Bruce Jones campaign to file for recount in District 2 supervisor race

Laura Dickinson/ldickinson@thetribunenews.com

The Bruce Jones campaign plans to file for a recount in the District 2 Board of Supervisors race by Monday, campaign staff member Erik Gorham told The Tribune.

The San Luis Obispo County Elections Office posted the final election results on Wednesday afternoon, showing that incumbent Bruce Gibson defeated challenger Jones by 13 votes.

Gibson won 11,722 votes, or 50.03%, while Jones won 11,709 votes, or 49.97%, according to the final count.

Gorham first announced the plan to file for a recount on the Dave Congalton radio show Wednesday night.

“We’re not in any way, shape or form saying there was a crime committed here. We’re trying to find out if mistakes were made,” Gorham said on the show. “We’re trying to make sure that every vote counts, every vote was interpreted properly and that the rightful person wins this election.”

According to state law, any registered voter in California can file for a recount within five days of a county certifying its election.

“Whether it changes it or not, we should at least find out,” Gorham said during the show.

State law requires the person requesting the recount to cover its cost. Gorham said he expects this recount to cost the campaign $30,000 to $40,000.

“It does cost the campaign a lot of money that we don’t have,” Gorham said. “We’re actively trying to find that money.”

After the June primary, SLO County resident Darcia Stebbens requested a recount for the District 4 election. The recount cost $53,130.73, and showed that the original count was 100% accurate.

During the District 4 recount, Stebbens asked the county to recount every single ballot cast. Gorham didn’t expect the same process for the District 2 recount.

“It won’t be a complete recount,” Gorham said. The campaign will ask the Elections Office to re-examine at least two types of ballots: those that election staff had to interpret and ballots that may have been missed on Election Day.

According to Gorham, some voters told precinct workers they wanted to surrender their mail-in ballot and vote with a poll ballot on Election Day.

Some of the precinct workers told voters they could vote at the polls with their mail-in ballot instead, which would make it so those ballots weren’t counted, Gorham said.

“Those are predominately Republican votes,” Gorham said on the radio show. “Right there, I believe we might be able to make up 14 votes.”

“I don’t believe this was malicious. I believe these are volunteers that made mistakes,” Gorham added. “If those mistakes remain, I’m sure there’s a pile of ballots that didn’t count and we count those and see where it ends up. If we lose, we lose. If we win, we win.”