Tony Strickland’s lead in the race for the 19th District State Senate has widened over his Democratic opponent Hannah-Beth Jackson, and he now leads by 1,560 votes. While this is the largest margin yet recorded, the race remains too close to call.

Strickland’s lead has tripled since Tuesday – when he led by 540 votes – as Ventura County continues to tally its substantial cache of uncounted absentee and provisional ballots. While Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties have counted nearly all their ballots for the 19th District, Ventura County still has 40,000 absentee and 15,000 provisional ballots yet to be counted.

Strickland, a Republican, has garnered 187,631 votes across the three counties, amounting to 50.21 percent of the vote. Jackson, the incumbent, has received 186,071 votes.

With a majority of the uncounted ballots coming from Ventura County, Jackson’s chance of catching up appears slim. Ventura voters have thus far turned out for Strickland, 52.25 percent to 47.36 percent. Northern Los Angeles County, which makes up a small part of 19th District, has also voted heavily for Strickland, with 57.56 percent of the vote going to the Republican candidate.

That leaves Santa Barbara County as Jackson’s best chance for victory. And while she has run well ahead of Strickland here in Santa Barbara County with 55.06 percent of the vote, only 1,000 mail-in ballots remain uncounted, in addition to 6,000 provisional ballots.

These provisional ballots may prove valuable to Jackson, however, since many of these ballots are believed to have been cast by late-registering UCSB students.

The California Secretary of State has till Dec. 2 to certify the election results.