Are AD-69 and/or AD-72 headed into recounts?


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No hanging chads here in Orange County, at least.

Today (Thursday June 14) is probably the last day of the canvass of votes in Orange County’s June 5 primary elections.  That doesn’t mean that it’s the end of vote counting, however.  Take a look at that picture to the right.  You know what I’m talking about.

(Story updated Thurs. 8:15 a.m.)

“Within half a percent” is often the guideline in choosing to go ahead with a recount.  In AD-69, about 12,000 votes will have been cast for either Joe Moreno or Julio Perez, discounting Tom Daly and the two also-rans.  Half a percent of 12,000 would be 60 votes.  If Perez ends up within 60 votes of Moreno, I don’t think that his supporters think twice before funding a recount.  In fact, if Perez ends up three times that many votes behind, maybe they think twice, but I think that they go ahead with it.  The stakes are that high — and the prospect that some sort of cock-up might be discovered that reverses the result is not that low.

In AD-72, 38,000 or so votes will have been cast for the second-through-fourth place candidates Travis Allen, Joe Dovinh, and Long Pham.  Half a percent there is close to 200.  I don’t think that Joe Dovinh will be able to afford a recount, but if Long Pham gains ground on Travis Allen, he might spring for one.  (Otherwise, this seat might be out of his grasp for as much six years — or now after Prop 28 I guess that that may become twelve!)  Unfortunately for both of the Vietnamese candidates, yesterday the election shifted in Allen’s favor for the second day in a row.

Here are the numbers of the day, supposedly for ballots counted between 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday and 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday:

In AD-69, Julio Perez continued to pick up ground on Moreno, but not quickly enough as the number of  uncounted ballots begins to run out.

Tom Daly picked up 138 votes by Wednesday afternoon’s announcement, Moreno 90, and Perez 209.  (Martinez and Barragan had 115 and 11, but neither remains in the ballgame.)  Daly was down over 50 from  his Tuesday total; Perez was down 25 and Moreno down 20.  If Perez had three more days like this he would probably pull ahead of Moreno; unfortunately for him, he probably only has one left.  The margin now stands at 284.

In AD-72, the biggest new story is that Pham has already almost caught up to Dovinh; he is now only 28 votes out of third place.  However the bigger — not so new — story is that Allen remains 400 votes ahead of Pham, with time running out.  I don’t know whether we had the same slew of Vietnamese voters’ ballot challenges, which might help Pham and/or Dovinh, on Wednesday that we did on Tuesday; if so, there’s still some chance that both could advance.  On the other hand, if Allen’s votes got challenged by Team Edgar and haven’t been added to yesterday’s total, then there’s not much hope left for anyone else.

It ain’t over until it’s over, but in both races the likelihood of significant change in the top two just got more remote.


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 (in violation of Roberts Rules) when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Expelled from DPOC in October 2018 (in violation of Roberts Rules) for having endorsed Spitzer over Rackauckas -- which needed to be done. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. One of his daughters co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)