Newly released election results show only a handful of votes separate the two candidates for San Luis Obispo County Supervisor District 4.
Incumbent Lynn Compton is ahead of challenger Jimmy Paulding by just 31 votes. It’s been a close race and there are still more ballots to count.
Friday afternoon, temp workers processed thousands of mail-in ballots.
"That requires a signature verification of every envelope. Opening the envelope and flatting it out and getting it ready for counting," said Tommy Gong, San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder.
Gong says a little less than 12,000 ballots remain to be counted countywide. Nearly 2,500 of them are from District 4. Incumbent Lynn Compton has 7,982 votes. Challenger, Jimmy Paulding – 7,951 votes.
Paulding released this statement to KSBY: "I’m happy to see the gap close, and the numbers trend in my direction. We remain optimistic that the numbers will continue on this direction."
We reached out to Compton but did not hear back.
For this election, Gong says the voter turnout was 52,53%, an increase from years past.
"Usually we’re at about 40% during a typical gubernatorial primary so another ten points added even with the additional voters that we have on the voter rolls is very, quite a feat for our county," Gong added.
Observers kept a watch on the new voting system Friday afternoon.
If there’s a write-in candidate, an overvote, or a stray mark, the system raises that to their attention and the fix is made with two people.
"It’s really a transparent process that we have as we’re processing our ballots," Gong concluded.
400 ballots can be counted in a matter of two to three minutes, much faster than years prior. Ballot counting will happen again on Monday at 10 a.m.
The clerk-recorder says the goal is to get the election certified by June 29th.