The Humboldt County Office of Elections released a final tally from the Nov. 6 election today, the day before the certification deadline.
“Humboldt County Elections has finished processing and tabulating all ballots for the 2018 General Election,” Kelly Sanders said in an email today. “We are finishing reports for the California Secretary of State’s Office and will certify the election tomorrow, Dec. 6.”
The local elections office was closed to the public Wednesday, one of many offices observing a national day of mourning for former President George H.W. Bush.
In the previous update from the county elections office, more than 15,000 votes remained to be counted as of Nov. 16. As of this morning, the county had the highest number of votes remaining to be counted on the California Secretary of State website. The tally was updated by this evening.
One national writer note it was the country’s biggest uncounted election tally.
“I think it was @DKElections that used to describe slow-vote counting election offices as “taking a ganja break,’” writer Dave Wasserman tweeted. “As fate would have it, the country’s biggest stash of remaining uncounted ballots (at least by my estimate) is in Humboldt County, CA.”
Sanders did not respond when queried about the “ganja break” assertion.
However, she noted the county received significantly more mail-in ballots at the last minute this year.
“Approximately 66 percent of the ballots cast in this election were vote by mail ballots,” Sanders said. ” All vote by mail ballots that were mailed in or hand delivered to the Office of Elections by Nov. 3 were processed and included in the election night results. Approximately 41 percent of the vote by mail ballots cast in the November election were turned in the day before the election, or on Election Day. This was an unusually high number of vote by mail ballots to be received on or so close to Election Day.”
Sanders also noted significant turnout for the recent mid-term election, with 68 percent of registered voters participating in the election, something Sanders called “great for a non-presidential election year.”
In terms of results, little changed with the final 15,000-plus votes in the tally.
For city councils across the county, many jurisdictions will be swearing in new members this month.
In Arcata, the city selected Sofia Pereira and Brett Watson as council members.
In Eureka, Susan Seaman will be the new mayor garnering more than 45 percent of the vote. The other change on the council is the addition of Leslie Castellano representing Ward 1. Councilwomen Natalie Arroyo and Kim Bergel will play musical wards, with Arroyo representing Ward 3 and Bergel representing Ward 5.
In Ferndale, Michael Sweeney earned more than 70 percent of the votes and was elected mayor.
Rio Dell will be represented by Debra Garnes, Bryan Richter and Julie Woodall on the City Council.
Trinidad’s council now includes Tom Davies, Dwight Miller and James Baker.
In terms of local measures, the sanctuary ordinance passed with more than 55 percent of the vote; the county’s half-cent sales tax to fund public safety also passed with more than 73 percent of the vote. School bonds for the Cutten and Northern Humboldt Union High School districts both passed as well, garnering more than the 55 percent needed. Taxes in Eureka, Rio Dell and Blue Lake passed.
In contrast, Measure M, which would have forbidden the removal or alteration of the President William McKinley statue on the Arcata Plaza, was soundly defeated, earning just over 32 percent of the vote.
The complete results can be viewed online at https://wp.me/paePRc-9bhc.