INDIO — Only one official request to recount ballots cast in the Nov. 6 California General Election has been submitted to the Riverside County Registrar of Voters – and it’s not from Mayor Michael H. Wilson.
The sole request for a recount of ballots comes from a candidate in the Perris Elementary School District Trustee Area 1, Riverside County Registrar of Voters Rebecca Spencer told Uken Report. In that particular race there is a 36-vote difference between the top two vote-getters.
Wilson told Uken Report on Dec. 6 that he will seek an official recount of the ballots cast in the Nov. 6 election.
The deadline to request a recount is 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12.
If Wilson follows through with a recount he will have the choice of a hand recount or machine count.
Spencer said she has been through at least 20 recounts in her career and most candidates choose a hand recount of the ballots.
Wilson can also ask that any “relevant material” be reviewed. He can ask that for a review of the “challenged and provisional” ballots, Spencer said. He can also ask for a review of envelopes that were opened.
“It’s my ultimate decision as to whether the ballot will count or not,” Spencer said.
Wilson, who has served the city of Indio for more than two decades, told Uken Report, “We have seen some irregularities in the absentee ballots, including apparent ballot harvesting, and we want to see those ballots.”
Spencer told Uken Report she has seen “no irregularities” in any of the ballots cast in the Nov. 6 election.
“Ballot harvesting” refers to a legal process that allows voters to decide who collects and returns their ballots. In 2016, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a change to Section 3017 of the Election Code that allows any person to collect a mail-in ballot from voters and turn in the mail ballot to a polling place or the registrar’s office. Before that, only relatives of or those living in the same household as the voter could collect mail-in ballots and turn them in. The law was designed to help disabled veterans and the elderly cast their ballots easier. Republicans have lambasted the process. Wilson is a Republican.
If Wilson proceeds with his intended recount, the county has seven days to start the process, Spencer said. It would be conducted by a team of four people, each working six-hour days Monday through Friday. Each would be paid $100 per day, Spencer said. Wilson must pay for the recount and make a deposit to cover the costs at the beginning of each day of the count. In the event a recount of ballots overturns the certified results, the county would reimburse Wilson’s campaign for the costs.
Spencer said she could not yet say how much a recount of ballots would cost or how long it might take. It all depends on how much work is involved, she said.
Usually, candidates seek a recount in close contests, those that are within two percentage points, Spencer said. The certified results of Indio’s District 2 race show Wilson’s sole competitor, Waymond Fermon, with 1,920 votes and Wilson with 1,772 votes. That’s a 148-vote difference for a margin of 4 percentage points.
- Mike_wilson: Michael H. Wilson