IMPERIAL COUNTY — As the Imperial County Registrar of Voters’ office continues to count mail-in ballots, only one race appears to hang in the balance, the Imperial Director District 4 between candidates Erik Ortega and Daniel Romero.
The first publishing of election results online early Wednesday morning by the Registrar’s office showed 100% of precincts reported, but not total Valley votes. The large number of mail-in and absentee ballots, that legally can arrive three days after Tuesday’s vote, still needed to be processed. With Friday being Veteran’s Day, a federal holiday, meant Monday ballots could still be accepted.
Then, Ortega was squeezing ahead of Romero by a mere 29 votes, 1791 and 1762 respectively. A week later, with almost 1500 more ballots counted from their district, Ortega’s lead has shrunk to 19 votes, 2551 and 2532 respectively.
Other ballots that are processed after Election Day include provisional ballots, and ballots that are damaged or cannot be machine-read must be remade by elections officials.
State law requires county elections officials to report their final results to the Secretary of State for presidential elections by December 6, 2016, and for all other contests by December 9, 2016. The Secretary of State will certify the results for presidential electors to the Governor by December 10, 2016, and will certify the results of all state contests by December 16, 2016.