Election officials in Kern and Imperial counties continued hand recounts Monday of thousands of ballots in the state controller’s race, with a new survey by the secretary of state’s office suggesting that the recount could last well beyond the Nov. 4 election if it covers all of the 15 counties sought by former Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez.
In election results certified Friday, Pérez finished 481 votes behind second-place finisher Betty Yee, out of more than 4 million votes cast. Both Democrats seek to take on first-place finisher Ashley Swearengin, the Republican mayor of Fresno.
Pérez lost one vote in recounts of five Kern County precincts Friday. As the accompanying map shows, the recounted precincts were in Arvin, Delano and near Shafter, and none in Bakersfield, where Pérez topped Yee by large margins in the city’s eastern precincts. County officials will update the recount progress later today.
The secretary of state’s office recently surveyed Kern, Imperial and the other 13 counties covered by Pérez’ recount filing. Based on the counties’ responses, the recount could last through January. It would end earlier if Pérez calls off the recount or takes a lead that Yee does not contest. Yee or a supporter, though, also could seek a recount, and litigation is another possibility.
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For now, Yee’s name will be listed on the state voter information guide and other election materials pending any recount-caused changes.