Sundberg and Madrone will be in electoral limbo for the next few weeks.



It’ll be weeks before we know who won yesterday’s race for Fifth District Supervisor. In the final election night tally, challenger Steve Madrone leads incumbent Ryan Sundberg by just 33 votes — 2,410 to 2,377.

But there are still lots of votes left to be counted, and candidates will likely have to wait until the election is finally certified — usually near the end of the month — to know which candidate will take his chair on the dais next year.

How many Fifth District votes are left to be counted? Unknown, but probably more than a thousand. In 2014, when Ryan Sundberg was challenged by a weaker opponent (Sharon Latour), the elections office tallied 5,879 ballots in the race when all was said and done. And in that year, even fewer ballots had been counted in the election night final report than there were this year — only 4,554.

What are all these late ballots? Most of them are absentee or vote-by-mail ballots that are received by the county elections office too late to be processed in the first report on election night. Some of them are “provisional” ballots — votes cast at the wrong polling place, say — or, this year, votes cast by people who registered to vote on election day.

So: Too close to call!

Meanwhile, Virginia Bass easily fended off her two challengers, ending the night with 57 percent of the Fourth District vote, and Karen Paz Dominguez looks like a lock in race for auditor-controller with 54 percent of the election night vote.

The Outpost was out and about last night, in case you missed it. Click here for the night as it unfolded, including pictures from campaign parties and such.

The county’s full election night final report can be found at this link (PDF).


UPDATE: We should note, too, that all the local revenue measures on the Humboldt County ballot this election season — the parcel tax for the Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District’s, school bond measures in Freshwater, Rio Dell and Pacific Union — passed easily.


UPDATE to the UPDATE: Oh, Fortuna had a school bond measure too. It’s very narrowly leading at the moment, 55.49 percent to 44.51 percent. School bond measures need 55 percent of the vote to pass in California.