Close 2018 Races Report, 11/27: So Close, Yet So Far


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For Ashleigh Aitken and Sal Tinajero, the sweet taste of victory is within sight — if only there are enough ballots left to … to … [metaphor stopped working!]

Notable results and non-results:

  • Ashleigh Aitken has cut her deficit against Harry Sidhu from 712 to 527 (That may be two days’ worth of tallies; the last entry in my spreadsheet from the weekend, and I think I missed a day of reporting.)  That’s a gain of 185 votes after on 30,650 Anaheim votes counted.  At that rate of gain, she’d need 87,311 more Anaheim votes counted to tie.  The vote share between Aitken and Sidhu remained at about 56% of the total vote.  So without further ado, let’s go down to “What’s Left to Vote?”  Ooh, just 17,278 votes left to count, of which 15,846 are in the critical combined (I believe) category of provisionals and conditional voter registrations.  That’s not a good sign for Ashleigh, but let’s go through the numbers anyway.
  • Here are the obstacles for her:
    • Not all of those votes will be counted; for some, verification will be unsuccessful or impossible to conduct.
    • We can’t presume that all of those votes are from Anaheim.
    • Even if they are from Anaheim, some may not have voted in the Mayor’s race.
    • Even if they voted in the Mayor’s race, some may not have voted for one of the top two candidates.
    • Even if they voted for either Sidhu or Aitken, not enough may have voted for Aitken.

So does that means its over?  Probably — but not definitely.  The question is whether the remaining ballots are a representative sample of what has come before.  I don’t know — and I’m certainly not going to trust anonymous comments from other blogs by people claiming to know.

Here’s the scenario where Ashleigh wins:

Vote count observers supportive of the Sidhu campaign — and yes, we’d probably be talking about those associated with Disney, because this would be expensive and who else? — could have been challenging these ballots disproportionately from Anaheim.  (For all we know, all of the other ballots in this category have been done.)  They would probably be challenging ballots from certain districts, if they know them, but might simply be challenging ballots from new voters (if they have that information handy) or simply those with female or Latino names.

When a ballot is challenged, a process goes into effect that takes some time to complete.  (I know that this is true of absentees and I believe that it is also true of provisionals.  Could be wrong.)  Now, which ballots would likely be around at the very end of the election (with the exception of damaged ballots)?  Those that had been challenged, right?  It’s not clear that there is an organized effort to challenge ballots anywhere else in the county — or in Anaheim, though I have anecdotal reports — and if there was one in Janet Nguyen’s district it would have been given up days ago as futile.

So these remaining ballots could be very unlike those that have already been counted.  To use a gross analogy, it’s like the last teaspoons-full from a large tumbler of water that has been drunk by a three-year-old child are probably going to be quite different in composition from the first teaspoons-full that could have been skimmed from the top of the container before the backwash and slobbering commenced.

  • Ashleigh could win if:
    • something like the above scenario of ballot challenges did occur
    • it was solely, mainly, or at least substantially focuses on ballots from Anaheim
    • the ballot challenges were biased toward delay or disqualification of the counting of Democratic ballots
    • those ballots that took all of the way to the end to count are more likely to be for the Democrat among the two front-runners than previous ballots

This just doesn’t seem entirely unlikely.  If the lawyers and other observers did a good job of targeting ballots for challenges — and Disney could afford the best, right? — then this is exactly what they would intend to happen.  This is why Republicans in Florida call for a premature end to counting ballots.  And part of a benefit of this (wholly unethical and arguably illegal) procedure is that it makes people believe that a late swing to the Democrat came about by fraud — when it actually came about through biased challenges leading to a skewed sample of ballots being counted last.

So: probably over.  Doesn’t look good for Ashleigh.  Still possible!

More results below!

WHAT’S LEFT TO COUNT?

Total Ballots Left to Count

Total estimated number of ballots to count (after Election Day): 477,711Total estimated number of ballots counted (after Election Day): 460,433

Total Estimated Left to Count: 17,278

Vote-by-Mail Left to Count

Total estimated number of vote-by-mail ballots to count: 126200Total vote-by-mail ballots counted: 125,994

Total estimated number of vote-by-mail ballots left to count: 206

Provisionals Left to Count

Total estimated number of provisionals to count: 123000Total provisionals counted: 110,240

Total estimated number of provisionals left to count: 12,760

Vote-by-Mail Returned at Polling Places Left to Count

Total estimated number of vote-by-mail ballots returned at the polls to count: 191100

Total vote-by-mail ballots returned at the polls counted: 190,857

Total estimated number of vote-by-mail ballots returned at the polls left to count: 243

Election Day Paper Left to Count

Total estimated number of election day paper ballots to count: 13200Total election day paper ballots counted: 12,492

Total estimated number of election day paper ballots left to count: 708

Eligible Vote-by-Mail Ballots received after Election Day Left to Count

Total estimated number of eligible vote-by-mail ballots received after Election Day left to count: 20,947

Total eligible vote-by-mail ballots counted: 20,672

Total estimated number of eligible vote-by-mail ballots left to count: 275

Conditional Voter Registrations Left to Count

Total estimated number of Conditional Voter Registrations to count: 3,264

Total eligible Conditional Voter Registrations counted: 178

Total estimated number of Conditional Voter Registrations left to count: 3,086

ALL OF THE REMAINING CLOSE CONTESTS! (~2%)

Here are the downballot races that are still close.  I have generally included the static numbers from Tuesday’s OC ROV report and the Secretary of State’s office (for multi-county races) and the trend from the previous reports on Saturday.  In each race, the name in orange is currently barely in and the one in magenta is currently barely out.  (I’m somewhat arbitrarily and selectively drawing the line right around “under 2%,” down 1% from the previous day’s criterion.)

If you know anything interesting about these races and why we should care about them, please speak up!

LAGUNA BEACH UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 31 of 31
Vote Count Percentage
* CAROL NORMANDIN 5,822 21.9%
* DEE NAMBA PERRY 5,625 21.1%
JAMES J. KELLY 5,462 20.5%
CHRISTINE DE BRETTEVILLE 5,427 20.4%
MARK NELSON 3,533 13.3%
HOWARD HILLS (W) 748 2.8%

Since our last report: Normandin picked up 102 votes, Perry 87, Kelly 87, and De Bretteville 96.  Her deficit against Kelly dropped from 44 to 35.  Probably running (or ran) out of ballots, but we’ll keep watching.

LOS ALAMITOS UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 35 of 35
Vote Count Percentage
MARLYS DAVIDSON 10,327 26.5%
* DIANA D. HILL 9,568 24.5%
* JEFFREY I. BARKE 9,532 24.4%
OLAINA ANDERSON 6,806 17.4%
CONNOR SWAN SMITH 2,808 7.2%

Hill picks up 87.  Barke gains 74.  Margin grows from 23 to 36.  We’ll keep watching.

SADDLEBACK VALLEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 128 of 128
Vote Count Percentage
BARBARA SCHULMAN 38,857 32.4%
GREG KUNATH 28,211 23.5%
DAN WALSH 27,025 22.5%
* DENNIS P WALSH 25,792 21.5%

Schulman picks up 850.  Kunath up 834.  Dan Walsh gains 803.  Margin grows from 1,155 to 1,186.  Tempted to call this one over.

FULLERTON JOINT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member, Trustee Area 1
Completed Precincts: 9 of 9
Vote Count Percentage
REGINA CUADRA 4,247 50.7%
CHESTER JENG 4,130 49.3%
Fullerton Joint Union High School District Governing Board Member, Trustee Area No. 1  LA VOTE!
Candidate(s) Votes Percent
Chester Jeng (N) 2,002 53.05%
Regina Cuadra (N) 1,772 46.95%

Jeng up 230 in LA, minus Cuadra by 117 in OC, equals Jeng up by 113.  That’s a drop of 25, so we’ll keep watching.

HUNTINGTON BEACH CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 37 of 37
Vote Count Percentage
* PAUL R. MORROW 17,502 25.5%
DIANA MARKS 14,472 21.1%
* SHARI KOWALKE 13,572 19.8%
JENNIFER HAYDEN 13,379 19.5%
KARRIE BURROUGHS 9,671 14.1%

Marks adds 100 and is safe.  Kowalke and Hayden each add 97.  Lead is stable; number of additional votes is dropping.

OCEAN VIEW SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 41 of 41
Vote Count Percentage
* PATRICIA SINGER 17,939 24.6%
* JOHN BRISCOE 15,719 21.5%
* JACK C. SOUDERS 15,405 21.1%
GRACEY VAN DER MARK 12,761 17.5%
KATE HOLMES 11,140 15.3%

This looks over, but we’ll keep watching it because the final margin might matter to future elections.  Singer is safe.  Briscoe adds 138.  Souders adds 135.  VDMark 121.  Margin grows from 629 to 644.  Decisive, but one wants even more!

County Supervisor, 4th District
Completed Precincts: 276 of 276
Vote Count Percentage
DOUG CHAFFEE 76,186 50.4%
TIM SHAW 74,946 49.6%

Chaffee adds 993, Shaw ads 890.  OK, maybe we’ll stop watching now.

CITY OF ANAHEIM Mayor
Completed Precincts: 129 of 129
Vote Count Percentage
HARRY SIDHU 26,315 32.5%
ASHLEIGH AITKEN 25,788 31.9%
LORRI GALLOWAY 12,272 15.2%
CYNTHIA WARD 7,100 8.8%
H. FUJI SHIOURA 2,999 3.7%
ROBERT WILLIAMS 2,797 3.5%
RUDY GAONA 2,478 3.1%
TONY D. MARTIN 1,188 1.5%

See my discussion up at the top of the post.  Very likely Sidhu.

CITY OF BUENA PARK Member, City Council, District 1
Completed Precincts: 8 of 8
Vote Count Percentage
SUNNY YOUNGSUN PARK 1,545 34.9%
* VIRGINIA VAUGHN 1,531 34.6%
W. “VAL” SADOWINSKI 1,352 30.5%

These are from provisional ballots, which by definition are cast on election day.  The margin rose from 11 to 14; Park gained 16, Vaughn 13, and Val 9.  Despite her late troubles, Park is winning in the provisionals.  We’ll keep watching.

CITY OF LAGUNA BEACH Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 16 of 16
Vote Count Percentage
PETER BLAKE 4,787 14.7%
* TONI ISEMAN 4,730 14.6%
SUE KEMPF 4,412 13.6%
ANN CHRISTOPH 4,167 12.8%
CHERYL KINSMAN 3,983 12.3%
JUDIE MANCUSO 2,767 8.5%
* ROBERT “ROB” ZUR SCHMIEDE 2,177 6.7%
PAUL MERRITT 2,036 6.3%
LORENE LAGUNA 1,389 4.3%
SUE MARIE CONNOLLY 712 2.2%
ELIZABETH “LIZ” BATES 544 1.7%
ALLISON T. MATHEWS 518 1.6%
JORG DUBIN (W) 251 0.8%

Kempf widens that gap a little on Christoph, adding 77 compared to 59.  On top of the previous 27 point gain, it looks like the late shift is to Kempf.

CITY OF LAGUNA WOODS Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 11 of 11
Vote Count Percentage
* CAROL MOORE 5,425 35.2%
* JOE RAINEY 5,027 32.6%
JUDITH P. TROUTMAN 4,948 32.1%

* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

Moore up by 84, Rainey by 79, Troutman by 80.

CITY OF NEWPORT BEACH Member, City Council, District 3
Completed Precincts: 76 of 76
Vote Count Percentage
* MARSHALL “DUFFY” DUFFIELD 18,348 50.0%
TIM STOAKS 18,326 50.0%

Duffy continues his late climb, picking up 475 to 399 for Stoaks.  The provisionals love Duffy and, after picking up 204 on Stoaks last time, it looks like he’s in the lead to stay.  We will keep watching, though.

CITY OF SAN CLEMENTE Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 28 of 28
Vote Count Percentage
DAN BANE 12,070 16.4%
LAURA FERGUSON 8,651 11.7%
* KATHY WARD 8,055 10.9%
GENE W. JAMES 7,414 10.1%
WAYNE EGGLESTON 5,936 8.1%
BERNIE WOHLFARTH 5,932 8.0%
JACKSON HINKLE 5,754 7.8%
JAKE RYBCZYK 5,343 7.2%
DON BROWN 5,234 7.1%
MIKII RATHMANN 3,983 5.4%
ED WARD 3,264 4.4%
TIFFANY JOY ROBSON LEET 2,061 2.8%

Ward up 469, James up 386.  Ward’s looking good for third.

CITY OF SANTA ANA Mayor
Completed Precincts: 78 of 78
Vote Count Percentage
* MIGUEL A. PULIDO 28,094 50.6%
SAL TINAJERO 27,374 49.4%

Pulido picks up 566; Tinajero gains 641; the margin drops by 75 to 720.  As with Anaheim, provisionals may be at play here, but Tinajero’s late gains are so far coming too slowly to make up the deficit.  He has certainly vindicated the faith that many of us had that he would be Pulido’s strongest opponent — and, with Pulido termed out, a plausible successor.  (Well, except that multiple Democrats running will likely split the vote.)

CITY OF SANTA ANA Member, City Council, Ward 6
Completed Precincts: 78 of 78
Vote Count Percentage
CECILIA “CECI” IGLESIAS 20,859 39.0%
NELIDA MENDOZA 18,186 34.0%
MIRNA VELASQUEZ 14,385 26.9%

Yeah, we’re done watching this one.

CAPISTRANO BAY COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT Director
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 1 of 1
Vote Count Percentage
* MIKE HAACK 47 25.8%
ARDESHIR IRANI 38 20.9%
PATRICK MC NULTY 28 15.4%
CHARLOTTE M. BLOOM 24 13.2%
ROBERT H. BANCROFT 23 12.6%
* KURTIS BREEDING 22 12.1%

No change.

IRVINE RANCH WATER DISTRICT Director
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 246 of 246
Vote Count Percentage
* DOUG REINHART 65,257 26.0%
* STEVE LAMAR 63,332 25.3%
* PEER A. SWAN 53,707 21.4%
ANDREW R. POLLARD 51,708 20.6%
RICHARD A. VANZINI 16,745 6.7%

Swan picks up 1,778; Pollard gains 1,836.  Pollard has been gaining in the late ballors, but not nearly enough.  We just want to be absolutely sure on this one, so no early call.

MOULTON NIGUEL WATER DISTRICT Director
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 86 of 86
Vote Count Percentage
KELLY JENNINGS 31,201 24.1%
* DONALD R. FROELICH 29,270 22.6%
WILLIAM “BILL” MOORHEAD 24,737 19.1%
KEN MADDOX 23,160 17.9%
JOEL BISHOP 11,240 8.7%
SHERRY WANNINGER 9,940 7.7%

Moorhead picks up 470,  Maddox gains 405.  Hard to see Maddox making up a 1,577 vote margin in increments of -65.

L-City of Anaheim, Initiative Ordinance to Increase Minimum Wage
Completed Precincts: 129 of 129
Vote Count Percentage
Yes 44,920 54.1%
No 38,082 45.9%

YES adds 894 votes.  NO adds 467 votes.  Margin jumps from  6,411 to 6,838.  I’m only leaving this up here because of the probable correlation to the Mayoral vote.


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose worker's rights and government accountability attorney, residing in northwest Brea. General Counsel of CATER, the Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility, a non-partisan group of people sick of local corruption. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 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. Occasionally runs for office to challenge some nasty incumbent who would otherwise run unopposed. (Someday he might pick a fight with the intent to win rather than just dent someone. You'll know it when you see it.) He got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012 and in 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002. 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. A family member 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.)