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Counties scramble to begin California controller recount

07/07/2014 1:13 PM

07/07/2014 9:36 PM

Election officials across California began preparing Monday for hand recounts in thousands of precincts in the tight race for state controller.

With July normally a slow time on the election calendar, counties were calling back employees from vacation, getting in touch with potential members of recount boards, and generally boning up on the state's complicated recount procedures after former Assembly Speaker John A. P&eacuterez filed papers Sunday seeking hand recounts in 15 counties where he defeated Board of Equalization member and fellow Democrat Betty Yee.

"We've been working on this all morning," said Mary Bedard, registrar of voters in Kern County, No. 1 on the list of counties where P&eacuterez seeks recounts. Bedard said employees on vacation have been summoned back to the office.

Secretary of State Debra Bowen's office is scheduled to hold a conference call with election officials in the 15 counties at 4 p.m. today.

It was still unclear Monday how long the recount could take and if that will hamper preparations for the Nov. 4 election.

P&eacuterez wants the first recounts to be in Kern and Imperial counties. Bedard did not have an estimate of how long it would take her county to do the requested recount, and Imperial County Registrar Debbie Porter said it would take her county an estimated week-and-a-half to finish the all-county recount sought by the P&eacuterez campaign.

But the Yee campaign said state law prohibits such simultaneous recounts. For now, Yee consultant Parke Skelton said, the campaign is watching and waiting and will consider seeking a recount of its own if P&eacuterez's recount gives him the lead.

Skelton left open the possibility of litigation, citing the legal fight after the 2000 presidential election when Vice President Al Gore sought recounts in just Democratic-leaning counties in Florida.

"We're just assessing what our options are," Skelton said.

Capitol Alert staff

Amy Chance
Political editor
achance@sacbee.com
@Amy_Chance

Dan Smith
Capitol bureau chief
smith@sacbee.com
@DanielSnowSmith

Jim Miller
California policy and politics
Capitol Alert editor
jmiller@sacbee.com
@jimmiller2

David Siders
Brown administration
dsiders@sacbee.com
@davidsiders

Christopher Cadelago
California politics and health care
ccadelago@sacbee.com
@ccadelago

Laurel Rosenhall
Legislature, lobbying, higher education
lrosenhall@sacbee.com
@LaurelRosenhall

Jeremy B. White
Legislature
jwhite@sacbee.com
@capitolalert

Alexei Koseff
Insider Edition editor
akoseff@sacbee.com
@akoseff

 

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