Slowly but Surely, Ballot Counting Continues with No Surprises

The slow counting of vote-by-mail and hand-delivered ballots continued at a methodical pace Thursday in Santa Clara County and across the state, moving from 48% at 10pm election night in the county, to 54% at 4:30pm June 8 to 71% at 5pm June 9.

The approximately 25,000 ballots counted by the Registrar of Voters Election Division June 9 didn’t change any trends or flip any projected outcomes, but did suggest the early, expected outcomes are more likely to hold as the final ballot counting plays out, possibly as early as 5pm Friday.

Here is the status of some of the races, as of two days past the Primary Election, beginning with the more significant changes:

  • Irene Smith solidified her position in a runoff in November against Omar Torres in the San Jose City Council’s District 1, as her total grew to 21.3%, more than 300 votes ahead of third-place finisher Joanna Rauh. Torres total votes held steady, at 41.3%, well short of the 50% threshold for avoiding a runoff.
  • In the San Jose City Council District 5 race, Peter Ortiz hung on to a 147-vote margin, 21.6%,over Hanh Giao Nguyen, 19.4%, for the runoff spot against political veteran Nora Campos, whose lead held at 31.5%.
  • In school district votes, the bond measure for the Fremont Union High School District remained less than 50 votes short of the 55% threshold needed for approval, with 54.8% percent, or 14,224 votes.
  • Votes on measures for the Alum Rock Union School District, the Mount Pleasant School District and the Milpitas School District were all maintaining their approval margins June 9, as the ballot-counting continued.
  • Margins between likely runoff opponents – and the distance from third-place finishers – held steady for November’s most hotly contested battles: San Jose mayoral candidates Cindy Chavez and Councilmember Matt Mahan; District 1 county supervisor opponents Sylvia Arenas and Johnny Khamis and sheriff candidates Bob Jonsen, Palo Alto police chief, and Kevin Jenson, retired sheriff’s captain.
  • Santa Cruz County ballots assured former county clerk Gail Pellerin the top spot and a strong shot at a November victory in the redrawn state Assembly District 28. Pelerin, a Democrat, stood at 33.7%, with two other Democrats totalling 35.5%. Republican Liz Lawler, who led among Santa Clara County voters, recorded 30.7% districtwide, with about 70% of the ballots counted.

For complete, up-to-date results, visit the Registrar of Voters election results page.

Three decades of journalism experience, as a writer and editor with Gannett, Knight-Ridder and Lee newspapers, as a business journal editor and publisher and as a weekly newspaper editor in Scotts Valley and Gilroy; with the Weeklys group since 2017. Recipient of several first-place writing and editing awards, California News Publishers Association.

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