The race for the 35th District California State Assembly seat is still unresolved as county election officials continue to tally absentee and provisional ballots following last Tuesday’s election.
Joe Holland, Santa Barbara County clerk-recorder-assessor, said the county clerk’s office has counted 17,000 absentee ballots so far, leaving 35,000 absentee ballots still to be tallied. Despite earlier estimates that the absentee ballots might be counted by tomorrow, Holland said the clerk’s office hopes to have the absentee ballots tallied by Wednesday or Thursday. After completing the tally, Holland said the clerk’s office will begin counting the approximately 5,000 provisional ballots collected from the polls last Tuesday.
According to statistics from the California Secretary of State Web site, as of Sunday night, Democrat Pedro Nava held a 6.2 percent lead over Republican Bob Pohl; Nava holding 53.1 percent of the votes and Pohl holding 46.9 percent. Most of Nava’s lead seems to come from supporters in Ventura County – part of the 35th District that stretches from Santa Ynez to Oxnard – where he holds a 44.8 to 55 percent lead over Pohl.
Gene Browning, assistant registrar of voters for Ventura County, said Sunday there are still approximately 21,000 uncounted absentee ballots from the part of the county that lies within the 35th District. Browning said he estimates the final count will be completed for Ventura sometime this week.
The race is much closer in Santa Barbara County. Nava currently holds 50.83 percent of the vote, with Pohl at 49.04 percent.
Holland said there is still a chance that the uncounted ballots could swing the election.
“As long as there are more votes to count than the difference [in votes received by Pohl and Nava], then if any candidate on the losing side were to get 100 percent [of the absentee vote], then, hypothetically, they could overtake the winner,” Holland said.