BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — We are now two months past the November midterm election, but the vote counting in Kern County isn’t over yet.
Just as the first recount wrapped up, the ballot counting in the second recount in the Central Valley’s 16th State Senate race — one of the closest state legislature races in California history — kicked off Wednesday.
“It came from Hurtado’s campaign and it was for 150 precincts,” Kern County Auditor-Controller-County Clerk-Registrar of Voters Aimee Espinoza said.
Espinoza explains state Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Bakersfield), who was sworn into the seat a month ago, requested the recount in 150 precincts in Kern, eight of which were partly covered in Republican candidate David Shepard‘s first recount request of 70 precincts.
“With the two requests together, we’re still not reaching the 316 total precincts that contain this race,” Espinoza said. “And so it’s still only a partial recount of the entire race here in Kern County.”
Shepard requested the first recount in all four counties in the 16th Senate District after falling short of Hurtado by less than two dozen votes in November.
In the first recount, Shepard netted three votes in Tulare County, two in Kings and three in Fresno. Shepard now asked for a manual inspection of ballots in eight precincts in Tulare, which the county hopes to finish by Friday.
“The results were no changes. They were consistent with what we had already certified to the secretary of state. And we are confident that we’re going to have the same result with this recount,” Espinoza said regarding the first recount results in Kern County.
The first recount took five days in Kern County, but Espinoza says this one is expected to be longer.
“So we did streamline our process just a little bit. And so it is saving us a little time, but it is more than double the number of precincts. And so we do anticipate it taking additional time,” Espinoza said.
The person requesting the recount, in this case the candidates, pay for it.