Jackson-Strickland race: Now what?

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With 108 votes separating them out of more than 306,000 cast, obviously this 19th District Senate contest between Democrat Hannah-Beth Jackson and Republican Tony Strickland is a long way from over.

There are tens of thousands of vote yet to be counted -- indeed, if turnout is to reach the 80 percent projections, there would have to be 100,000 votes outstanding.

What votes remain to be counted, when will they be counted, and will there be a recount?

Let's take the answers one at a time.

1) Elections officials have processed and counted mail-in ballots that were delivered in the mail through last Friday. All ballots that were delivered via mail on Saturday, Monday and yesterday have not been counted. To these, add all the mail-in ballots that were dropped off at voting precincts yesterday. Finally, add all provisional ballots that were cast. These are the votes that will now determine the outcome.

Provisional ballots are cast by voters who showed up at the polls and, for some reason or another, weren't on the rolls. Ventura County Clerk-Recorder Philip Schmit told me last night that there was an unusually high number of provisional ballots cast yesterday.

2) The tallying of the outstanding ballots won't begin until tomorrow or Friday at the earliest, Schmit said. The process could take two weeks.

3) California law requires an automatic recount of 10 percent of the ballots in any contest in which the outcome is within half a percentage point. If the contest remains within that margin after the first 10 percent of ballots are recounted, then another 10 percent are recounted, and so on.

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95 percent accurate
Over the last 25 presidential elections, Ventura County voters have backed the winner 24 times, or over 95 percent of the time. It is one of only a handful of counties in the nation that has been such a predictable bellwether.
about Timm Herdt
Timm Herdt
The Ventura County Star's Sacramento Bureau Chief Timm Herdt on state issues and politics from Sacramento to Ventura County. He can be contacted at therdt@vcstar.com
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