City Council lineup holds steady as more votes expected to be counted

November 16, 2012
Santa Paula News

The lineup for City Council is holding steady, and although there are probably more votes out there yet to be counted it seems to be a pretty sure thing that Martin Hernandez and Jim Tovias will be taking the Oath of Office next month.

The update was released Tuesday, November 13 by the Ventura County Elections Division, which had more than 63,000 mail-in and provisional ballots countywide to be verified and counted. 

A majority of the ballots now being counted are mail-in ballots not received by the county by Monday, November 5, which had to wait to be processed, as did provisional ballots. The latter can result from voters going to the wrong polling place, not being listed at a precinct, or other mix-ups that caused them to use the special ballot that then must be verified.

There were four candidates vying for two council seats.

According to the latest count, Hernandez, chief of staff to Supervisor Kathy Long and a first-time council candidate, still held on to first place with 3,456 votes, 30.58 percent. Incumbent Jim Tovias, an insurance agent trying for his second term on the council, was second with 2,976, 26.33 percent.

Incumbent Fred Robinson, the CEO of nonprofit The Arc, also seeking his second term and running on a slate with Tovias, had 2,632 votes, 23.29 percent. Duane Ashby, who was narrowly defeated in his first bid for council two years ago, had 2,208 votes, 19.54 percent. There were 29 write-ins, 0.26 percent.

The total votes counted for the council race so far as of November 13 is 11,301; each voter was asked to select two candidates. For the council race alone the latest count added a total of 1,459 votes to the results, representing approximately 729 ballots. 

Voters always have the option of not voting, or voting for less than the full amount of openings.  It is only when voters select more candidates than open seats that their choices in the specific category are voided.

Judy Rice will serve a second term as City Clerk. She ran unopposed and received 5,446 votes, 97.70 percent. There were 128 write-ins, 2.30 percent out of the total 5,574 ballots marked.

Sandra “Sandy” Easley will serve a fourth term as City Treasurer. Easley, Santa Paula’s interim finance director, also was unopposed and garnered 5,507 votes, 97.87 percent. There were 120 write-ins, 2.13 percent. Total votes cast for the City Treasurer category was 5,627.

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