By Ladan Moeenziai

Staff Writer

Although Commander Jim Anderson won the majority of the votes for Santa Barbara County Sheriff election night, the absentee ballots have not yet been counted — which means the sheriff may have to face candidate Dave Dorsey in a November runoff.

There are 12,243 absentee ballots and 761 provisional ballots which election officials say will be counted by March 12. Anderson has to stay over the 50 percent mark after the absentee ballots are counted in order to win the position.

“Historically, absentee ballots follow the rest of elections. We have a good chance,” Anderson said. “I really believe the voters have spoken. Overall, they want me to be the next sheriff – that’s why we’ll win it.”

Anderson has received 27,389 of the counted votes, which is 50.34 percent of the popular vote, from the 488 precincts of the county.

“You know with four people running, it is difficult to win over 50 percent of the vote, so with what I have done so far I’m really confident about winning,” he said

If Anderson wins less than 50 percent, he will have to campaign again for a runoff election against Dorsey in November.

“We will continue to work hard and continue to be positive with our campaign strategy,” he said. “We’re committed to winning in November if need be.”