The race for Solvang’s City Council has come down to just one vote, according to the latest update Wednesday by the county elections office. Four candidates vied for the two seats. At the current count, Ryan Toussaint leads the pack with 1,269 votes; Hans Duus, who is the incumbent, has 1,229; Karen Waite is just one vote behind with 1,228; and Brian Baca has 440.
But there are still 11,000 provisional ballots left in Santa Barbara County to be counted, according to county elections head Joe Holland. The lion’s share was cast by people who misplaced their absentee ballot and voted in person at a polling location, Holland said. Other voters showed up to the wrong polling place, which is common in Isla Vista, where college students often move around different apartments. “The main thing is we want to make sure nobody has voted twice,” Holland said. According to Democratic political operative Darcel Elliott, there were about 2,100 provisional ballots cast in the 11 precincts covering Isla Vista and the UCSB campus.
Holland explained that Santa Barbara’s 11,000 figure “looks pretty good” compared to Los Angeles County’s 500,000 or Ventura’s 72,000. His office expects to release final figures December 6.
Virtually all of the election’s absentee ballots were counted by Wednesday, Holland added. Absentee ballots are fed through a machine at the county elections office that matches the signature on the envelope with the signature on the voter registration form.
In the race for 3rd District Supervisor, Democrat Joan Hartmann leads Bruce Porter, who was supported by Republicans, by 1,813 votes, according to current tallies. That translates to 5.5 percentage points. The district covers Isla Vista, the Santa Ynez Valley, and Guadalupe, and whoever occupies its seat often tilts the balance of power at the Board of Supervisors on key issues such as mental health, oil development, the county jail, and public safety.
In the race for the 24th Congressional District, Democrat Salud Carbajal leads Republican Justin Fareed by nearly 20,000 votes, according to an update posted Friday at 4 p.m. The district encompasses Santa Barbara County, San Luis Obispo County, and a slice of Ventura.
This week, Carbajal traveled to Washington D.C. for an orientation. According to his spokesperson, there were various delegation meetings introducing the freshmen members, as well as a heavy emphasis on cyber security practices.
On Wednesday evening, Fareed posted on social media that the race was still down to the wire because there were 61,000 votes left to count. Requests for further comment from his campaign were not returned.
According to the Secretary of State’s latest figures, there are about 30,000 votes left to count in the 24th Congressional District.
Regardless, a Carbajal campaign spokesperson said in an email, “The 24th Congressional District race was called on Election Day. Salud is honored to have earned the support of voters throughout the Central Coast in this election. Bottom line, the race has been called and the [Associated Press] doesn’t do that lightly,” she said. She added that the only race that is too close to call was in the 7th Congressional District. In that case, both candidates attended the D.C. orientation.
According to the Secretary of State’s standards, there is only one race in California that is considered a close contest — the 29th State Senate race, which is 49.7 to 50.3 percent.