Election is not over
November 5, 2008
TAHOE CITY/TRUCKEE “-It could be weeks until many local races are decided, after area counties reported thousands of absentee ballots still uncounted.
While County Web sites posted all precincts as reporting late Tuesday night, officials said potentially tens of thousands of absentee ballots are still uncounted.
“There may be 10,000 to 12,000 absentee ballots that were turned into the polls, and 3,000 or 4,000 provincial ballots,” said Placer County Clerk Recorder Jim McCauley. “That has the potential to sway some local elections.”
While a more accurate tally of how many ballots are uncounted is expected soon, results won’t be changed until the canvassing period ends in a matter of weeks, McCauley said.
“We don’t do the results peace-meal,” he said.
Gail Smith, acting assistant clerk recorder for Nevada County, said the canvas ends Dec. 2.
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Nevada County’s uncounted ballot numbers were lower than Placer’s, Smith said.
Early estimates for Truckee uncounted ballots were around 1,000, and another 2,700 for the rest of the county, Smith said.
And the trend holds true statewide, with an estimated 2.6 million to 3 million ballots still untallied, reported the Associated Press.
Truckee Town Council is one race locally that hangs in the balance.
“Four years ago I got 3,700 votes, and Josh [Susman] got 3,300, and this year so far we both have about 2,200,” said current Mayor and candidate Barbara Green. “Something is not quite right.”
The missing votes could have repercussions as far reaching as the tightly-contested 4th Congressional District race between Republican Tom McClintock and Democrat Charlie Brown, Green said.
Proponents of the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District Measure U hoped the outstanding ballots may make the difference.
“Clearly there’s been a major administrative error. We are hopefully those
outstanding ballots will push Measure U over the top,” said Alison Elder, Measure U chair.
Some local representatives expressed concern with the speed at which local race results became available election night.
“I don’t think I’m alone in my frustration over the reporting with Nevada County,” said Town Council incumbent candidate Josh Susman Tuesday evening.
But Smith said they could only go so fast in posting results.
“Geography is a challenge for the whole county ” we can’t get results out until we get results in,” Smith said.
Nevada County Acting Assistant Clerk Recorder Gail Smith said early figures indicate about a 80 percent voter turnout in Nevada County.
Placer County Clerk Recorder Jim McCauley said he expects 82 to 83 percent voter turnout in his county when all is said and done.
“It’s high, Placer County has a all-time high of 84 percent, but usually it’s 74 to 45 percent,” McCauley said. “We always have a good turnout here, people take voting very seriously.”