As recounts in the Antioch City Council District 1 and Richmond City Council District 2 race, its been uncovered that 168 provisional ballots countywide have not been counted.
Joy Motts currently sits 3 votes behind declared winner councilmember Tamisha Torres-Walker who has 1,467 votes. Motts has 1,464 votes. On Thursday, Dec. 1, the county did an internal audit/manual tally for District 1 which was aimed to ensure the county system was working.
In Richmond, Andrew Butt and Cesar Zepeda tied and a winner was declared via lot–in their case, two names entered into a bag, the bag was shaken, and Zepeda’s name was pulled thus declaring him the winner.
As recounts in the Antioch City Council District 1 and Richmond City Council District 2 race move forward, its been uncovered that 5-10 challenged main-in ballots in each of the two races and 168 provisional ballots countywide have not been counted.
The ballots for both races were reviewed Wednesday.
Both campaigns have agreed to have those ballots counted, first before continuing. The ballots for the Antioch race will be counted, today and those for the Richmond District 2 race will be counted tomorrow.
Joy Motts and Tamisha Torres-Walker were at the county elections office to watch and if necessary challenge the ballots, Wednesday morning. Motts was joined by Allen Payton, who requested the recount on her behalf and Torres-Walker was joined by campaign consultant Melody Howe Weintraub, as well. M
Motts and Payton challenges two ballots, one was accepted to be included in the Antioch recount.
The recount process continues with election staff pulling 1,700 boxes, which include ballots from both races, at their warehouse. Counting of those ballots is expected to occur next Monday.
Asked if ballots could be stuck together and scanned through the machine, Travis Ebbert, Elections Services Manager explained it could happen, but there are checks and balances.
“There are ways that ballots get scanned and double scanned. The scanners are high speed. They go really fast. By the time the first ballot is processed the seventh ballot is being imaged. There are checks for that. There’s human intervention and a second person there,” explained Ebbert. “There’s potential for human error out of the 1.5 million ballot pages. In the 1% manual count there were no double scans. This was the smoothest scan with the least human intervention.”
Deborah Cooper, County Clerk-Recorder-Registrar, said in an email that the vote-by-mail ballots are stored in the order they are received, so the first process we have to tackle is to pull the ballots for these two races from the pallets of ballots in our warehouse. Once that is complete, we will sort them into precincts and then conduct the recount.
“With the huge increase in vote by mail, most of our ballots are processed as we receive them and stored in that order. We don’t sort them by precinct like we did when the majority of ballots were voted in person at our precincts,” explained Cooper. “We are able to sort the ballot images electronically; this is what we use for our 1% manual tally and what we used at the expanded manual tally where we included all precincts from both of these races. In this case, both requestors have asked for recounts of the actual paper ballots, not the images so it is going to take longer and cost more.”
As of Tuesday, Dawn Kruger, Civic Outreach/Engagement Specialist, said the current cost is $17,691 per contest along with a breakdown has been provided to the requestors of the recount.
- Dec. 7: Requests for Recounts in Antioch and Richmond City Council Races
- Dec. 6: Joy Motts Officially Asks For Recount in Antioch City Council District 1 Race
- Dec. 1: Tamisha Torres-Walker Wins Antioch City Council Race by 3 Votes
How did Torres even get that many votes in the first place? She’s been nothing but a complete embarrassment to this city.
My thoughts exactly!!
She runs in right district. Otherwise she wouldn’t have a prayer in hell of getting even one vote.
Wouldn’t it be nice, and appropriate!, if the recount puts bad actor Torres on the chopping block?!?!?!!!!!
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