The race for the 5th District seat on the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors is turning into something of a nail-biter, as updated vote counts have still not declared a winner.
As of Thursday, June 14, former California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson led Boulder Creek contractor Eric Hammer by a margin of 1,646 votes, but by winning only 49.66 percent of the total votes cast in the 5th District, he did not have enough to give him the 50 percent-plus-one majority needed to win outright. McPherson has garnered 6,867 votes (49.66 percent), and Hammer 5,221 votes (37.76 percent) as of June 14, the first update since the June 5 election.
If no winner is declared by the July 3 certification deadline, the top two candidates will face off in the November 6 general election.
According to Santa Cruz County Clerk Gail Pellerin, elections staffers are finishing up counting the remaining ballots.
“I suspect we’ll be done sometime next week,” she said today.
The decision could come down to the 476 provisional votes that were cast in the 5th District.
According to Pellerin, a provisional vote is one that was cast in the wrong precinct or is otherwise questionable as to its legitimacy and could be invalidated.
“Four hundred and seventy-six were cast in 5th District precincts,” she said today. “But I don’t know if they’re 5th District voters or from somewhere else.”
Based on the updated vote totals, if all 476 provisional votes were validated, McPherson would need to garner 286 of them to secure an outright win.