Corning council election decision still days away
At least 6,000 ballots still needed to be counted by the Tehama County Elections Department after Tuesday's vote, said Jennifer Vise, elections department assistant registrar.
In processing vote-by-mail ballots, elections officials must confirm each voter's registration status, verify each voter's signature on the vote-by-mail envelope, and ensure each person did not vote elsewhere in the same election.
Other ballots that are processed after Election Day include provisional ballots, and ballots that are damaged or cannot be machine-read and must be remade by elections officials.
Inevitably there are Corning voters' ballots among that number leaving the outcome of the City Council race still unknown.
As of noon Wednesday, the spread between Councilman John Leach and challenger Willie Smith was only 20 votes, with Smith totaling 575 votes.
Two council seats were up for grabs, and it appeared as if retired police Chief Tony Cardenas will take one of the those seats as he continues to hold a significant lead at 712 votes.
"If these preliminary results stay true," said Cardenas, "I look forward to continuing my service to the community of Corning, its residents and businesses. I'm thankful to everyone who voted and the support they have shown the city."
Another former law enforcement official, retired Sheriff Clay Parker, has taken the lead in the Red Bluff City Council contest with 37.84 percent of the vote, with Robert Sheppard possibly holding the second council seat with 34.25 percent. Candidate Lisha Goings holds 27.68 percent as of Wednesday.
It appears Corning Union Elementary School District will see an incumbent back on the board of trustees with Marty Mathisen bringing home 45.51 percent of the votes so far. Lizett Arriaga will be joining Mathisen as she has earned 38.98 percent against candidate Jesus Rosas's 15.24 percent of the preliminary count.
Although the vast majority of Tehama County voters marked the Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan ticket, the national picture put President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden back in the White House.
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-San Francisco, will continue to serve the residents of California. Republican candidate Elizabeth Emken earned Tehama County's vote.
Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, is on his way to Washington D.C., winning the 1st Congressional District Congressional seat vacated by retiring Rep. Wally Herger LaMalfa was opposed by Democrat Jim Reed of Fall River Mills.
Possibly moving into the newly drawn state 4th Senate District office is Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, who beat out his opponents in the special election.
As of Wednesday, he was showing 50.4 percent of the vote, enough to avoid a run-off election in January. The Senate seat was a special election combined with the regular general election.
The race between Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Loma Rica, and Democrat Charles Rouse for the state's 3rd Assembly District seat had Logue with a clear margin of 56.1 percent against Rouse's 43.9 percent, according to the state's unofficial results.
County elections officials have until Dec. 4 to finish processing ballots and until Dec. 7 to report their certified election results to the California Secretary of State.
"California has more registered voters than any other state in the nation. It's understandable some people want election returns immediately, but it's more important than ever to get results right rather than get results fast," Secretary of State Debra Bowen, California's chief elections official, said in a statement. "Voting by mail has increased significantly in recent years and with many people returning vote-by-mail ballots on Election Day, county elections officials need the full month to finish their important work."