Thousands of ballots left to count in tight SLO County District 4 Supervisor race

Posted at 5:34 PM, Jun 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-06 20:34:07-04

Election Day is over but the results of the races aren’t yet final.

In San Luis Obispo County, all eyes are on the very close race for District 4 San Luis Obispo County Supervisor.

Since the first results came in Tuesday night, less than 100 votes have separated Lynn Compton and Jimmy Paulding.

With thousands of ballots left to process, every vote counts.

“So we are reviewing ballots as they come in for the Compton campaign to make sure that all the votes are counted and are accurate,” said Bob Nelson, an observer.

No official winner will be decided until all of the ballots are counted.

Seventeen-thousand ballots were cast at the polls and between 20,000 and 25,000 vote-by-mail ballots were collected from the post office Wednesday morning.

“We ask voters to be patient with us. We are going through and taking all our validation checks, being sure that all of our counts are correct and that we counted every ballot that is eligible to be counted,” said Tommy Gong, County Clerk-Recorder.

He says he hopes to have this election certified by the end of the month.

Right now, the race between Compton and Paulding could go either way and if the results end up being close, there’s always an option for a recount.

“Any registered voter could call for a recount if they deem to do so, but there is a deposit that’s required. It’s basically the daily rate that we use to pay our extra help workers,” Gong explained.

Both candidates have people closely watching each ballot being processed.

“Being here allows us to see up-to-date changes which at this point there are going to be very few, but it allows us to at least engage in that and report back to the campaign,” Nelson said.

Incumbent Lynn Compton released a statement Wednesday saying, "This is a very close race and we look forward to a speedy conclusion. In the meantime, as the county finishes its work, we are awaiting the results like everyone else.”

Jimmy Paulding also released a statement saying, “As we anticipated, this is a very close race. With as much as a third of the expected total votes unaccounted for, we remain optimistic that we will be successful. This race is not over!”

Results are not expected to be updated until Friday morning.

The District 4 Supervisor seat serves Huasna, Cuyama, Arroyo Grande, Nipomo, Oceano, and Edna Valley.