallying those votes.
Ballot scanners count what they see, said Jewett-Burdick, but can’t interpret the voter’s intent if mistakes are made or if defects are created when the ballots are voted.
Ballots may be challenged, for example, if the voter’s intent cannot be ascertained or for defects such as erasures, or when voters fill in ovals with too soft a stroke.
Four ballots were challenged Tuesday by observers appointed from each camp, and were resolved at the end of the day by Jewett-Burdick.
While observers may keep their own tallies, only final numbers released by the clerk-recorder are official.
Unless the recount changes the outcome of the race and Conklin makes up the 19-vote deficit, the final results certified by the Elections Office on Dec. 3 will stand as official.
The recount is expected to continue through Thursday unless Conklin halts the process before all 24 precincts in District 3 are manually inspected.
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