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Recount for SLO County supervisor race terminated Thursday

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Posted at 11:06 AM, Dec 29, 2022

The recount for the San Luis Obispo County District 2 Supervisor race has been terminated, according to County Clerk-Recorder Elaina Cano.

In a press release Thursday morning, the clerk-recorder's office said that Darcia Stebbens, who initially requested the recount, had submitted a request to halt it. In addition, officials explained that Stebbens did not make the daily deposit required to keep the recount process going, so in accordance with California Elections Code, the recount was terminated.

Incumbent District 2 Supervisor Bruce Gibson won the November General Election by just 13 votes over challenger Dr. Bruce Jones.

The recount began on December 19, a week after the clerk-recorder's office received the request from Stebbens. She had asked for a visual inspection of the ballots along with any "relevant material" and a manual recount of the ballots.

Per state guidelines, the person requesting a recount is responsible for paying for it.

As of Wednesday, Stebbens had already paid $45,975 for the recount and would have needed to pay an additional $6,875.28 on Thursday to continue it, according to Cano. The total cost was expected to be more than $80,000.

Cano added that by Wednesday, six of the 27 precincts involved in the recount had been manually tallied and the results so far remained the same. One ballot was discovered to have been cast in a timely manner but not counted in the original ballot count; however, it was not one of the six precincts that had been counted so far in the recount.

Stebbens issued a press release Thursday on behalf of the San Luis Obispo County Citizens Action Team, or SLOCCAT. In the release, the group raises concerns about California's election process as a whole, saying it is "fundamentally flawed, lacks auditability and thus the public cannot effectively audit or certify its reliability or accuracy."

On Friday, Dr. Bruce Jones released a statement saying, "I want to thank all the people who contributed to my campaign with their time, money and effort. I also want to thank the people in District 2 who voted for me and the people who tried to vote for me on November 8 in person at their precincts but were disenfranchised from voting the way they wanted to vote. I will continue to champion fiscally responsible, corruption-free County government."

Jones did not elaborate on his comment, but in its press release, SLOCCAT claimed, "…discouragement by precinct polling officials of precinct voters from voting in person or surrendering their mail ballots to vote in person, and voters assigned to "mail ballot only" precincts who were deprived of the opportunity to vote in person…"

KSBY News reached out to Clerk-Recorder Elaina Cano for comment regarding those claims but has not heard back.

On Thursday, Supervisor Gibson told KSBY, "I didn't know quite what to expect about the actual arc of the recount. I'm not at all surprised by the result."

Darcia Stebbens also requested a recount of the San Luis Obispo County District 4 Supervisor race in the June Primary Election. In that race, Jimmy Paulding unseated incumbent Lynn Compton by 639 votes, and the recount did not change the result of the election.