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Outcome of council election may be known by Thanksgiving

By: Patty McAlpin, Reporter
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The results of the Lincoln City Council election may not be known until Thanksgiving at the earliest according to Ryan Ronco, Placer County’s assistant registrar.

“Our goal is to be finished by Thanksgiving,” Ronco said. “Our staff has been working nonstop for months.”   

The elections office is in the process of counting approximately 7,000 provisional and vote by mail ballots. That is the amount of votes still to be counted in supervisorial district 2.

The deadline for the elections office to canvass the Nov. 6 election is Dec. 4.

As of election night, incumbent Councilman Paul Joiner, candidate Peter Gilbert and incumbent Mayor Spencer Short were in the lead with totals of 8,801 votes for Joiner, 5,476 votes for Gilbert and 5,172 votes for Short.

Nine candidates ran for three seats on the council. The other candidates include Christine Colvin, Dan Cross, Allen Cuenca, Scott Glaser, David Kawas and Candi Schipper.

There are 24,931 registered voters in the city of Lincoln.

On Tuesday night, 16,968 ballots were accepted by the elections office.

The difference between the number of registered voters and those whose ballots were accepted Tuesday night is 7,963.

Joiner said he is patiently waiting for the outcome.

“It can be a little stressful knowing that there are potentially thousands of votes remaining to be counted and waiting for the official results to be revealed,” Joiner said. “Statistically, it is likely that the percentage of votes going to each candidate will remain approximately the same. All we can do is to wait patiently for the elections office to complete their work.”

Short said he does not believe there will be a big difference.

“I am confident the results will hold,” Short said. “We need to keep working together to solve the city’s issues.”

Colvin is curious to know if the outcome will change for some candidates.

“It keeps you on the edge of your seat for some time if they are projecting 7,000 votes unaccounted for and will not be complete by Thanksgiving,” Colvin said. “I’m curious now what the final number is since many candidates were off by a few hundred votes.”

When asked what his thoughts are about the situation, Gilbert responded, “What are my thoughts on what?”

Cross said to “check back with me around Thanksgiving.”

Glaser asked, “Will it be used in the LNM printed?

Not replying to a request for comment emailed to all candidates Nov. 9 were Cuenca, Kawas and Schipper.

Ronco said the reason he wants to see the votes counted by Thanksgiving is the elections office may have to prepare for another general election in January depending on the outcome of the race for state senator for the Fourth Senate District. Jim Nielsen, a rancher and independent businessman, received 50.4 percent of the votes on Nov. 6.

“If Nielsen stays above 50 percent, he will win the race outright, but if he doesn’t, he will face the next highest vote getter the second Tuesday in January,” Ronco said.

The 4th Senate District covers a vast and predominantly rural area that encompasses 12 counties: Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Nevada, Placer, Shasta, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity and Yuba.

The winner of this seat would serve the balance of the term unfinished by Doug LaMalfa, who was halfway through his term. Upon the final adjournment of the California State Senate for the 2011-12 legislative years, LaMalfa resigned as senator of the Fourth District to be a candidate for the First Congressional District. In that race, LaMalfa’s vote total was 58 percent and his challenger, Jim Reed, received 42 percent, according to unofficial results from the Secretary of State. The First Congressional District representative does not represent Placer County.