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Recount for SLO County District 2 race continues; one uncounted ballet found

Randol White/KCBX News

A recount of the SLO District 2 supervisors race began Monday, and one uncounted ballot has already been found.

Last month, challenger Bruce Jones lost to incumbent Bruce Gibson by 13 votes out of a total over 20 thousand cast. San Miguel resident Darcia Stebbens requested the recount on behalf of the Bruce Jones Campaign. Stebbens told KCBX she is concerned about integrity in the election process.

“I want to make sure every legal vote is counted. and I'm not sure that it is,” Stebbens said.

This is not the resident’s first recount request. Back in June, Stebbens requested a manual recount of the District 4 supervisor race, which she had to pay for herself. That recount cost about $53,000, and this one is estimated to cost about $84,000.

Although the voting results were found to be 100% accurate in the June recount, Stebbens said she is still skeptical of the vote-by-mail process.

On Monday, county elections staff found an uncounted mail-in ballot in a batch of “untimely envelopes.” These are ballots that arrived too late at the Elections Office to be counted.

One ballot in the stack had two postmarks, one for Election day and another for Nov 9. The ballot was found to be accidently disqualified for its Nov 9 marking.

SLO County Clerk Recorder Elaina Cano said she will add the vote to the tally for the District 2 Race. This recount is a manual tally, meaning staff count each ballot by hand and compare it to the final certified results.

“The results should be the same,” Cano said. “Although we do expect at times that there are discrepancies.”

However, she says that the mistakenly uncounted ballot discovered this week is an unusual error.

Cano estimates that the District 2 recount will take 14 to 15 days in total, though she is hopeful the process could be done sooner. She says she won’t have to re-certify the election unless a significant number of other discrepancies are found.

Amanda Wernik is a reporter and substitute announcer at KCBX. She graduated from Cal Poly with a BS in Journalism. During her time at Cal Poly, she worked as a news anchor for KCPR Radio and as an intern for the CJ Silas Show on ESPN Radio. Amanda enjoys surfing, reading, playing with her dog, traveling, and fronting her own rock band, Kiwi Kannibal.
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