Ballot counting remains on hold in SLO County supervisor’s race, judge to issue decision Wednesday

Posted at 4:26 PM, Jun 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-19 19:26:50-04

A San Luis Obispo County judge says he will issue a written decision Wednesday regarding ballot counting in the 4th District Supervisor race.

On Monday, a judge issued a temporary restraining order against the county to stop counting certain ballots that could potentially alter the outcome of the race.

This comes after incumbent Lynn Compton accused County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong of being in violation of the law. Her attorney says there are ballots that have been signed by voters but those signatures do not match their registration. 

Attorney Charles Bell says the remaining ballots should not be counted and any that have been received eight days post-election should also not be counted, even if they have been corrected.

"This affords those voters notice and due process and they got an opportunity to correct in the same manner and the same amount of time that other voters who submitted absentee ballots without signing their ballots are permitted by law," Bell said.

Representatives with the County Registrar of Voters declined to comment on the matter but said in court that eliminating these ballots would take away the voices of the voters. They also stated that the deadline of eight days after the election only applies to envelopes with no signatures, not those that do not match the voter signatures on file. 

As of Friday, there were only 62 votes separating Compton and challenger Jimmy Paulding.

Gong says only two ballots are affected by what’s going on in court. He says there are 65 provisional ballots left to be processed but it’s likely they won’t be counted because they’ve already been determined ineligible. 

Gong says if the judge allows him to proceed with ballot counting, the two ballots in question will be included in Friday’s results. 

The judge will issue a decision by 5 p.m. Wednesday.