The 1st District Santa Barbara City Council election is still too close to call after a tally continued to show Alejandra Gutierrez leading the race to represent the city’s Eastside.
The current count has Ms. Guttierez with 47.55 percent of the vote at 960, 14 votes ahead of incumbent Jason Dominguez who is at 946 and 46.85 percent, with 2,040 ballots counted.
Tuesday’s tally is the third for the City Council election, after counts were made on election night, Friday and Tuesday.
Although Mr. Dominguez was initially in the lead on election night, Ms. Guttierrez on Friday moved ahead of Mr. Dominguez, but only by a mere 10 votes out of 1,999 cast, which translated to 0.5 percent of the ballots counted at the time.
This year, the city of Santa Barbara contracted with the Los Angeles County Elections office in Norwalk to provide the ballot counting and canvass of returned ballots. Due to the time it takes to transport ballots from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles, election night’s results did not include all ballots received in the city on Election Day, according to Sarah Gorman, City Clerk Services Manager.
Tuesday’s tally included ballots received by Friday and postmarked Election Day, as well as verified provisional ballots and ballots of voters who had missing or unmatched ballot envelope signatures and fixed the issue with the City Clerk’s office.
One more tally of outstanding ballots is set for Thursday.
The other seat contested in the election, District 2, went to Mike Jordan, who will take over for Councilman Randy Rowse as representative for the Mesa area. Mr. Jordan secured his victory with 37 percent of the vote in the five-way race.
Semi-official election results released by Los Angeles County show a total of 6,140 ballots cast: 2,040 in District 1 and 4,100 in District 2.