Even though the general election was over a month ago, it took the past four weeks to count thousands of provisional and absentee ballots that were cast just prior to, or on, election day. When the news cycle had moved on to other stories, six key races were still too close to call.
Each of the six races had less than 1 percent separation, even after the counting of more than 800,000 ballots by midnight on election night. Having hand-counted around 20,000 provisional ballots daily, on December 3, 1000 ballots remained. By December 4, at 6:04 p.m., county Registrar of Voters Deborah Seiler certified to the secretary of state that all ballots had been counted and the results were official.
Both incumbent congressman Brian Bilbray and San Diego mayoral hopeful Carl DeMaio watched the results added up after their too-close-to-call elections, finally realizing that the delayed vote wasn’t heading in the right direction.
DeMaio conceded on November 7, after the continued vote counting pushed him down two to three points behind now-installed-mayor Bob Filner. The final count was an almost 5 percent difference, with DeMaio short by 23,222 votes.
Ending the most expensive congressional campaign in California’s history, Bilbray waited ten days as the gap widened between him and challenger Scott Peters, who won by 6992 votes (2.36 percent).
The Third District county supervisor's race between Dave Roberts and Steve Danon was decided for Roberts, who won with a 4383-vote lead (2.18 percent).
Vista City Council candidates Amanda Young Rigby and Cliff Kaiser flip-flopped within a few votes of each other over the entire four weeks. Rigby snagged the second open seat on the council by less than 38/100ths of a percent, representing only a 149-vote margin.
In the coastal North County, two half-billion-dollar school-bond measures — Prop. AA for the San Dieguito High School District and Prop. EE for MiraCosta College — were each within a few hundred votes of passing.
MiraCosta’s ballot measure was defeated by 16/100ths of a percent. However, in the school district of San Dieguito, Prop. AA slowly came back from defeat, barely crossing the 55 percent threshold (required for all school-bond measures) on November 23.
In the finalized count, the measure, which will add an extra $200 a year in property taxes for the average Encinitas/La Costa area home over the next 25 to 40 years, was passed by 412 votes.
County registrar Seiler says candidates or campaigns have until Monday, December 10, to ask for a recount, to be paid by the requestor.