Election update: Provisional ballots challenge elections staff
by Joe Shreve
Nov 21, 2012 | 5547 views | 3 3 comments | 849 849 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Two weeks before the Dec. 4 deadline to officially certify the results of the Nov. 6 presidential election, workers at the Santa Cruz County Election Department are putting in extra hours to ensure that all the cast ballots are counted on time.

Those include 1,400 provisional ballots that will determine the outcome of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors 5th District race, where Bruce McPherson held a slim lead of 245 votes over his opponent, Eric Hammer, as of Nov. 15.

According to County Clerk Gail Pellerin, elections workers have been working to ascertain the exact number of mail-in, in-person and provisional ballots.

Provisional ballots, Pellerin said, include those cast at the incorrect polling place, those involving unconfirmed addresses or other information, or any other irregularities.

Each must be investigated individually to determine its validity.

“We’re doing the research and going through them one at a time,” Pellerin said. “It’s very labor intensive and time consuming.”

Of about 8,800 provisional ballots cast countywide, she said, roughly 1,400 came from within the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors 5th District.

The Santa Cruz County Election Department released an updated list of voting results on Nov. 15. Official final numbers will be announced Dec. 4.


Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, District 5

Bruce McPherson: 50.33 percent (11,823 votes)

Eric Hammer: 49.29 percent (11,578 votes)


Scotts Valley Fire Protection District (three seats)

Jane Armstrong: 28.13 percent (4,942 votes)

Arthur Smith: 24.45 percent (4,296 votes)

Alan L. Smith: 24.06 percent (4,228 votes)

Lisa Ann Bustichi: 23.22 percent (4,079 votes)

Write-ins: 0.14 percent (25 votes)


Lompico County Water District (three seats)

Bill Smallman: 22.36 percent (330 votes)

Richard Harrington: 21.48 percent (317 votes)

Lois Henry: 21.00 percent (310 votes)

Gail A. Jones: 12.67 percent (187 votes)

Duane R. Davis: 12.47 percent (184 votes)

Cheryl Trapp: 9.82 percent (145 votes)

Write-ins: 0.20 percent (three votes)


San Lorenzo Valley Water District (two seats)

Margaret Bruce: 40.11 percent (5,843 votes)

Randall C. Brown: 23.97 percent (3,491 votes)

Stephen Swan: 22.68 percent (3,304 votes)

Craig Austin: 12.86 percent (1,874 votes)

Write-ins: 0.38 percent (55 votes)


Boulder Creek Recreation and Park District (three seats)

Tess E. Fitzgerald: 26.70 percent (2,369 votes)

Brian Valdivia: 24.41 percent (2,166 votes)

Kimberly Main: 24.26 percent (2,153 votes)

Michael Watson: 13.12 percent (1,164 percent)

Richard Chatoff: 11.17 percent (991 votes)

Write-ins: 0.35 percent (31 votes)


Measure N – Santa Cruz County Transient Occupancy Tax

Yes: 72.89 percent (74,951 votes)

No: 27.11 percent (27,879 votes)


Santa Cruz County Board of Education, Trustee Area 3

Sandra Nichols: 79.73 percent

James Spano: 19.21 percent

Comments-icon Post a Comment
November 30, 2012
Hurray! Yippee!
please no tool
November 22, 2012
please we do not need a hammer for a supervisor. a supervisor needs to be smarter then a tool used to beat nails

If there is a God please forgive me but in Bruce we trust.

It appears its not Hammer time after all

Please no liar
November 22, 2012
Mr. Hammer lied to us about his education!

If I was one of his kids, I'd ditch school then just tell dad I WAS there.

"When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail"

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