Jim Janney and Serge Dedina
The undecided congressional race between Carl DeMaio and Rep. Scott Peters, isn't the only contested race in the San Diego area: who the future mayor of Imperial Beach will be is still unknown.
As of Wednesday, November 5, incumbent mayor Jim Janney, with a total of 1630 votes cast in his name, was ahead by only 33. His challenger, Serge Dedina, has not conceded, citing uncounted ballots. Imperial Beach has a population of just over 27,000.
“IB Mayor's Race isn't decided or even close to being certified,” Dedina said in Facebook post Wednesday. Dedina announced that he had met with San Diego County Registrar of Voters Michael Vu, who verified that there are 180,000 provisional and mail-in-ballots in San Diego County still uncounted. According to Dedina, the Registrar of Voters’ website will start updating the results daily, starting today, November 6.
“In the meantime I am keeping it positive and am grateful for everyone's support. And remember our democracy is too precious to rush getting accurate and real electoral results,” Dedina said.
Janney, during an interview on local television, said, "I'm keeping my fingers crossed. That's all you can do at this moment.”
A volunteer for Dedina who attended the meeting at the Registrar of Voters said that, technically, the office has 28 days after an election to issue the official results. But “they’re hoping to have everything sorted by Monday,” said Imperial Beach resident Gwendolyn Albert. “They have to do crosscheck between the mail-in ballots and the provisional ballots to make sure no double votes have been cast.”
A provisional ballot is a created at a polling place when there is some discrepancy in the voter’s eligibility, like when a voter arrives to place their ballot in person despite records showing the voter applied for an absentee ballot.
According to Albert, another issue is that “because voters can cast their ballots anywhere in the county” and not just at their official polling place, “it takes time to make sure all the local votes for a race have been counted.”